Here are two photos that show the current status of the new St. Joseph Church under construction. Now the roof is complete.
On Sunday mornings, our English Catholic Community uses the same worship space as the Khmer community. The Khmer mass is at 8:00 AM and our mass is 10:30 AM, but the Khmer mass always go long so there is less than an hour between the masses. After their mass, a group of Khmer youth take up the mats they use for sitting on the floor and replace them with the red plastic chairs for us. After our mass, though, the youth are long gone so all of our congregation carry the chairs over to the side of the hall and stack them. Then someone comes and puts the mats back out for the 4:00 PM Khmer mass where again everyone sits on the floor. Notice that our English community have to take off their shoes because wearing shoes in a church or pagoda is a no-no for Cambodian religious people. (Have you ever gone barefoot to Sunday mass?)
Last weekend the Maryknoll Sisters officially made their exit from Cambodia, returning to the Sisters Center in Ossining, New York. For more than thirty years, Maryknoll Sisters did wonderful work in a variety of projects but the sisters here were starting to feel the years and their congregation does not have the new members to build up the sisters community here, so it was decided to end their presence here.
Today was the first full day of content for this year’s retreat.
For 30-something years, the Maryknoll Cambodia Mission Team met every Wednesday for a business meeting, a liturgy, and then a meal together. Now that the Maryknoll Cambodia NGO has been closed and we no longer have an office to meet in, it was decided that those who are interested could continue to meet and Maria and Kila volunteered their apartment as a venue.
Every year the bishop hosts an Epiphany gathering for lay leaders in the parishes and the sisters and brothers and priests. There are some performances, the bishop’s talk, and then a dinner together. Here are some scenes from this year’s event.
This was the scene after our Saturday night Epiphany mass as some of the parishioners packed up the Christmas crib figures for another year. Next week is the Baptism of Jesus so we are finished with our creche at the DK Meeting Centre where we have our Saturday masses. After our Sunday mass tomorrow morning, at St. Joseph Church, their liturgy people will take care of dismantling that crib.
Before Covid, we had coffee and doughnuts once a month at our St. Joseph Church liturgy on Sunday mornings. Covid put an end to that but on Christmas Day our volunteers resurrected the event. It went well for a first time and we’ll have to make it a regular feature.
Thanks to those who brought back our sharing together!