USA Trip 2022

Sunday, 25 September 2022

St. James baptismal font

In the morning John and Moya and I went to St. James Church for mass. One of the priests on the altar recognized me and welcomed me at the announcement time at the end. The two people who heard my name came up after mass and introduced themselves. One of them I took to Mammoth Cave with our St. Lawrence youth group back in the 70s and the other had two sisters I taught at Angela Merici High School.

After lunch my sister Mary tooks us to Parklands, a 4,000 acre park complex where she worked before retirement. It is a 100-year concept: in 100 years Louisville will have grown out to the park now beyond the suburbs and it will be a park within the city. It is beautiful with a silo lookout tower, miles and miles of heavily wooded trails, a stream for kayaking, and many places for people to be immersed in nature.

In the evening cousins who had met the night before at a center were invited to gather at the house of Julie and Eric for another family event. Their house just that day had been part of a ten-house tour of significant houses. Eric is an architect and designed their home. It is a wonderful place to live.

DK Centre Mass

Recently we started our Saturday evening mass in a new venue. With our smaller crowd now post-Covid, we are able to use the DK Centre on the south side of Phnom Penh where many of our parishioners live. Click here to see how we celebrate there.

Will it work out?

When Covid closed the churches in March, 2020 our English Catholic Community had to leave our “home” at World Vision on the south side of Phnom Penh. Many people–those who didn’t leave the country when so many schools and businesses closed–bemoaned the need to travel across Phnom Penh to St. Joseph Church for mass. Now we have been able to resume mass on the south side again, at the DK Centre. It offers quite a nice auditorium that we used before special occasions like Ash Wednesday.

We are having our Saturday mass there during the month of July to see if people find out about the new venue and if they come. We need a certain number of people to be able to afford this new expense.

Women in the image of God

Following up last Sunday’s first reading from Isaiah which gave a feminine image for God, here is a selection from theologian Elizabeth Johnson:

The women’s movement in civil society and the church has shed a bright light on the pervasive exclusion of women from the realm of public symbol formation and decision making, and women’s consequent strong enforced subordination to the imagination and needs of a world designed chiefly by men. In the church this exclusion has been effective virtually everywhere: in ecclesial creeds, doctrines, prayers, theological systems, liturgical worship, patterns of spirituality, visions of mission, church order, leadership and discipline.

It has been stunningly effective in speech about God. While officially it is rightly and consistently said that God is spirit and so beyond identification with either male or female sex, yet the daily language of preaching, worship, catechesis, and instruction conveys a different message: God is male, or at least more like a man than a woman, or at least more fittingly addressed as male than as female…. Upon examination it becomes clear that this exclusive speech about God serves in manifold ways to support…a world that excludes or subordinates women. Wittingly or not, it undermines women’s human dignity as equally created in the image of God.

She Who Is (p. 4)

Bangkok Chinese Temples

A century ago, in New England and in towns with large immigrant populations, there were many, many Catholic Churches on street corners, sometimes two or three at an intersection, each serving a different language group. Here in Bangkok the ubiquitous parishes are replaced by ubiquitous Chinese temples in the neighborhoods in this mostly Buddhist country. This photo doesn’t give a good idea of what they’re like.