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 and continues till today.
Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil, head of the Catholic Church in Southern Thailand recognised the needs of the Laguna Catholic community and his Grace agreed to be the patron of the project to build our new St. Joseph Church.
Sunday Masses were previously held at several of the hotel properties on a three monthly rotation and the kindness and generosity of the management of the Laguna Hotel Properties for making their premises available for our Sunday Mass celebration for the past sixteen years is a privilege we shall always be grateful for.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.