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Celebrating 50 Years of Saeng Tham: A Journey of Collaboration with the Society of Jesus in Thailand

Celebrating 50 Years of Saeng Tham: A Journey of Collaboration with the Society of Jesus in Thailand

This year signifies a remarkable milestone in Saeng Tham's history as it celebrates its 50th anniversary since its establishment. Since its inception, Saeng Tham has remained dedicated to fostering the growth of the Church in Thai society, playing a vital role in the formation of major seminarians from the country's dioceses and from other religious congregations for the ministerial priesthood. This invaluable mission has truly been a collaborative endeavor, and the Society of Jesus feels deeply grateful to have been asked to be part of this inspiring dedication. Saeng Tham’s commitment to learning and serving, focusing on educating future Church leaders within Thailand's diverse communities, is a privilege to support and aligns seamlessly with the Society’s vision.

In 1972, in response to the demands of the Second Vatican Council, the establishment of centers for priestly formation was encouraged in each country. Subsequently, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand approved the opening of a major seminary, ' Lux Mundi Seminary,' at Samphran Nakhon Pathom. On February 2, 1975, the official opening ceremony for the Saeng Tham seminary took place, marking the establishment of 'Saeng Tham College' as an institution of higher education. From that moment forth, the harmonious partnership between Saeng Tham College and the Jesuits burgeoned, ushering in an era where numerous Jesuit individuals were invited to lend their expertise to the seminarian formation endeavor, all in pursuit of the greater glory of God. Among them, some served as spiritual directors, while others imparted their wisdom as professors.

From its humble beginnings, Saeng Tham has grown to become a nurturing ground for young minds, embodying the Jesuit ideals of academic excellence, social responsibility, and spiritual growth. The collaborative efforts between the Society of Jesus and Saeng Tham have yielded remarkable outcomes, fostering an environment where students not only excel academically but also develop a profound sense of compassion, empathy, and service to others. Our goal is to form mature, well-educated men for the priesthood, men of deep faith, of simplicity of life, kindness, humility, peace, and service; true shepherds and evangelists of the Good News. This mission enriches the fabric of our institution, shaping individuals into not just scholars but compassionate leaders committed to serving their communities and Church.

The profound relationships were further strengthened when the Jesuits requested their English Institution (Xavier Learning Community) to become part of Saeng Tham College. During its meeting on July 22, 2022, the Saeng Tham College Board decided to approve the establishment of Saeng Tham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus, aiming to provide education and broaden educational opportunities for children and teenagers in the Chiang Rai Province region and the surrounding provinces. Subsequently, on April 27, 2023, the Saeng Tham College Council approved the opening of the Bachelor of Arts program in English for Education, Religion, and Culture within the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Saeng Tham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus.

In our Jesuit Newsletter, it's a privilege to highlight the intertwined journey of Saeng Tham and the Jesuits. This anniversary serves as an important reminder of the enduring partnership between the Society of Jesus and this esteemed institution, reflecting the profound impact of collaboration in education and community building. As we celebrate this milestone, let us continue to cherish and uphold the values that have been the cornerstone of Saeng Tham's success, carrying forward the legacy of excellence and service for generations to come.

Here are the names of our Jesuits who have worked or are currently working at Saeng Tham, both in the past and present:

In the past: Fr. Pietro Cerutti taught History of the Church, Fr. Augustin Moling taught theology and served as spiritual director of the seminary for many years, Fr. Franz Reiterer taught Philosophy, Fr. Jean Barry taught Counseling, and Fr. Sigmund Laschenski taught Theology and served as spiritual director for many years.

At present: Fr. Pitoyo continues to teach Philosophy, Fr. Pichet continues to teach Ethics, Fr. Kriangyot continues to teach Inter-Religious Dialogue, Ecumenism and Buddhist Traditions., Fr. Miguel continues to teach Spirituality and serves as spiritual director, and Fr. Bowo teaches a course on Religious Studies.

 

 

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The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola and his companions. The mission of the Jesuits is a mission of justice and reconciliation, working so that women and men can be reconciled with God, with themselves, with each other and with God’s creation.

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