The Catholic Enquiry Centre says people can dial 1300-4-FAITH for answers to their questions this Easter as several Thai internet surfers prepare to be baptised in Bangkok after discovering Christianity via the web.
The Catholic Enquiry Centre says in a statement that for those who might attend a Catholic service this Easter, seeking to learn more about the Catholic faith, help is at hand simply by dialling the easy to remember number.
It says that the toll-free number has been set up as a direct and fuss-free way for people to obtain more information about the Catholic Church and what it means to be Catholic.
Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Mission and Faith Formation, Archbishop John Bathersby said everyone who visited a Catholic Church this Easter would be warmly welcome.
"Easter is the most important feast of the Christian calendar, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It goes right to the heart of faith," Archbishop Bathersby said.
"Every year we are heartened to see so many people coming to Church to take part in the various liturgies, especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
"But we are also aware that the great interest which people show in going to Church at Easter does not always carry over into regular attendance and into a deep and ongoing faith life.
"We wish to warmly welcome all people who will come and pray with us this Easter and to invite them to either reconnect with their faith or to learn more about being a Catholic," the Brisbane prelate said.
Director of the Catholic Enquiry Centre, Marita Winters said that by dialling the confidential, toll-free number 1300-4-FAITH (1300 432 484) people can obtain a series of pamphlets explaining the Catholic faith.
Surfing for faith
Meanwhile, technology has played a key role for a number of Thais being baptised into the faith this Easter.
The Thai catechumens who are to be baptised in Bangkok's Assumption Cathedral this weekend say that they discovered Christianity via the Church's internet website.
Bangkok Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) coordinator, Fr Vira Aphonratana, says that about 200 converted Catholics from the diocese's 70 parishes are baptised each year.
A number of them learn of the RCIA through the website www.catholic.or.th, or Udomsarn Catholic weekly or monthly magazine, or their Catholic friends persuade them to join Sunday Bible class before entering the RCIA program.
"What impresses me most," says Korramai Saithum, 30, "is that I was told to love and serve others like serving God and to forgive even those who hurt me.
"This teaching touched my heart and I still remember an inspiring verse stated 'Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good'".
Dial 1300-4-FAITH (ACBC, Media Release, 4/4/07)
After finding faith via Internet, on Saturday they will be baptized (AsiaNews, 4/4/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Enquiry Centre
Thailand Catholic Church
5 Apr 2007