• February 15, 2012

20 Years Making a Home Among the Thai

by Natalie Helfrick, from Sacramento (CA)

Last September, Heart’s Home Bangkok reached the 20-year mark, becoming the 2nd of the 41 Heart’s Homes world­wide to do so. On January 7, we cel­e­brated this exciting moment in the life of Heart’s Home with Mass in the square out­side our house, fol­lowed by some time for simple food and friend­ship. Fr. Peter Tiberghien, vis­iting from the Garden of Mercy in India, presided; a friend from the diocesan youth min­istry office guided our Thai musical wor­ship; and a diverse array of our friends cel­e­brated this beau­tiful Mass of Thanksgiving. As with all the other Heart’s Homes around the world, we come to form true friend­ships with the people God gives us- rejoicing when they rejoice, weeping when they weep, loving them by sharing their life and giving our time, espe­cially to those who are alone and suffer most.

Heart’s Home Bangkok has been blessed with a uniquely diverse friend base. It is a beau­tiful wit­ness to Fr. Thierry’s hope that Heart’s Home will serve the eccle­sial com­mu­nion of the Church and his desire for unity “in the form of time spent com­mu­nally, so as to learn how to be rid of our prej­u­dices, to learn how to know each other, to love, pray, and work together.” The Mass and lunch fol­lowing brought together Thai Buddhists and Christians from our neigh­bor­hood, refugees from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Rwanda, and expa­triate fam­i­lies from the local English, French, and Latin American Catholic parishes- a beau­tiful col­lec­tion of people from so many dif­ferent races, cul­tures, lan­guages, social back­grounds, and life cir­cum­stances. It was a cel­e­bra­tion of lasting bonds formed among so many people whose paths might not other­wise cross. As a Heart’s Home com­mu­nity, we came to a deeper under­standing of our iden­tity as “Point-Coeur”: a meeting point in the Heart of God where all are wel­comed and loved. The day was a priv­i­leged oppor­tu­nity for us to rec­og­nize and give thanks for the fruit that God con­tinues to bear through our simple pres­ence. Rich in love, it was truly a fore­taste of the heav­enly ban­quet!

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