December 2011


December 5 was the King’s 84th birthday, and his birthday is also “Father’s Day in Thailand. The kids had a ball putting off really good skits and dances. They rented dresses, etc. Father Chuck, Maytee, Ole and I had our wrists tied by the kids and we fed them pizza, ice cream, pop and cake. (Fathers Ole and Maytee are two newly ordained priests and will eventually take over Sarnelli House).     

The rice is harvested; the kids are planting sweet corn and the cold season is here. Christmas is less than three weeks away, and nothing has been prepared. The Old Pro is beginning to panic, so I will be leaning on the staff to shift to second gear. Times awastin’, like the old Snuffy Smith cartoons were wont to say!

                A couple days ago, the older boys from St. Patrick and Jan & Oscar houses drove to Xang Ming to pick up seed rice for next year. We bought 40 sacks of seed rice for 17,200 baht ($575). It is a cheap price, considering how expensive rice is going to get until they can harvest dry season rice early next summer. We do not have a water source to do that. But we had a good harvest, and are thankful to the Lord for that. Then, Fr. Johnny Phairot’s cousins invited us back to make a big donation of rice for the kids to eat!

                Right now, we are about to run electricity to the rice fields. We are waiting for the results of the “Big Give” from the Thai Children’s trust in England. If we get the 50,000 British Pounds, it should be enough for extra 8 acres of land, plus electricity. We will also fence in our property, so as to grow vegetable gardens and raise fish, chickens, ducks and pigs, and maybe even some cattle. I grew up on an Aberdeen Angus farm. Pa would probably disown me for raising the local strain of cows, but they can live on straw during the dry season, whereas Angus had to be fed special, as were other cattle in first world countries. We will be building little cottages so the boys and workers can live there and develop the land. This will be a three year project, and probably my last.

                The company that is building the Joseph and Mary Hall drove the pilings this past week. The dumped the pilings off last Sunday (8 days ago) and I had to go on retreat in Pattaya. When I returned to Sarnelli 4 days later, the pilings were in and the company gone. Next is preparing the steel for pillars and beams.

                Our two parishes are decorating the churches already, but nothing has been done so far at our Holy Innocents chapel. I figure it will be decorated this week. Sermons during Advent do not stir much interest with the horde, until decorations start going up!

                Again, thank you all so much for your donations and good will, and have a very blessed Christmas and good health, happiness and peace throughout the New Year. Take care and stay healthy!  

                May the Infant and His Mother and Joseph protect you always!

Father Mike


Go Back