Sheep Become Shepherd
By SC Thailand
HuaHin, Thailand, 11 September 2021 -- On Saturday 11 September, in the chapel of the Salesian Retreat House, the Salesian Thomas Nattawut Kitsawad was ordained a Priest by the imposition of hands and the consecration prayer of Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil, SDB, Bishop of Surat Thani.
Fr. John Bosco Dheparat Pitisant, the Provincial of Thailand, concelebrated together with some other Salesian confreres. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mass was held in private with only the presence of the family members and some close relatives. The others were invited to follow the liturgy live-online through FB Fanpage: Salesian Thailand.
At the end of Mass, Fr.Nattawut expressed his heartfelt gratitude that “Throughout 32 years of my life, and 12 years of religious life that I have grown up, I would like to express my gratitude to God who calls me to the Priestly Vocation – to be Salesian. I would like to gratitude to my grandmother and my mother, who have always loved and cared for me. I would like to thank the Salesian Society, all superiors, formators, confreres, and benefactors in the Thai province and the Australia-Pacific province for the model of Salesian life and for support in many ways. On my Priestly Ordination day, I would like to use this occasion to “thank you so much,” my family and my relative families, and everyone who has come, prepared, prayed, and participated on this celebration of the Priestly Ordination. Please keep me in your prayer, in order that I might be a faithful Salesian priest forever.”
Fr. Nattawut was born in Sampran, Nakorn Pathom Province. His vocation started at the Salesian Youth Center since he was small having absorbed the environment of the Salesian education through the Salesians at the Center, and the advice of Fr. Samakhee Chaiprakhun, SDB, his uncle. He then entered the seminary and continued his growth in the vocation until the present. God has called Fr. Nattawut from being a sheep to being a shepherd after the example of St. John Bosco.
For his ordination, Fr. Nattawut took his motto from John 10: 11: "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." He explained the meaning of this motto in the interview with the Thai Salesian Bulletin: "I have chosen this word of God as my motto on my ordination to the priesthood. For me, "image of the shepherd looking after the sheep" is a very clear image of being a priest. The priest has the role and the duty of taking care and ministering the faithful, especially in matters of saving souls, like the good shepherd who helps every sheep in the fold, remembering their names, watching over them not to loose their way, bandaging their wounds, strengthening the weak, making them strong and feeding them justly. John 10:11 is an image of a good priest which I should imitate as closely as possible, by answering the call of God to be a servant-priest, helpful, sacrificing, taking good care of the faithful as much as I can.
A brief Bio:
Fr. Thomas Nattawut Kitsawad S.D.B.
Born: 29 January 1989 at Sampran, Nakorn Pathom, Thailand
Educational and Vocation Background
- 1992-1994: Kindergarten at St Joseph Upatham School, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 1995-2000: Primary School at St Joseph Upatham School, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 2001-2003: Elementary School at Hua Hin Vithayalai School, Hua Hin
- 2004-2006: High School at Sarasit Phithayalai, Banpong, Ratchaburi
- 2007: 1st of Pre-Novice at Nazareth House, Banpong, Ratchaburi
- 2008: 2nd of Pre-Novice at Salesianum, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 2009: Novice at Salesianum, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 2008/2010-2012: Study Philosophy at Saengtham College, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 1st May 2010: First Profession at Salesianum, Samphran, Nakorn Pathom
- 2013-2014: Brother assistant at Aspirant’s House, Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan
- 2015: Brother assistant at Nazareth House, Banpong, Ratchaburi
- 2016-Present: Study Theology at Catholic Theological College of University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia
- 21st May 2017: Perpetual Profession at St John the Baptist’s Church, Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia
- 14th September 2018: Ministry of Lector at Salesian House, Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia
- 29th May 2019: Ministry of Acolyte at Salesian House, Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia
- 30th November 2019: Diaconate ministry at St Joseph’s Church, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia