A new training center for Hmong catechists has been inaugurated in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand on January 14.
The “International Hmong Center” will train young members of the Hmong ethnic group in pastoral studies and catechism.
“They are the future,” said catechist Metha Seansrichophan who runs the center where three full-time catechists currently reside.
Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana of Chiang Mai praised the catechists “for the strength and perseverance to carry out this task, believing that God has called them.”
“In the future, the Hmong people will have another instrument for evangelization, and believers in the lay ministry of the catechist are the protagonists,” said the prelate.
He said the center will be “a very important pastoral and study center” for the life of the Hmong community in Thailand, which numbers about 250,000, and other Southeast Asian countries.
The Hmong ethnic group numbers more than four million people worldwide, mostly living in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia and southern China. About 300,000 Hmong are living in the United States and also form a diaspora community in Europe and Oceania.