The Catholic Student Network of Thailand
In the year of 1963, the Jesuits initiated its apostolate work by inviting the Catholic students in the university level for a gathering. There were around 50 Catholic students and 10 professors from four major universities, which are Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University, Kasetsart University and Siriraj University attended the gathering. Later, on that day, they all agreed to form a structure of a Catholic student movement in the university level. The University Student Catholic Center (U.S.C.C.) was then established out of that initiation and had the representatives of each university as its committee. Later on, the U.S.C.C. has changed its name to The Catholic Student Movement of Thailand (CSNT).
The objectives of the Catholic Student Network of Thailand are to unify the Catholic students in university level in Thailand, to educate and promote the right understanding and to deepen the experience of Catholic faith in being the religion for life, to raise a social awareness in accordance to religious belief and to coordinate with other organizations with the aligned direction
Regarding, the structure of the Catholic Student Network of Thailand, presently, the Catholic Student Network of Thailand are comprised of 25 Catholic clubs/groups from different universities around Thailand. From this collaboration, a group of volunteer Catholic students are elected each year to be an organizing committee of CSNT whose roles are to help organize programs or seminars for one year term as well as to journey with its Catholic clubs/groups who have their own programs, organized independently from the organizing committee of CSNT. One of the principle of CSNT is to work “for the youth, by the youth and with the youth” together with an accompaniment of its Jesuit priest and full-time lay chaplains.
Regarding the current programs and seminars of the Catholic Student Network of Thailand, there are at least six programs and seminars per year, which are two student councils, three seminars and one national seminar and assembly.
The student council is organized at least once a year as a platform for the CSNT to create an awareness of the current situation of the youth in each club/group. The other purpose is to draw out the CSNT national pastoral plan for that academic year. The member of the student council are presidents and one representative from each Catholic club/group and the other three elected student councils from the previous annual seminar and assembly.
The seminars are organized three times a year in a form of camp as a plenary for the students to be immersed and exchange their thoughts about social issues which vary each time according to the signs of time and the interest of the students. The participants of the camps are interested committee and members from Catholic clubs/groups.
The annual seminar and assembly is held once a year to report on the programs done by the organizing committee of the CSNT as well as from the Catholic clubs/groups and to elect the new national organizing committee for the next academic year. The assembly is comprised of the presidents, the active members of the Catholic club/group in each university and other interested students.
In relation to others movements that are involved with the youth ministry, the Catholic Student Network of Thailand is a member of the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) in an agreement of PAX ROMANA, and also a member of the Catholic Commission for Laity on Youth Desk under the Catholic Bishop Conference of Thailand (CBCT).