The History of our Parish
Prior to 1995, Catholic Sunday Mass services were said at Our Lady Of The Assumption Church in Phuket Town, a small chapel in the center of Patong and Saturday evening twilight Mass at Le Meridien Hotel, south of Patong. There was no such service available north of Patong hence accessibility was a problem particularly for our visitors to the Laguna and northern areas of Phuket.
James Batt arrived in 1995 as head of the Laguna Hotel Properties and together with his wife Angie, became well acquainted with our beloved late Father Richard who passed away suddenly in August 2011, and as a result of this new friendship, the celebration of Sunday Mass commenced in the Laguna area in 1995 until St. Joseph’s Church opened on 6th July 2014
In the early years, attendance at Sunday Masses were indeed very small, sometimes less than 10 people made up of two resident families and occasional visitors. However under Father Richard’s spiritual guidance and urged on by his encouragement and determination, the congregation grew gradually but steadily.
Along with the growth in numbers in our local Catholic community so too have the need for greater spiritual, liturgical and pastoral guidance and leadership most particularly for the youth of our community as they prepare to receive all the blessed sacraments and continue to grow in their Catholic faith.
Today the Laguna Catholic community has approximately 150 resident members made up of Thai and expatriate families of many nationalities and Sunday Mass attendance averages over 100. Our large number of active Filipino members have established an excellent choir and they lead the singing of hymns at Mass.
The St. Joseph Catholic Church
Our new church was named after St. Joseph, patron and protector of the Catholic Church. Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil, Head of the Catholic Church in Southern Thailand was the patron of the project to build St. Joseph’s Church in Phuket. The diocese of Surathani acquired the piece of land in Soi 8 Pasak,, approximately 3 rai in size, in April 2010, on which the church now stands.
Construction of the church began in August 2013 and we opened on July 6th 2014. The design, drawing and layout to which the church was being built has a normal capacity of 180 in the main area of worship and incorporate in its design, features which will allow the capacity to increase substantially to cater for the seasonal surge in attendance numbers on special feast days such as Christmas and Easter. As there will likely be three Sunday Mass celebrations each week namely, Saturday twilight Mass and two Masses on Sunday, the initial capacity of 180 should comfortably cater for the expected normal attendance including the expected growth in size of the Laguna community for a number of years.
Two small chapels have been incorporated into the design to more efficiently cater for occasions when attendance is expected to be significantly less, an example being daily weekday Mass. The design of the church complies with specific design features required by the Catholic Church and some of these would include a sacristy, baptismal font, confessionals etc.
The two smaller chapels will be used for conducting catechism classes, bible studies, individual and group spiritual counselling, Couples For Christ, and community get-together to name a few. A separate residential structure is being built within the grounds to house the parish priest and the church caretaker and designated car parking spaces will be provided to meet the needs of the congregation.
The Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council is not a body of representatives but a representative body whose primary function is to set the vision and plan to make “the life and activity of the parish ever more closely conform to the gospel.” Their focus is on the pastoral aspect of the parish.
The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) consists of the Parish Priest and a team of parishioners chosen by the parish community. The Councillors work collaboratively to build a vital Christian community in which parishioners’ spiritual growth is fostered and their baptismal calls to mission are discerned and supported.
The Parish Pastoral Council regularly conducts meetings to discuss and take action on ways to to bring the people of the parish together spiritually. Should you have any feedback or suggestion that you think will help our Parish, please feel free to approach our Parish Pastoral Council
The purpose of the PPC is to enrich the quality of parish life and provide opportunities for parishioners to:
1. Proclaim the good news of God’s love throughout the world
2. Invite more people into the community of disciples
3. Encourage the whole community to grow in holiness
4. Transform the world until the justice, peace and love of God’s reign prevail.
The St. Joseph's Choir
Our parish’s large number of active Filipino members have established an excellent choir and they lead the singing of hymns at Mass. The choir was named “St. Joseph Choir” in honor of St. Joseph, our Patron. Over the years the choir has had a lot of members, some went back for good to the Philippines, some relocated to other countries. We will be always grateful for their dedicated service to our parish.
If you wish to offer your time and talent as a part of the choir, please approach one of the choir members