Caritas Retreat 2024 / Day 2

Today was the first full day of content for this year’s retreat.

Probably 2/3 of the Caritas staff is not Catholic but they are extremely committed religious people, and they have a tradition of coming to receive a blessing while the Catholics receive communion. Here Fr. Will and I give blessings to the non-Catholics on either side of Bishop Ly giving out communion.
As is common in Cambodian culture, all 190 people sat on mats on the floor all day long for the mass and talks and presentations. That wouldn’t happen in the U.S.!
Each of the numerous Caritas projects had a half hour to present their goals, their target group, and to describe their operations. It was truly inspiring! Here the Caritas Center for Children and Adolescent Mental Health is presenting.
I took a photo with the staff of the Takeo Eye Hospital which was founded by Maryknoll Fr. John Barth and is where I had my cataract surgery. I was the first foreigner to have that surgery at the hospital with Cambodian doctors doing the surgery.
After lunch there was a team-building activity where objects were constructed using spaghetti and marshmallows.