Thinking ahead….

If you need a simple little gift to give students or coworkers at the office at Christmas time, these little bags of cookies might be what you want. Bishop Olivier has a social enterprise, CoCo de Takeo Cambodia, that employs the poor and people with disabilities to create all sorts of things to eat and to use from coconuts and all sorts of natural materials.

These cookies are 500 riel a bag and they are actually good! Bishop Olivier gave us some at the last priests meeting.

If you would like to order some, contact Mr. Miek Son at +855 10 956 250 (phone, SMS, WhatsApp). I’m going to order some. I’ll let you know how it goes.

New Church: One more step

Today Bishop Olivier presided over the official start of the new church on the grounds at the St. Joseph Church compound.

When we arrived at St. Joseph Church at 9:00 AM, workers were finishing the set up for the ceremony while the parishioners were at the 8:00 AM mass in the present “old” church.
When our English community finished our mass (with baptisms), we found Bishop Olivier and Fr. Chatsirey, the St. Joseph Church pastor, receiving gifts of fruit from various organizations.
Now it’s official! Church construction has begun.
Actually, preliminary work has already started. The stacks of concrete blocks on the left are huge deadweights to measure the firmness and stability of the soil prior to laying the foundation of the church. On the ground next to the concrete blocks are concrete piles which will be driven into the ground to provide a better foundation not prone to sinking or subsidence.

The New St. Joseph Church

It’s been almost a year since the old building we used for the English community mass was torn down and now finally some steps are being taken to put up the new church building.

The site was cleared and leveled long ago and then just left empty. Now, on the back side, workers are erecting a row of small rooms to accommodate the construction workers who will live on the site for the year or two it takes to put up the building. That’s the norm in Cambodia—the workers, many coming from the provinces, live on the construction site.

To keep everyone awake?

We had a priests meeting on Zoom today. It was a hybrid meeting. Half the 35 people were online and the other half were present at the meeting venue in Phnom Penh. Zoom meetings aren’t that unusual these days. Many people spend a lot of time on Zoom calls. What made this Zoom call distinctive was the crowing of a loud rooster that could be heard periodically at one of the many locations the priests were calling in from.

Diocesan Youth Day

This weekend was a Diocesan Youth Day for the Church of Phnom Penh. Bishop Olivier generates an endless stream of activities and publications and other events to keep the church active and engaged. For this youth day pastoral centers in the lower half of the state gathered their youth together and then all were united with video hookups. Click here to see some of the happenings.

Meeting with the bishop

A lot of changes are in store for Maryknoll Cambodia in the months and years ahead and today Sr. Regina Pellicore, acting country representative for Maryknoll, and I had a meeting with Bishop Olivier. We want Maryknoll’s work to be part of the church so it is important for us to keep the bishop informed about what is happening. We had a very constructive discussion. Regina couldn’t get her computer camera to work!