August 15 each year is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. This, likewise, is the feast of the Our Lady of Assumption Scholasticate Seminary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of Philippine Province. This year’s celebration, however, is different from the previous celebrations. This was the day when 7 OMI scholastics professed their Perpetual Oblation before the presence of Fr. Charlie Inzon, the 1st Councilor of the OMI Philippine Province.
The older sister of Sc. Udomsak flew all the way from Thailand with Fr. Gerry de los Reyes, the Delegation Superior of the Thai-Lao Delegation, to witness the occasion. The Eucharistic Celebration started at 9:30 in the morning and was attended by the OMI priests and brothers, Religious sisters and brothers, family members, relatives and friends of the Oblates.
Out of the 7 who professed their Perpetual Oblation is Scholastic Paul Udomsak Dihair of the Thai-Lao Delegation. He is 32 years of age and was born from a Catholic family on April 29, 1985 in Chiang Mai, North of Thailand. He is the 3rd child of the 5 children of Mr. Phami Dihair and Mrs. Aoie Phanakumnerdsakul. Both are farmers.
Scholastic “Sak” as he is fondly called joined the oblate seminary in the year 2005 after he finished High School. He spent his pre-novitiate years at the OMI House of Formation in Samphran where he came to know more about the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Catholic catechism and the history of the Catholic Church. He spent 3 years studying Philosophy at Saengtham College from year 2007-2010. He entered the Novitiate in May of 2010 in Tamontaka, Philippines and professed his First Temporary Vows the following year. He came back to Thailand that same year to finish his studies in Philosophy which he finished in 2012. That same year, 2012, he went back to the Philippines to study English language to prepare him for Theology studies. A year was spent and in 2013 he was enrolled at the Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City. The 1st year was a real period of adjustment considering that everything was taught in English. With patient endurance and love for the vocation to the religious life, he gradually has coped with the challenges of the studies. After 2 years of studies, he went back to Thailand to spend his pastoral year in 2015-2016. He spent his time helping out at the de Mazeond Seminary in Samphran, learning Hmong Language under the guidance of one staff of the Good Shepherd Hmong Center in Lomsak. He also got the chance to live in a Hmong village to learn more about their culture and practices. At the end part of his pastoral year, he helped teaching catechism to children at the annual youth camp of the Archangel Michael Parish in Saphan Mai. He went back to the Philippines to finish this theology in 2016-2017. He is now on his last year of Theology.
Mother Mary’s Assumption into heaven has given us the assurance that there is a place for all of us in heaven. As she is so close to Jesus, may she always bring into the attention of her Son the graces that these perpetually professed scholastics need as they continue to journey on the life Jesus has called them to tread.