Yesterday one of our Pakistani refugees here in Cambodia was able to go to Japan where he hopes to start a new life. Our St. Vincent de Paul Society in the English parish has been working with ten families who have fled religious persecution in Pakistan, and Saturday night we got two more newly arrived families. There is a limit to what we can do. In the past two weeks I have been asked for $46,000+ for refugee needs. We just don’t have that. The persecution is real, though, and people are fleeing for their lives.
St. Theresa of Lisieux is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church and her parents are also official saints. The relics of the parents–Louis and Zélie Martin–were brought to the Saturday evening liturgy of the English community by Bishop Olivier. Click here to see photographs from this visit.
The Church of Cambodia is having a vocations camp this week, bringing together 300 youth from all over the kingdom to discuss what it means to be a Catholic Christian and to reflect on the idea of a vocation of service as a sister or brother or priest. Today different small groups visited various organizations to learn about the work of the Catholic Church in Cambodia. This group came to the Deaf Development Programme where I talked to them about deaf ministry.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, together with St. Francis Assisi is considered one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. She died at the age of 24, in 1897, but is known for her simple and practical approach to the spiritual life. What sets her apart from other saints, whether in ancient times or modern times, is that her parents were also canonized as saints, the only married couple so honored. Some relics of her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, have been brought to Cambodia as an inspiration to Cambodian Catholics as they focus on the family this year. Here Bishop Olivier is at the cargo terminal at the Phnom Penh airport to claim the shipment when it arrived in the kingdom. He has been taking the relics to the parishes and institutions throughout Cambodia.
Every three years the Brothers of the Marist District of Asia have a chapter meeting to reconnect and to discuss issues of governance for their community. In 2016 and in 2019 they met at the pastoral center in Phnom Penh Thmey in Cambodia and both times I was invited to work with them for their liturgical celebrations.
Yesterday Bishop Olivier had a small ceremony to bless the foundation of the new seminary building he is erecting on the grounds of the pastoral center in Phnom Penh Thmey. Click here for photos from the blessing.
Today I rode along part of the final leg of the Phnom Penh Half Marathon as we went along the river on the way to the mass at St. Joseph Church. Click here for more about the marathon.