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Nazareth House (Ban Nazareth), Banpong THA

By Fr. Dominic Suphot, SDB

Banpong, Thailand, 24 September 2018 -- Banpong is an industrial town not so far from Bangkok, with three Salesian communities - Sarasit School, ( opened 1927, now with 1700 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12), Don Bosco Technical College, (opened 1980, now with 700 students in 4 sections) and Nazareth House (Ban Nazareth, opened 1990, now with 32 aspirants).

Our community is a beautiful , three generation family with 32 aspirants (Grades 10-12), three formators who accompany the aspirants, and three quite senior confreres, including Fr Pietro Daniele, the most senior THA province member and our confessor. 'Ban Nazareth' means 'home'. We are proud to live in a warm and friendly atmosphere where the confreres and aspirants can share opinions and talk frankly to each other. The close presence of Fr Yarat as their assistant, Fr Samakkee (our new economer) and the occasional presence of Br Saraphan (from Banpong Don Bosco Community) makes for wonderful team work.

The majority (28) of our aspirants are studying at Sarasit school and 4 of them are students at the DB Technical College. Half of them come from Thailand's northern region (Chiang Mai), while two groups come from Thailand's south and north-east regions. Some have grown up in in large families of 5-6 children. Senior high-school aspirants come from the Chiang Mai and Hua Hin Junior high-school aspirantates, who provide some 5-15 aspirants for Nazareth House annually.

Nazareth aspirants appreciate the family spirit most of all, and were attracted by a variety of SDB role-models They like Don Bosco's preventive system, its family spirit, and corrections they receive from the assistants. Their involvement in the annual SYM vocation campo and their involvement as young catechists over the 10 day camp makes them very happy.

Nazareth aspirants find difficulty especially in their studies. They encounter the ordinary challenges of living in a large family with a variety of characters, and some experience homesickness ( they have just 3 visits home during the school year).

The aspirants explore their vocation through different experiences - self-reflection, with prayer, thanks to their confessor or spiritual guide, the encouragement they receive from the good example of their peers, and the personal talk they have with the Rector.

Despite the small numbers of those who continue on to the prenovitiate in Sampran (only 9 over the past 5 years) we continue with our daily acompaniment and assistance, day and night - in the chapel, refectory, study hall, house chores, sport and work time. The future of our province is being moulded by Nazareth, since almost 95% of Thai Salesians come from the aspirantate.

We request your prayers for our large family, for a closer accompaniment and growth of vocation seeds who are our Nazareth aspirants - the future of Thai province.









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