Ecclesia of Women in Asia

Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians

The Story of Pa Jankham by Sr. Voranuch Parnomit

When a woman falls in love with God, she devotes her life to the Kingdom of God.

Pa Jankham is a good example for this. She is an ordinary Thai Karen woman who raised eight out of eleven children (three children died) and her three children are now a diocesan priest, a Capuchjine sister, and a seminarian. She, herself, was brought up by her mother as her father died before she was born. At eight years old, Pa Jankham became a catholic after meeting a missionary priest and learning to pray rosary. Then, she was sent to Mai Pon, a formation center for Karen people. Here, she learned the Thai language and received catechism. After 4 years of study, she thought of becoming a sister but the priest told her to consult her family first. The family did not agree because she was too young so she went back to live with the family and got married when she was 14 years old.

Pa Jankham is a strong woman both physically and spiritually. She delivered her 11 babies by herself and taught catechism among women group in the village by her own initiative as she felt pity for those who did not know God as Father. As she herself read the Bible everyday, she simply told the stories in Genesis book. When the priest refused to baptize the women taught by her because she was not a catechizer, she simply asked the priest why we could not help one another to know God as father. After the priest tested those women taught by Pa Jankham, he baptized ten of them at one time and Pa Jankham was their godmother. Besides teaching catechism, she also taught Karen women to read and write and taught young Karen women to sing the Karen poem. At present she teaches children catechism. For her, religion is the greatest. If we want our children to be good persons, they need to have faith and hope. All her life, Pa Jakham devotes herself to teach people to know God and to live life according to the Scriptures.

Sr. Voranuch Parnomit has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Xavier University, Cagayan do Oro, Philippines. At present, she is the Directress of Catholic Commission for Women of Chanthaburi Diocese (CCWC.). She participated in EWA 1 and 2.

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