Carmelite Sisters

In all of the excitement and turmoil that goes on in Phnom Penh and Cambodia and the world, the Carmelite Monastery in Phnom Penh is something of an island of quiet and serenity. The sisters go about their daily routine of prayer and work mostly oblivious to all that is happening outside their convent walls.

That serenity was disturbed recently as a young woman professed her first vows there in the process of becoming a Carmelite Sister.

Bishop Olivier presided over the ceremony. Before the mass, he conferred with the superior of the Phnom Penh Carmelites about the order of the service.
Quite a large number of people from Phnom Penh came to monastery–about twelve miles outside the city–to celebrate the profession with the sisters.
Sr. Marina (3rd left, with white veil) is a young woman from Korea who made her first profession at the ceremony.
The Korean Church has been very involved in and supportive of the Cambodian Church. There are quite a few Korean sisters and priests in the country and many of them came for the ceremony. Here some of them gather for a photograph with Sr. Marina’s parents.

Surprise…but not too much…

This is part of an emergency e-mail we sent out to the 591 people who subscribe to our English community e-mail newsletter. World Vision surprised us this morning with a phone call saying we cannot use their auditorium, which we rent for mass every Saturday evening, until after the Khmer New Year which ends on April 16th. We did a lot of scrambling, a lot of texting and e-mailing to notify as many parishioners as we could that there would be no mass tonight. Now we have to figure out what to do for the weeks ahead.

The Old Days

I was going through some old photos for a project for Bishop Olivier and I ran across this photo of our Saturday night mass when we used the Russian Cultural Center in Phnom Penh. This was in the year 2000.

Querida Amazonia 11

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)

11. “In a synodal Church, those women who in fact have a central part to play in Amazonian communities should have access to positions, including ecclesial services, that do not entail Holy Orders and that can better signify the role that is theirs.” (103)

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)

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)

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)

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)