The priest uses Thai language when celebrating Sunday Mass at Holy Rosary Church in western Bangkok, but most Chinese-Thai parishioners respond in Chaozhou (Teochew), a southern Chinese dialect.
The parishioners, though fluent in Thai, would like to have every Mass completely in Chinese, but their parish priest cannot speak their dialect.
According to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand (CBCT), about 50,000 of Bangkok archdiocese's 75,000 Catholics are of Chinese descent, including Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, the archbishop. Many are business people quite at home in Thai culture, but they are also proud of their Chinese roots and some would like their younger generation to study Chinese.
Chaozhou-speaking Chinese represent the largest Chinese dialect group in Thailand, where 95 percent of all people are Buddhists. Bangkok archdiocese has six parishes in which Chinese-Thais form the majority of parishioners, and the largest is Holy Rosary.
John Paul Liu Zhengfeng, a Chinese-Thai parishioner whose wife teaches catechism in the parish and whose three sons study in the seminary, told UCA News in l
© 2018 Spero