The Temple of Chicago has much in frequent with the Temple of New York. Situated in a large crowded city with a big number of Thai individuals, it is frequented by devotees and guests, busy with day-to-day ceremonies, and huge numbers collect for religious and cultural celebrations. Although younger in years, the Temple is mature in its system initiatives. A number of programs of inventive Buddhist activities have been conceived and only time and ecclesiastical personnel are needed to bring them to bloom.
Buddhist Sunday college classes are now the principal typical activity of the Temple. They have been inaugurated on the Visakha Puja Day of 2520/1977 as a program of teaching Thai language and culture and Buddhism to children of Thai origin between the ages of 4 and twelve. The total enrollment of students in its very first college year was about forty. In the extended and really harsh winter of 1977-1978, however, the quantity of students present at school on every Sunday seldom reached a dozen.
Towards the end of 2520/1977, with the aid of a going to monk, the Temple initiated two a lot more programmes of significance. One was the setting up of the Temple Library with emphasis on Buddhist and Thai research. The other was a Dharma-study class held about two or three hours a week for adults of any profession and occupation in their spare time.
On July 16, 2520/1977, a ceremony for the inauguration of the Temple was held. Four higher-ranking monks from Thailand came as representatives of the Buddhist Order of Thailand. Presidents and abbots of all the other 4 Thai Buddhist temples in the United States, a quantity of other Thai monks such as a single from London and 1 from Singapore, a Ceylonese monk and a representative of the Division of Religious Affairs of Thailand also came to participate. About a thousand folks, more than ninety per cent of whom had been Thai, attended. It was presided over, on the ecclesiastical side, by a higher-ranking Venerable, a Somdech, who headed the party of monks from Thailand and, on the lay side, by His Excellency the Thailand Ambassador to the United States. The number of twenty Thai monks that took component and the number of about a thousand Thai lay folks that attended were the largest gatherings, of Thai monks and of Thai individuals respectively, ever held in the United States. The ceremony itself marked the completion of the key and essential components of the function of founding the Temple each in its legal and in practical elements, that is, the incorporation of the Temple under the law of the State and the location of the Temple at a suitable internet site with religious buildings and other facilities modified and improved to suit Buddhist purposes. As a result, it was prepared to move forward in the direction of its set objectives. This state of preparedness led even additional to one more large, a so-known as final, step of founding a Thai Buddhist temple, the acquisition of complete status of a temple-monastery according to the Theravada tradition based on canonical discipline by way of the Sangha formal act establishing the boundary of the Uposatha or the consecrated assembly hall. In possession of a sacred hall-creating, the former church, already granted a zoning permit for the overall performance of religious solutions and separated from the living quarters for monks, the Temple could readily attain that status. For this cause, the ceremony of establishing the consecrated boundary was carried out, creating the inauguration that followed on 1 and the identical day a more meaningful event. The Thai Buddhist Temple in Chicago claims to be the 1st Thai Buddhist temple in the United States and in the whole Occident that is completely developed whether or not regarded from the viewpoint of Thai ecclesiastical law or of Theravada disciplinary practices.
In a later development, towards the end of the year 2526/1983, Wat Dhammaram moved once again to the new and present web site at the 75th Street, also in Chicago, a former public school on a massive ten-acre plot of land. It is hoped that this extremely spacious new internet site will be able to accommodate all the ever-increasing activities of the temple during the many years to come.
The Thai Buddhist Temple issues a journal for propagating Buddhist teachings and practices and publicizing its activities referred to as ‘Dhammobhas’, and a newsletter referred to as ‘Buddhasasana-sarn’. Booklets and pamphlets on various aspects of Buddhism are also published from time to time.