- “The Kingdom of Thailand weeps for its children. Only a wounded healer like Mr. Pornchai Moontri could tell such a devastating story and yet leave readers feeling inspired and hopeful. This is indeed a gift. I have read many accounts of this tragedy, but none told with such elegant grace.” — Dorothy R. Stein
Tag Archives: Pornchai Moontri
Elephants and Men and Tragedy in Thailand
Filed under Law enforcement, Terrorism
Raped for years, his mother murdered, imprisoned most of his life, now a friend of Immaculate Mary’s Son, Jesus
In that picture above the background you see is boxes of cold cases, murders, piled high in the United States Territory of Guam. The label that’s visible says “HOMICIDE: WANNEE L BAILEY”. She’s the one who was murdered. That’s her on the left in the picture at 19 years old, when she was pregnant with her son, Pornchai Moontri, who is to the right in the picture at 12 years of age.
From Father Gordon J MacRae:
- “It has not escaped my notice that this is being posted on the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross. That is most fitting. This is an unusual post for us, but a necessary one. It tells a story that has deeply impacted our lives and it has been a long time in the making. Please note that portions of this account may be disturbing. I have done all I can to minimize such content without minimizing the story itself. This post is longer than most, but it is a mesmerizing account with no part that I could justly omit. If you have never shared a post of mine on social media or with others, please share this one.”
Just to be clear: share that post on BeyondTheseStoneWalls, over there. Here’s the link:
It is one of the very highest honors of my entire life to be called a friend of Pornchai Moontri.
Filed under Spiritual life
Pornchai Max Moontri, the Great. Enter Hill, the Great: Good DAAWWG!
That’s Pornchai. And that’s Hill. Over in Thailand.
Currents run deep. I’m guessing that Ponch is just now beginning to breath. Thanks be to God.
Meanwhile, Father Gordon MacRae says that Hill looks fierce, ferocious.
I say that Hill looks entirely placid.
Anyway, Father Gordon says that Hill is like the only dog in the Sacred Scriptures that appears without any negativity, you know is the Book of Tobit.
Of course, it depends what you mean by negativity.
- “Get up and go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria. See, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has gone to take possession. Tell him that this is what the LORD says: ‘Have you not murdered a man and seized his land?’ Then tell him that this is also what the LORD says: ‘In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, there also the dogs will lick up your blood— yes, yours!’” When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, “So you have found me out, my enemy.” He replied, “I have found you out because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. (1 Kings 21:18-20).
The dogs licking up the blood of the enemies is absolutely glorious. I would say: “Goood DAWWWG!”
There are a lot of goood DAWWWGs in Sacred Scripture.
Filed under Dogs
Advent Project at BTSW for Thailand. Bonus: humor of Max and Father Gordon, Eh?!
Did I hear that right? You need an Advent Project? Here’s one:
That project involves Father John Le in Thailand (who has been assisting Pornchai Maximilian Moontri), as well as Father Tim Moyle, in Canada, who is twinning his parish with Father Le’s Advent Project.
Meanwhile, some humor, because, it is what it is, Eh?! First of all, as a prerequisite, the first minute of this video dedicated to Canadians saying, asking, “Eh?!” after everything they say, “Eh?!”
Now then, once this twinning of parishes goes forward, everyone involved in Canada will be saying the traditional Thai greeting of “Sawasdee kup!” There are fuller spellings for orthography and changes for the person to whom you are greeting, but that’s the basic form.
- Pornchai, with typical humor, said: “Oh great! Now everyone in Canada is going to be saying “Sawasdee kup! Eh?!”
Hahaha! Eh?! Lol.
- Meanwhile, Father Gordon MacRae, not to be outdone in humor, having learned from the great Pornchai makes his own joke: “This is how you tell Canadian Geese from all other geese. Other geese say “Honk!” and Canadian Geese say “Honk! Eh?!”
One of these geese actually says “Eh?!” in the midst of this few seconds of honking:
Father Gordon learned well from the master of humor, Pornchai Maximilian Moontri, Eh?!
Meanwhile, be sure to go to that special events page of Beyond These Stone Walls:
Filed under Humor, Uncategorized
Coronavirus High Holy Days Humor in a real Prison while we’re on lockdown
Pilate in the center, Jesus in light, Barabbas in the dark.
When Pilate asks whom the people want him to release, as was the custom during the High Holy Days, the people shout repeatedly: “We want Barabbas! We want Barabbas!”
Jesus is the Divine Son of the Father, laying down His life for us, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on the punishment each one of us deserves so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Hours before, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to His Father: “Abba! Father!”
Jesus, the Divine Son of the Father is passed over in favor of Barabbas, whose name, in full irony, means “Son of the Father.” And so are we all created and now redeemed as children of our gracious Heavenly Father.
Has any of us ever said about anyone anywhere, “Better him than me”?
Meanwhile, the people, all of us, received what we wanted: Barabbas.
And then this is what happened to Jesus before being crucified:
Notice the clever film editing: Jesus, who was at the right hand of the political powers that be, is now on the left hand of the political powers that be.
Humor: So, in prison, two good friends, Father Gordon MacRae and Pornchai Maximilian Moontri, celebrated Palm Sunday Mass with the reading of the Passion. Max took all the parts except Jesus and the Narrator, meaning he also had, for instance, the crowd.
Max, you have to know, is from Thailand, and grew up speaking Thai until 11 years old, when he was effectively stolen away to Maine, being a horrific saga that has turned out well in the end. The point is that he doesn’t have perfect English Pronunciation of Hebrew, which means that… drum roll… wait for it…
At the point where the crowd yells: “We want Barabbas! We want Barabbas!” Max instead reads, entirely innocently: “We want Baber-Ass! We want Baber-Ass!”
