National Catechetical Centre

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Official name National Catechetical Center.
Country / Continent Thailand / Asia
Director of the institute Sr. Dorotee Suwannee Phanvilai (LCU).
Legal holder of the institute
Sponsor of the institute The Bishops Conference of Thailand.
Year of foundation 1965
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)
Staff members of your institute
Contact 82 Moo 6 Soi Wat Thiendad,



Nakhonpathom 73110


Tel: 02 4202439


Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

National Catechetical Center.

Director of the institute

Sr. Dorotee Suwannee Phanvilai (LCU).

Legal holder of the institute

The Bishops Conference of Thailand.

Vision / mission statement

To follow the examples of the disciples in bearing witness to a life of service to the Community geared to building a community of faith through the following:

Community prayer, celebration of the Word, the sacraments service to the people of God;

Witnessing through one’s life experience;

Continuous dialogue with the people which will promote their human dignity as persons;

Respecting and promoting family life;

A continuous education on faith experience;

All of these aforementioned are activities implemented in the local churches on all levels.

Main areas of work

The main area of work is the training of catechist for Thailand and Laos.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

The addressees of the work:

The building site provides board and lodging for the students of Saenghtam College with the following courses offered for lay people:

Summer Courses for 6 weeks

3-year catechetical course for lay people

Courses offered are with the following components:

Wholistic approach to the human development and

Harnessing of spirituality and community life.

Year of foundation


Organisational structure of the institute

<center>Bishops conference of Thailand

Evangelization and Education

Bishop Francis Xavier Vira

Catholic Commission for Catechetical Education of Thailand

National Catechetical Center
Teaching media
Follow up and evaluation

Children Catechism
Youth Catechism
Adult Catechism

Practicum Formation
Summer courses
Catechism books

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Staff members of your institute[2]

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana as the Head of the Catechetical Committee. He heads the Directors of the various catechetical centers of each diocese.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

The pastoral option for the future of the Church of Thailand is the implementation of the Pastoral Plan for the years 2010-2015 which concerns mainly the following:

The proclamation of the Good News to all the people of God;

The care for the Christian community.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

The pastoral focus areas of the Institute is the entire Church sub-divided into dioceses and parishes.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

The pastoral aim of the Institute is to prepare lay people for catechetical and liturgical work while they serve the people in their own parochial levels.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Pastoral services provided by the Institute are:

The pastoral services rendered are for the wholistic development of the people though:

The celebration of the Word and sacraments

Community prayer;

Continuous education of faith experience;

Respect and promotion of family life.

Every week catechetical instructions are conducted in the vicinity of the Institute as part of their practicum.

Volunteer workers are involved in the care for the elderly.

A weekly activity with the youths is conducted separately by both the Redemptorist students as well as the Salesian students.

A weekly small group Bible Sharing is held in the vicinity.

Every end of the month an evaluation of the activities is conducted by the community.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

The intensive preparation for future catechists is the recent activities based on previous implementation of the project.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

The intensive preparation will enhance the lay people to a more active participation in the liturgy with the help of the catechists; for the deaconry who may also be involved in catechistics may be helped to develop a more personal and meaningful outlook on the liturgy; the liturgy must permeate the daily life of the people.

What notion of God inspires your work?

What inspires our work is the goodness we see in people despite the evils in today’s world. The continuous existence of the Church regardless of the unsurmountable problems it has to face.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

The Christian spirituality shapes our work for as long as it is based in the awareness of God’s presence, when the day to day living is permeated by God’s unending love for His people.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

The Pastoral Plan of the Church of Thailand is born of the social, economic and political analyses. The laity is more aware of the real situation in the country because of their daily sharing of their concerns in life through experience of God.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

We inculcate the importance of communal concern to live fully the Christian spirituality. This is with the hope to promote brotherly love, the acceptance of one another, despite the barriers that sets people apart such as differences in religious beliefs, culture, colour, social orientation, economic status, etc.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

The institute provides courses for the formation of catechists through 3-6 months course and 4 year course.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

The Institute has regular publications of periodicals, newsletters, magazines, instructional and methodical materials for catechists.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

The most important service we consider is to be good examples in our society in fulfilling the Word.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

Evaluation is performed after each activity and presentation of the reports is done every six months to the community.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

The most important service we consider which is obvious is making the adults interested and equipped with the knowledge, capability and the heart to proclaim God’s word.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

The most difficult part in our work we are confronted with, is to enliven the faith of our young people. This stems from the present environment, the influence of tri-media, information theology and the present economy.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

The big challenge we are faced is training Christians to live the Gospel individually and communally as the apostles did. (Acts 4:32-36).

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

Our hope, dream and vision is to maintain the original vision of the Institute – to be living witnesses of the Word to the community.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

The Institute supports the lay people through its program on education with its main objective: to enable people to be well versed in the Bible so as to proclaim the good News in their daily living, based on their studies. (Acts 2:44-46)

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

Communication of experiences and results are channelled through the respective directors of the centers of each diocese.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

The cooperation can be considered satisfactory with the regular submission of a bi-annual report to the Bishop. This is a vehicle utilized to keep the Bishop as well as the Church updated on the on-going activities of the coal churches thereby he can give advices whenever necessary.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

This is an area reserved to the discretion of the Bishop.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

For the interreligious and ecumenical cooperation between the non-Christian religions and non-Catholic churches, this is achieved through the following: Ecumenical meetings; Exposure/immersion/visitation to the places of worship such as mosques, temples and other places of worship.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

The theological association are with Saengtham College.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

Assistance may be done through: provision of materials, scholarship and support to the various units of the Church in Thailand, its dioceses and parishes on the local levels. Moral support may also be done through exchange of experiences and occasional visitation of units at different levels in the Church of Thailand.

I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to anoint your efforts. I do hope that this is the beginning of our desired cooperation.

(Sr. Dorotee Suwannee Phanvilai (LCU), Director of the Institute

  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.