Pattaya loses 2 Catholic priests, welcomes new ones

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Pattaya’s Roman Catholic parishioners were disappointed when they learned Rev. Francis Xavier Kritsada Sukkaphat was transferred to Sriracha, but warmly welcomed their successors to the community.

Sukkaphat is taking over the Sriracha Sacred Heart Minor priest seminar. For him, it is a step up the clerical ladder, but it felt like a loss to his flock.

Also leaving is assistant Rev. Joseph Phinant Pornprasit, who mostly took care of worshippers at the Assumption Church. He will be taking a post in Chonburi.

Father Phu with a green wig and his dancers.Father Phu with a green wig and his dancers.

The parish wished both pastors a fond farewell at a May 5 party. Speeches were held and both outgoing priests said a few words as well.

Even though they tried to be humorous one could see faint signs of heartache. Sukkaphat especially acted a bit uneasy since he spent seven years in Pattaya, time that is not easy forgotten.

Both priests received many flowers as farewell and good wishes and blessings.

Outgoing priests Pastor Francis Xavier Kritsada Sukkaphat (left) and Father Joseph Phinant Pornprasit (right) say their fond farewells. Outgoing priests Pastor Francis Xavier Kritsada Sukkaphat (left) and Father Joseph Phinant Pornprasit (right) say their fond farewells.

At the party, the new priests for St. Nikolas and Assumption churches were introduced. Rev. Peter Suraporn Suwichakon will lead the parish and Rev. John Babtiste Nuphan Tassamalee will be his assistant.

Of course no party in Thailand is ever complete without singing and dancing. The always funny and smiling Father Phoo, who was Sukkaphat’s substitute during his time in England, showed once more his humorous side by acting and dancing while wearing a huge wig and dressing like a woman.

The new priests in Pattaya are Father John Babtiste Nuphan Tassamalee (left) and Pastor Peter Suraporn Suwichakon (right).The new priests in Pattaya are Father John Babtiste Nuphan Tassamalee (left) and Pastor Peter Suraporn Suwichakon (right).

Priests and guests enjoy the show.Priests and guests enjoy the show.