Father Gordon said that he somehow contained his laughter. I would have laughed so loudly the guards would have had to show up in force.
This is one of those epic, epic moments in the life of Jesus’ little flock. A story that will surely be told in heaven, hopefully with also a redeemed and saved Barabbas listening.
Meanwhile, on this Friday of Easter week – every day like Easter Day…
Filed under Coronavirus, Humor, Spiritual life
Pornchai Moontri, Fr Gordon MacRae: Account summing up abuse crisis
Father Gordon MacRae (About) has after a dozen years finally been able to publish the article of his life, that is, not about himself, but about his cell-mate in prison:
Filed under Abuse
The Gift of Father Gordon J MacRae and Pornchai Maximilian Moontri
These spiral notebooks of blank, lined pages were envisioned and created and sent to me by Father Gordon and Max and dearest Charlene Duline (my all time favorite State Department diplomat who also totally spoils Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog).
I’m wondering what they have in mind with these notebooks, as they have at other times said in all humor and in all truth that “Father Byers doesn’t have an unpublished thought.” Ha ha ha.
When I was doing my doctoral thesis, and when I was writing my first[!] novel, I used to carry around paper and pen everywhere, no matter what. After all, you never know when ideas, when solutions to impossible conundrums are going to pounce on heart and mind. I many times had to control myself from stopping mid-step while crossing busy Roman streets so as to jot down some notes. Many times I could be seen writing notes while driving a scooter on the way to some Missionaries of Charity house outside of Rome to say Mass early in the morning. But with the pictures and titles of these note-pads, what could the message possibly be?
Anyway, it is they, Father Gordon and Max who are themselves gifts to me. Both are the most extraordinary people, so balanced, so humorous, so insightful, having not only the wisdom of suffering while at the same time always coming to know Jesus’ friendship all the more. I do not know where I would have been without them. Jesus is good and kind in granting that we help each other get along to heaven.
Anyway, anyone have any ideas about what is intended to fill the pages of these note-books?
The subtitles to the books: TheseStoneWalls.com /// MercytotheMax.com
Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Prison
St Lawrence’s prison: praying for Fr Gordon MacRae & Pornchai
During my last hours in Rome I made a pilgrimage to Saint Lawrence’s prison. It’s terribly, terribly tiny, and often has about an extra 18 inches of water on the floor when it rains. This
Here’s the high altar:
Some historical notes. I’m sure some of you can translate these:
And here’s the entrance to the prison. The steps down are very steep.
I felt compelled to pray for Fr Gordon MacRae and Pornchai here. Saint Lawrence was imprisoned with a non-Christian who was blind, but who miraculously received his sight at the intercession of Saint Lawrence and who then requested to be baptised there in prison. I’m sure you can draw an analogy. Will you join me with some prayers?
Angel of God…
Saint Michael the Archangel…
Filed under Saints
When I was in prison you visited me. Christmas Card from Fr G and P-Max
I think this is the best message I’ve ever received on a printed Christmas card. This is written by a real believer:
And then there is the hand written message. This is surely the best message that I’ve ever received on a hand-written Christmas card. And yet, it is very distressing. I share this with you not to toot my own horn, but to remind you of the state of affairs that we presently have in the Church, whereby those who are thrown on the trash heap of expediency of no due process are left to rot by their “friends” and comrades in arms, as it were:
Perhaps it’s just that I absolutely don’t care what other people think about my being in solidarity with those in prison. And as it is, prison is wherever you happen to be, whether in or out of any stone walls, because it is also a matter of the spirit.
We were all in the prison of original sin and whatever other rubbish sin in our own lives, and Christ Jesus put Himself in our place, allowing Himself to be imprisoned overnight after His condemnation by the Sanhedrin and before His condemnation by Pontius Pilate. We were all useless sinners, dark, egotistic, having no merit of which to boast, in the prison of self-limited spirits.
Jesus didn’t put any limit on visiting prisoners. He didn’t say to visit only those who are innocent or who didn’t receive proper due-process of law (such as Father Gordon and Pornchai Maximilllian of Christmas card fame above). He didn’t say to visit only those who believe in Him. Jesus is our Savior, that is, yours and mine as well. Jesus simply wants us to share the greatest love of our lives – Jesus – with others, particularly with those who especially need His love. This is the way to evangelize. It’s like teaching a class: involve the troublemakers on the fringes and the rest of the class will excel all the more. But not for that purpose, but because that troublemaker is himself redeemed and loved by the Creator and Savior of the world. After all, I’m that troublemaker and people helped me.
People are afraid to do any of this also for the reason that they will be “tainted” because, you know, you have that kind of prisoner as your friend?! Therefore you must be a criminal in the same way as that kind of prisoner. But, secretly, such a bully with such an opinion is envious of the freedom of the children of God to share the greatest love in their lives. And then they throw tantrums all the more.
As far as priests go, it’s extremely rare for me to find a priest who is indignant that his fellow priests are subjected to a system of no-due-process. So many are eager to side with no-due-process so that they can look tough, like heroes. Really? It will all catch up with them. What’s my answer to all that?
I recommend letting love cast out all fear and self-congratulation and simply sharing the greatest love of our lives with all those whom Christ Jesus has already redeemed on the Cross. All are redeemed. We are to desire that all be saved even if not all will be saved. It’s just that we don’t know who’s who, and so we must be in anguish to evangelize until we draw our last breath in this world.
There are those who think that anyone who has sinned, ever, are hopeless, useless, and to be condemned, no forgiveness, no mercy. But they include themselves in this. Those who show no mercy will not receive mercy. But just know that Father G and P-Max are visiting you in your prison by praying for you.
After all, that the irony isn’t it? That by visiting those in prison we ourselves are set free?
Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Vocations