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
A LOOK BACK OVER THE YEARS
1995 – Sunday Service was held at various hotels in Laguna Complex. Thanks to the kindness of various General Managers starting with James Batt
2010 – During a Christmas Lunch, the driving forces behind the building of the now, St. Joseph Church petitioned Bishop Joseph Pratan to the grant the catholic community in Laguna Area an official parish status.
2011 – Delivery of the land where the St. Joseph Church now sits from the diocese. Fundraising for the construction of the new church begun.
2013 – August: Construction of St. Joseph Church started.
2014 – On the 6th of July, St. Joseph Church was dedicated and officially opened. The Inaugural Mass was led by Bishop Joseph Pratan and with priests from different parishes on the disocese.
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.
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.
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.
We as the Catholic community of Laguna feel most blessed to have our new church from which we have the opportunity to grow in our faith as a parish for all time.
We look forward to your support and prayers sand we especially welcome all our visitors to join us in celebrating our Catholic faith at our St. Joseph’s Church in Phuket.
Over the years God has sent people to serve as the shepherd of his flocks – our community. We thank you for your faithful ministry and loving service to the faithful of St. Joseph Parish. May you be blessed with health and happiness all the days of your life
Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil
Rev. Richard Frederick Woodarek
Rev. Peter Pakpoom
Rev. Jim Pura
Rev. Reby Arazo
Rev. John Pipat Rungruangkanokkul