Big mistake!

Last weekend, because our parishioners are used to going to World Vision for all our evening services, I made a special point of emphasizing in the announcements that our Ash Wednesday service would NOT be at World Vision and that all must go to the Korean Diakonia Center instead. And then this evening, when I sent out our newsletter with details about Lent, I mistakenly said that the Ash Wednesday service would be at World Vision. Duh… That is NOT correct! Please, do not go to World Vision on Ash Wednesday. Got to the Korean Diakonia Center at 6:30 PM! Sorry!!!

Querida Amazonia 10

Pope Francis has published his apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia. I will post some of the highlights from the document in which Pope Francis focuses on four dreams.

The Ecclesial Dream

I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features. (7)

10. “It is possible to take up an indigenous symbol in some way, without necessarily considering it as idolatry. A myth charged with spiritual meaning can be used to advantage and not always considered a pagan error. Some religious festivals have a sacred meaning and are occasions for gathering and fraternity, albeit in need of a gradual process of purification or maturation.” (79)

Querida Amazonia 9

Pope Francis has published his apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia. I will post some of the highlights from the document in which Pope Francis focuses on four dreams.

The Ecclesial Dream

I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features. (7)

9. “[T]he indigenous peoples of the Amazon Region express the authentic quality of life as ‘good living.’ This involves personal, familial, communal and cosmic harmony and finds expression in a communitarian approach to existence, the ability to find joy and fulfillment in an austere and simple life, and a responsible care of nature that preserves resources for future generations.” (71)

Now that I have your attention….

A not uncommon sight on the streets of Phnom Penh are huge human figures like this one used for fund-raising for Buddhist activities. The woman with the pan collects donations and makes sure the figure doesn’t get run over. Often the figures are accompanied by a slow-moving vehicle with a loudspeaker asking for contributions.

Querida Amazonia 8

Pope Francis has published his apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia. I will post some of the highlights from the document in which Pope Francis focuses on four dreams.

The Ecclesial Dream

I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features. (7)

8. “An authentic option for the poor and the abandoned, while motivating us to liberate them from material poverty and to defend their rights, also involves inviting them to a friendship with the Lord that can elevate and dignify them. How sad it would be if they were to receive from us a body of teachings or a moral code, but not the great message of salvation, the missionary appeal that speaks to the heart and gives meaning to everything else in life.” (63)

Closing Kampot Center

Our center in Kampot, one of three, had to close in January because we anticipated there would not be enough funds to continue it through this present year. Last week we went to the center to say another farewell to the staff and to bring back to Phnom Penh some of our equipment there. Click here to see some pictures from the day.

Querida Amazonia 7

Pope Francis has published his apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia. I will post some of the highlights from the document in which Pope Francis focuses on four dreams.

The Ecological Dream

I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests. (7)

7. “Let us awaken our God-given aesthetic and contemplative sense that so often we let languish. Let us remember that ‘if someone has not learned to stop and admire something beautiful, we should not be surprised if he or she treats everything as an object to be used and abused without scruple.’” (56)

Lights Out

This is an all too common scenario on Phnom Penh streets–approaching an intersection and seeing the traffic lights not working. There’s always a question: Is it just the one light facing me that’s out? Are the lights out in all four directions? Are the lights out in the whole neighborhood? That’s not as big a question as it would be in the United States because a good portion of the driving public in Cambodia doesn’t pay much attention to the lights anyway. Stop lights are basically optional: if you want to stop, you do. If you don’t want to stop or wait the full time, you don’t. So this scenario with the light out isn’t much different from the scenario with the lights functioning.

Querida Amazonia 6

Pope Francis has published his apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia. I will post some of the highlights from the document in which Pope Francis focuses on four dreams.

The Ecological Dream

I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests. (7)

6. “In a cultural reality like the Amazon region, where there is such a close relationship between human beings and nature, daily existence is always cosmic. Setting others free from their forms of bondage surely involves caring for the environment and defending it, but, even more, helping the human heart to be open with trust to the God who not only has created all that exists, but has also given us himself in Jesus Christ. The Lord, who is the first to care for us, teaches us to care for our brothers and sisters and the environment which he daily gives us. This is the first ecology that we need.” (41)