Father Ray chief reviews new programs started on his watch

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After a quarter century in the clergy and four years officially at the helm of Pattaya’s highest-profile charity organization, Rev. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul is building his own legacy at the Father Ray Foundation.

Fr. Srivorakul’s name is not on the door at any of the Redemptorist facilities. Be it at the Vocational School for Persons with Disabilities, School for the Blind, or Home for Children and Youths, the mantle still carries that of Rev. Raymond “Father Ray” Brennan, who founded the organization and died more than a decade ago.

Father Pattarapong Srivorakul, president of Father Ray Foundation, was given a wonderful mass to celebrate his 25 years in the clergy.Father Pattarapong Srivorakul, president of Father Ray Foundation, was given a wonderful mass to celebrate his 25 years in the clergy.

The Thai priest, who in May marked 25 years since taking his vows, carried on Brennan’s mission in an “acting” capacity for years until officially being given the president title in 2010. Since then, he’s worked to establish programs to develop the Foundation’s 850 young charges, both physically and mentally.

Fr. Peter said he’s proud of a number of projects, including the new equine rehabilitation program for the Redemptorist Center for Children with Special Needs.Fr. Peter said he’s proud of a number of projects, including the new equine rehabilitation program for the Redemptorist Center for Children with Special Needs.

Fr. Peter, as he is affectionately known, said he’s proud of a number of projects, including the new equine rehabilitation program begun at the Pattaya Shooting Park in Nongprue for the Redemptorist Center for Children with Special Needs.

“This method of therapy is accepted worldwide where horses are used to help rehabilitate development,” Fr. Peter said. “Children also enjoy swimming for muscle development. Initially children were afraid to enter the water or had weak muscles, but we’ve observed clear progress as kids show reluctance to get out.”

Each computer at the Redemptorist School for the Blind is equipped with special programs and hardware to enable their use without sight.Each computer at the Redemptorist School for the Blind is equipped with special programs and hardware to enable their use without sight.

Other initiatives include installing computers for visually impaired and blind children at the Redemptorist School for the Blind. Each is equipped with special programs and hardware to enable their use without sight.

“The computer emits sounds every time a button is pressed and certainly, kids do remember the sound associated with each button, allowing them to enjoy computers like sighted individuals so they can seek a good career and live with dignity in society,” he said.

Father Peter and his youthful charges prepare for Christmas, one of their favorite times of the year.Father Peter and his youthful charges prepare for Christmas, one of their favorite times of the year.

Fr. Peter’s mark has even been made on the smallest Father Ray center, the Home for Children and Youths, which is the first stop for orphans and special-needs children.

The home, he said, has organized regular trips away from Pattaya to place children in a different environment where they can build relationships with caregivers and other kids.

Father Peter teaches children how to live safely and productively in society.Father Peter teaches children how to live safely and productively in society.

Born in 1968 as the second of seven children, Fr. Peter completed high school at Assumption School Sriracha and earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology from Saengtham College. He also earned another bachelor’s degree in education from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University. His master’s degrees were obtained at Naresuan University and Emory University in the U.S.

He took his first vows on April 25, 1989 and a vow for life on May 3, 1992, dedicating his life to do good for society and the disabled.