Father Ray’s legacy lives on

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Father Ray Brennan dedicated his life to the underprivileged of Thailand. Originally from the United States he spent almost forty years in Thailand, the final twenty nine years of his life in Pattaya.

Father Ray founded several residential facilities to support orphaned, abandoned and neglected children. He also founded two schools, a vocational school for students with disabilities and another for young blind children.

Father Ray passed away on August 16, 2003, and eight years after his passing the people of Pattaya still remembers a great man.

The merit making ceremony at the Vocational School.The merit making ceremony at the Vocational School.

This year’s Father Ray Week started at the Father Ray Children’s Home when the residence opens its doors and welcomes its friends and supporters to see for themselves how their donations are improving the lives of the children of Pattaya.

A parade started the proceedings, which was led by three young drummer boys. Unfortunately, these three musicians had not spent as much time rehearsing as they should have. They were out of tune, and were more interested in telling jokes to each other. But they seemed to be having a great time.

Honored guests, including Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit, arrived on the back of elephants and it was the mayor who officially opened Father Ray Week.

Each project managed by the Father Ray Foundation held a special event to remember Father Ray.

At the Vocational School for People with Disabilities, nine Buddhist monks arrived to receive alms of food. Later that day several hundred people braved the torrential rain to attend the memorial Mass at St. Niklaus Catholic Church on Sukhumvit Road.

Nine monks arrive to receive alms on Father Ray Day.Nine monks arrive to receive alms on Father Ray Day.

The blind students, the youngsters from the Father Ray Day Care Center, the former street kids at the Drop-In Center and the residents of the Father Ray Children’s Village all laid single red roses at the foot of the statue of Father Ray.

Many of the children and students who are now living and being educated at the Father Ray Foundation never met Father Ray; most were not even born when he died. But every one of the 850 children and students currently at the Foundation know him and they know what he did for them.

Each morning the three year old toddlers at the Father Ray Day Care Center say a short prayer before eating lunch. They thank God, their mother and their father. They thank the teachers, their friends and finally they say a thank you to ‘Pa Ray’.

More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]

Volunteers from Germany, South Africa and Japan light a candle at the Memorial Mass.Volunteers from Germany, South Africa and Japan light a candle at the Memorial Mass.

Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul strikes the gong to start the proceedings as Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit looks on.Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul strikes the gong to start the proceedings as Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit looks on.

(L to R) PSC President Tony Oakes is one of a select group of people to receive a big thank you from the Father Ray Foundation, here being presented by Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul (Father Peter) and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit.(L to R) PSC President Tony Oakes is one of a select group of people to receive a big thank you from the Father Ray Foundation, here being presented by Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul (Father Peter) and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit.

Father Ray’s children, some too young to remember him, sing his praises.Father Ray’s children, some too young to remember him, sing his praises.

Volunteers staff one of the many booths set up to earn money for charity.Volunteers staff one of the many booths set up to earn money for charity.

The children from the Day Care Center enjoy the special meal on Father Ray Day.The children from the Day Care Center enjoy the special meal on Father Ray Day.

Laying roses at the statue of Father Ray at the Children’s Village.Laying roses at the statue of Father Ray at the Children’s Village.

Elephants stop at the center with their precious cargo, Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul (Father Peter) (left) and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit (right), accompanied by women in traditional Thai dress.Elephants stop at the center with their precious cargo, Fr. Pattarapong Srivorakul (Father Peter) (left) and Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit (right), accompanied by women in traditional Thai dress.

Thai dancers perform in front of the Father Ray statue.Thai dancers perform in front of the Father Ray statue.

Leading the parade at the Father Ray Children’s Home.Leading the parade at the Father Ray Children’s Home.

Paying respect at the Drop-In Center.Paying respect at the Drop-In Center.

The blind students lay single red roses on Father Ray’s statue. The blind students lay single red roses on Father Ray’s statue.

Young boys and girls are given a chance to hope for a better life thanks to Father Ray’s legacy.Young boys and girls are given a chance to hope for a better life thanks to Father Ray’s legacy.

Young Thai dancers perform to remember Father Ray.Young Thai dancers perform to remember Father Ray.

Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit arrives on the back of an elephant.Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit arrives on the back of an elephant.