About eighty people gathered in St John’s Parish Hall Clifton Hill on Saturday 7th November to farewell Deacon Monthon Rojjanasutadkul who will be returning shortly to Thailand for his priestly ordination on January 30th 2010. Those gathered included Salesians, fellow students from Catholic Theological College where Monthon has studied the past four years, parishoners of Our Lady of the Southern Cross Clifton Hill/Collingwood, Oblate Seminarians and staff, members of the Melbourne Catholic Laotian Community and friends of Monthon.
The hall was decked out in red and white, the colours of his beloved Liverpool Soccer Club. During his time in Melbourne Monthon has co-ordinated social soccer games against other seminaries and congregations. The Salesians and Oblates teamed up in 2009 and only lost one game in six. In September Monthon organised a round-robin tournament against other seminaries in what came to be known as the inaugural Brotherhood Cup. The Salesian/Oblate team were successful and the premiership cup was proudly on display at the gathering.
Monthon successfully completed a Bachelor of Theology degree in his time in Melbourne plus additional subjects to prepare him for priestly ministry. The Rector of the Salesian community, Fr Peter Rankin made a short address to the guests in which he said in part: “Monthon has been in Australia four and a half years. He has excelled in his studies, maintained a certain balance in his life, contributed significantly to the life of the Salesian community, made an impression in the local parish and played an active part in the Province and wider Salesian family.” Monthon was then presented with a soccer ball signed by all those present at the evening in addition to a small financial donation.
In his speech Monthon expressed his gratitude to all those who had helped him make his time in Australia so formative and enjoyable. Monthon will return to Thailand on November 21st to prepare in earnest for his priestly ordination in late January 2010.