Valdocco, December 17, 2022 -- Today, the Rector Major has appointed Fr. Boonlert Paneetatthayasai Anthony as the 17th Superior of the Province of Thailand for the next six-year term (2023-2029).
Fr. Boonlert Anthony was born in 1975 and became a Salesian of the Province of Thailand in 1996. After his initial formation in Thailand, he was sent to Italy for Theological Formation (2003-2006) with specialization in Salesian Spirituality (2006-2007). Returning to Thailand, he was assigned to carry out his ministries as formator in the aspirantate (2007-2012), as Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry (2008-2012) and in the novitiate as the Rector and Novice Master (2012-2022). In June 2022, he became a member of the Provincial Council. Under his guidance, many candidates and young confreres have assimilated the Salesian spirit and engaged in various Salesian services in the Province with high perseverance.
Last May, 2022, the Rector Major has himself presided over the ceremony of the first religious profession for 10 novices, a record number in the history of Thailand, considering the fact that the Catholic Church is a minority in the country ( around 0.3 % of the population).
The Salesian Province of Thailand has presences and works in 5 dioceses with academic schools, technical schools, oratories, parishes. Most of its schools are full of students of various backgrounds and get a reputation for the high quality of academic achievements as well as moral and Christian formation. At the same time, the Province is involved in many works to serve the poor in Bangkok (a training center for the visually impaired and those with hearing disabilities), in the South, in the North and in the Northeast of Thailand. The Province supports the Delegation of Cambodia and the mission in Laos.
The Salesians work closely and effectively with various groups of the Salesian Family. Their Association of Past-Pupils is very proactive to support the Salesian mission even though the majority of them belong to other religious beliefs. Also, three Women Religious Congregations in Thailand were founded by the Salesian missionaries and belong to the Salesian Family. Along its history, three Salesians have been chosen to become bishops in Thailand. The current one, Bishop Prathan Sridarunsil Joseph, is very close to the confreres (2004 - present).
With gratitude, the Salesian Province of Thailand and the members of the Salesian Family remember all the sacrifices and efforts of Fr. John Bosco Dheparat Pitisant (Provincial 2017-2023) to animate and govern the Province in accord with the Road Map offered by the Rector Major (2017): caring for the vocations, expanding specific works for the materially poor and the missions in Cambodia and Laos.
We pray for the growth of the Province of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos under the leadership of Fr. Anthony Boonlert Paneetatthayasai. We believe that as the Province is preparing to celebrate their Centenary (2027), the confreres will collaborate with the new leader and work with enthusiasm and zeal as God is still rewarding the Province with vocations and many poor youth to serve.