Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II on 18 March 2005, appointed Bishop of Ratchaburi (Thailand) Rev. John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen, parish priest at Chombung and director of the Centre for Evangelisation.
Rev. John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen was born 18 December 1949 at Bangtan-Banpong, in the Civil Province of Ratchaburi. He studied in Thailand and in the United States. He was ordained a priest at Ratchaburi on 22 May 1976. He has been: assistant priest, parish priest, school headmaster, Rector of the diocesan minor seminary, director of the Centre for Evangelisation, member of the Commission for the Pontifical Mission Societies, President of the Commission for Evangelisation of Peoples and pastoral care for health workers.
The diocese of Ratchaburi created in 1969 is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bangkok. It includes 4 civil provinces. It has an area of 31.362 sq. km., and a population of 2.237.381 mainly Buddhists. There are 15,730 Catholics gathered in 17 parishes, assisted by 71 priests (58 diocesan and 13 religious), 6 Brothers, 82 women Religious, 15 major seminarians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 18/3/2005; Righe 13; Parole 162)