President of the Father Ray Foundation
It is with great sadness that the Father Ray Foundation announces the death
of its President, Father Lawrence Patin C.Ss.R. who passed away on Saturday
the 8th of January whilst receiving medical treatment at the St. Clements
Health Center in Liguori, Missouri.
Father Lawrence Patin
October 1st 1937 - January 8th 2011
Lawrence Patin was born on the 1st October 1937, the
eldest of six children whose parents were of German and Polish ancestry. His
first home was on a farm in the small town of Sand Lake in the northern US
state of Michigan, before the family moved to the city of Grand Rapids.
In 1951 at the age of fourteen, young Lawrence entered
the minor seminary and continued his schooling until deciding to take vows
and become a Redemptorist priest. Religion was very important to the Patin
family, and all five Patin boys entered the Redemptorists, Lawrence as a
priest and his four younger brothers all becoming Redemptorist Brothers. His
parents were both very religious and themselves became Redemptorist Oblates:
individuals who have shown a deep commitment to the Redemptorists mission to
the poor and most abandoned.
On June 29th 1963 Lawrence Patin confirmed his vows of
obedience, chastity and poverty and in the presence of both his parents,
four brothers and young sister he was ordained a priest, known from then on
as Father Lawrence Patin C.Ss.R.
All Redemptorists use the initials “C.Ss.R.” after their
last names. These four letters are an abbreviation for ‘Congregatio
Sanctissimi Redemptoris’, the Latin for ‘Congregation of the Most Holy
After spending a short time at the St. Alphonsus Rock
Church in St. Louis, in June 1965 Father Lawrence, or Father Larry as he was
sometimes known, made the long journey to Thailand. His first stop in the
Kingdom was to school where he studied the Thai language before moving to
the minor seminary in Sriracha.
The following years saw Father Larry being posted to
parishes around the country, including time at Phon Soong in Udon Thani
province and five years at a leper colony in Khon Kaen.
In 1979 he returned to Bangkok where he preached to the
city folk before once again making the journey up country and becoming
novice master in Nong Khai. It was also at this time that Father Larry was
parish priest in the towns of Tabo, Si Chiang Mai and Viengkhuk. Father
Larry would spend many happy years in these parishes but in early 1990 he
took a break and returned to the capital to become rector of Holy Redeemer
Church. After several years in that position he made the journey back to his
parishes up north where he again remained for several years.
In the early part of the 21st century Father Larry
arrived in Pattaya to become rector of the Redemptorist Center before taking
over as President of the Father Ray Foundation, the post had been vacated by
Father Banchong Chaiyara who was elevated to Bishop.
matter how busy he was, or how important a meeting was, when Father Larry
heard the youngsters arrive he would stop working to welcome his children.
Running a large organisation such as the Father Ray
Foundation was a lot different to what he was used to; managing several
social projects where 850 children and students with disabilities are housed
and educated is a great responsibility, but one which he took on with
In early 2010 Father Larry became unwell whilst visiting
his good friend Father Mike Shea in Nong Khai. It was originally thought
that he was suffering with a ‘frozen shoulder’, but on return to the US a
small tumour was discovered on his brain. A course of radiation treatment
was given and this did hold back the tumour, but the mixture of chemotherapy
medications was not enough to cure him and he passed away with his family
Father Larry was a deeply spiritual man, who cared deeply
about helping the underprivileged of society, especially children. Whilst he
worked in his office in Pattaya most mornings he would be visited by the
young toddlers from the Father Ray Day Care Center. More than fifty
youngsters would run into his office, screaming and shouting, climbing over
the furniture and all clamouring to sit on Father Patin’s knee and be the
first to receive a small piece of candy. No matter how busy he was, or how
important a meeting was, when he heard the youngsters arrive he would stop
working to welcome his children.
The Father Ray Foundation will miss the advice, strength
and support Father Larry gave to the workers, children and students. May he
rest in eternal peace.