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History of the Church

History of Holy Redeemer Church

To begin from the very beginning, it should be mentioned that the first Redemptorist church in Bangkok was begun in early November, 1949, and almost immediately given the name, unofficially, Our Lady of the Garage, a small wooden structure attached to the house we were renting.

holyredeemer002We left this house after about two years and moved to a larger building that had once been a clinic belonging to Dr. Srichandra, a Catholic and an early benefactor of the Redemptorists.  Sunday Masses, after this move, were at an open hall on the grounds of Mater Dei school.

During all this time we had been looking for property where we could build a permanent church and rectory, preferably in an area where we could easily be reached by the English - speaking Catholic community in Bangkok, the group that Monsignor Louis Chorin, the then head of the Catholic Church in Bangkok, felt to be more in need of pastoral care, due the lack of English speaking priests.

In early 1954 we finally found the property we had been looking for - - on Soi Ruam Rudi, a lane with entrances from two important roads, Sukhumvit and Wireless.

Construction of the church began in early 1954 under the supervision of a very capable architect named Acinelli, a Catholic, delighted at the prospect of building a Catholic Church after the manner of Thai architecture, an idea that had been suggested by the well - known American prelate, Msgr. Fulton Sheen, who happened to be visiting Thailand at the time the First Redemptorist arrived in the country

The church building was finished in 1954 and was opened on what the Holy Redeemer Church annals call “Dedication Day, October 24, 1954″ The same annals record that the celebration that day began at 8:30 in the morning with  a Mass that included the dedication of the church by Msgr. Louis Chorin, the Apostolic Delegate.  Remember, this was at a time in history when the Catholic Church in Thailand was not yet divided into dioceses.

The Mass was a joyful as well as a solemn celebration, lasting from 8:30 to 10:30 with a congregation of about 3,000 people, so the annals record, followed by dinner at the then famous Chom Swee Hong restaurant on Chalermkrung (New) Road, a prominent restaurant at the time, run by a Catholic Filipino Chinese family.  The celebration continued throughout the day and was finally capped by a late evening supper at the Redemptorist rectory, attended by some 40 of the Bangkok clergy.  The complete completion came on December 12 of the same year, when Msgr. Chorin blessed the new Redemptorist rectory.

Over the years Holy Redeemer parish has been served by the following roster of pastors:

Father Roger Godbout,

Father Edmund Kane,

Father Leo Travis,

Father Gerald Gibbons,

Father Harry Thiel,

Father (now Bishop) George Phimphisan,

Father Lawrence Chai Khantahom,

Father Larry Patin (filling in for Fr. Apichat)

Father John Phairot Somngam,

Father Philip Banchong Chaiyara,

Father John Chuchart Srivichairatana,

Father James Thanu Krathong,

Father Paul Pone Nettham,

Father John Somphong Tewtrakul