It was in early 1948 that the first Redemptorist priests arrived into Thailand. Four priests had set sail from the United States several weeks earlier and their mission upon reaching the Kingdom of Thailand was to preach the word of God.
Today there are more than fifty Redemptorist priests and brothers, mostly Thai, but there are a few remaining Americans, notably Father Joe Meier, who has spent over fifty years working in the slums of Bangkok, and Father Mike Shea, who has also spent more than five decades in the north of the kingdom.
At their recent annual meeting of clergy members in Bangkok, Father Michael Picharn Jaiseri C.Ss.R. was elected to the position of Provincial of the Redemptorists of Thailand.
Father Michael will be known to many in Pattaya as the Vice President of the Father Ray Foundation. He is also President of the Redemptorist Foundation for People with Disabilities and a Past President of the Rotary Club of Pattaya City. Father Michael is also the Chairman of the annual Pattaya St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the SOS Rice Appeal that takes place each year in early December.
Father Michael has been elected to lead the congregation for the next four years, which means that the eight years he has spent here in Pattaya will soon come to an end. In January he will say his farewells and relocate to Bangkok, though he is sure to have a lot of happy memories from his many years here in Pattaya.