Father Ray Foundation

Of the more than five hundred people who attended the tenth anniversary Memorial Mass for Father Ray Brennan, most had never met the man. The majority of those who sat through the catholic service were Buddhists, but this did not stop them attending to pay respect to the man whose devotion to the underprivileged in Thai society will never be forgotten.

 

But two people who new Father Ray very well, and who flew from Texas in the United States to attend the service, were his younger sister, Sharron Purtell, and his niece Amy. They came to attend the service, to remember Father Ray and also witness for themselves that the work he started is continuing, and they were not disappointed. They met the babies at the Pattaya Orphanage and played with the deaf toddlers. At the Father Ray Children’s Home they were entertained with traditional Thai dancing and an exhibition of Muay Thai, while the students with disabilities showed off their English skills. The youngsters at the Pattaya School for the Blind sang for them and the toddlers at the Father Ray Day Care Center all demanded hugs. For Amy, who was making her first ever trip to Thailand, it was an experience she will never forget.  

 

On the morning of the 16th August, the anniversary of Father Ray’s death, more than two hundred students, teachers, foreign volunteers and local residents gathered at the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities to provide alms to monks from a local Buddhist temple and also to make merit for Father Ray.

 

Twelve hours later, at St. Nikolaus Church on Sukhumvit Road, the anniversary Memorial Mass too place. The service was led by Father Michael Weera, from the Pattaya Orphanage, Father Michael Picharn, from the Father Ray Foundation, and Father Viyakorn, Vicar General of the Redemptorists of Thailand, the catholic order Father Ray belonged to. The choir from the Pattaya Orphanage, led by Sister Supatra, sang throughout the service and Father Ray would have been very proud of how beautiful his children sang. 

 

Once the final note of the final hymn was sung, the priests led a procession to Father Ray’s final resting place. As each person, young and old, stood in front of the grave they laid down a single red rose. While Thais placed their hands together and performed a wai, others bowed their heads and paid respect to Father Ray, the man whose work changed the lives of thousands and whose legacy continues here in Pattaya. 

This young boy never met Father Ray, but still he pays his respect_resize Children from the projects Father Ray founded each gave a reading_resize Children of all ages attended the service_resize Foreign volunteers give alms to the monks_resize Never too young to make merit_resize Sharron Purtell offers food to the monks_resize Sister Supatra pays her respects to Father Ray_resize The blind students also attended the memorial mass_resize The choir from the Pattaya Orphanage led the singing at the Memorial Mass_resize The monks arrive at the Father Ray Foundation_resize