Possible Venue

The Saturday night community of the English Catholic parish needs to find a new home because the center where they have mass is closing next weekend. It has been difficult to identify venues that can accommodate 300 people but today we visited one site that could be possible.

Previously the owner of the large villa in the back converted the open area in front of the house to a warehouse. Now a school has acquired the property and is converting the warehouse into a multipurpose area which they have offered to let us use. It could be what we need.

Climate Change Workshop 3

Today the task was to pull together all the elements and ideas raised during the first two days to put develop a strategy for CACD’s addressing climate change.

Each of the four small groups sought to organize a plan according to what they have done and what they want to do.

The coffee breaks and lunch were held outside today.

Another small group at work.

Climate Change Workshop 1

CACD, the Catholic Alliance for Charity and Development, is holding a three-day workshop on its response to climate change here in Cambodia. Today was the first day.

About 40 representatives from Catholic NGOs and agencies are participating in the workshop at the Caritas Cambodia national office.

The major presented is a local professor who is excellent. He speaks well, knows his material, and presents it in a really engaging way.

At the end of the day the group divided into four topic discussion groups. This one focused on engaging young people in climate change learning and activity.

DC Sisters Anniversary 2

Today was the formal anniversary celebration. It was followed by a lunch together and then the guests from Cambodia got on the road for the long journey home.

The morning started with a welcome at a pavilion not far from the church where all the people gathered. There were 30 priests present with the 3 bishops.

Because this was happening in Cambodia, there had to be a traditional dance to welcome everyone. The dancers later appeared at various parts of the mass in the church.

After the mass there were many, many photos taken of different groupings of Daughters of Charity and guests. This is a photo of only the Daughters of Charity who attended from five countries. The congregation of the Daughters of Charity was founded more than 400 years ago by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marrilac, in France.

DC Sisters Anniversary 1

25 years ago the sisters of the Daughters of Charity from the Thailand Province came to Cambodia and started ministering in Battambang in the northern part of the kingdom. Tomorrow they have an anniversary celebration at the Catholic center in Battambang and today sisters from different provinces and their friends from Cambodia started coming together.

This is the residence building on the church compound where I am staying. We arrived about 2:00 PM after a six-hour drive from Phnom Penh.

At the end of the welcoming mass, Bishop Kike invited all the Daughters of Charity to come to the front to be recognized.

After the welcoming mass, the sisters and guests gathered for a great meal.

Tangkok Pilgrimage

During the Pol Pot era, many Catholics were killed by the Khmer Rouge. Some of them have been proposed to the church as actual modern martyrs. Every year the Church of Cambodia has a celebration at Tangkok where there is a shrine to the martyrs. It has been reported that next year, Pope Francis will officially canonize martyrs from Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

These photos are from yesterday’s ceremony in Tangkok.

Another Farewell

Today Benjamin Jerome, Sheila, and their son Isaiah left Phnom Penh for a new job and a new home in Laos. They have been a very active part of our English Catholic Community for the past nine years helping with coffee and doughnuts, serving as lector, communion minister, and altar server, and just contributing to the life of our group in so many ways. We will miss them. May God truly bless them in this new stage of their lives.

Priests Retreat–Day 3

Fr. Miguel, the retreat master, and Bishop Kike working on a computer glitch.

The priests of Cambodia gathered for a liturgy in the parish church. (I don’t know why so many of the guys feel the need to dress up in albs and stoles–an indication of clericalism to me.)
Me with a group of Jesuits after one of the talks. The Jesuits have a REALLY good presence here in Cambodia with some REALLY good men.

Priests Retreat–Day 2

The two retreat talks each day are presented in this large hall at the edge of the property. This year the hall has new doors that enclose the room and air conditioning has been added.
Fr. Miguel, a Jesuit priest who has spent the last 50+ years in Thailand, is leading our retreat.
The liturgy on the first full day was organized by the Kampong Cham priests.