Sunday, July 8, 2007

Another News of Death

Less than a week since I heard that my CSP colleague Gerry Trinidad passed away (See my recent blog post "Farewell, Gerry!"), today I learned that another colleague died -- this time not due to sickness but because of a car accident.

The person I am writing about is Fr. Komkrit Anamnat, a Thai Catholic priest and missionary. I was informed that Fr. Komkrit died from a freak car accident in Thailand recently.

Fr. Komkrit supervised a mission in Northern Thailand where his group provided free education to tribal children and poor people.

I remember him as a very good natured person with a unique sense of humor. He was very dedicated to his work. He was also a very respected and well-loved missionary.

Farewell, Fr. Komkrit. Please pray for me.


Below is an article I found on the Web about Fr. Komkrit:

( Source: )

"TH6814.1307 September 20, 2004 61 EM-lines (746 words) THAILAND Poor Rural Students Want To Go Beyond 9th Grade Not Just For University

WIANG PA PAO, Thailand (UCAN) -- Poor students at a Catholic school in northern Thailand would gain a few options if it could extend its high school classes, but 'prolonged' schooling is an end in itself.

Ninth-grade student Sathit Phusenglan says students who cannot continue studies will end up as hired helpers or maybe engage in "wrong business" such as girls becoming prostitutes or boys selling drugs.

Nuchanat Anusorn School in Wiang Pa Pao, 635 kilometers north of Bangkok, has 1,403 students, boys and girls, about 100 of them Catholics. More than one-third of them pay no tuition to attend the Chiang Mai diocese-run school in the hills of Chiang Rai, Thailand's northernmost province.

"We are proud of our accomplishment providing free education to many hilltribe and other poor children up to 9th grade," Idente Missionary Father Komkrit Anamnat, the parish priest and school manager, told UCA News Sept. 15.

Nonetheless, Father Komkrit said the Church wants to do more for these children and is now raising funds to extend existing school buildings toward offering full secondary education by 2006.

"We should try to help children further their education opportunity, if we can, because we want to 'prolong' their schooling from age 14-16 to 18-20," he said, noting that few rural students who finish 9th grade at age 14-16 go on to high school. Many end up farming with their family or working as laborers.

If employed, they make less than 3,000 baht (US$75), "but if they finish high school, they may make 4,000 baht," he said. The school also intends to offer vocational training for students who do not want to go on to 12th grade.

The Thai priest pointed out that in rural areas, especially among hilltribe communities, it is common for young people to marry at 15 or right after 9th grade. "It is not that we are against the tribal custom of marrying young," he said, "but if we can give young people a chance to continue secondary education or vocational training, we can help them with better opportunity, more moral teaching and higher learning."

His Association Id of Christ the Redeemer, known as Idente Missionaries was founded in 1959 in Spain. Members came to Thailand in 1980."

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