I am starting to get feedback from people about various misunderstandings about the changes coming up in my ministry in Cambodia. Let me be clear about a few things that I will explain more fully in the days to come:
My old contract with the Maryknoll priests group (the Maryknoll Society) is to end on 30 June 2022.
My new contract with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners is to start on 1 July 2022.
I am not retiring at this point.
I am not stopping my work in Cambodia with the Deaf Development Programme or with the English Catholic Community. That will continue.
I am not leaving Cambodia at this point. I plan to continue working in Cambodia at least through December, 2023.
I am not leaving the priesthood.
The Maryknoll Society has disabled my firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail account. Please do not send anything to that address but use email@example.com from now on.
Please do not send any money to me for the deaf work though Maryknoll, NY. It will not reach me.
In the most simple terms, nothing will change except that I am replacing a Maryknoll Society contract with a contract from the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. And my e-mail address will change to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the Maryknoll office in Bangkok at present, a much smaller house than was had previously. When i first arrived in Southeast Asia, we had 25 or 30 Maryknoll lay missioners, brothers, sisters, and priests assigned to Thailand. Now there are three priests, and one of them is still in the process of getting his visa.
The house and the center manager provide invaluable assistance to us all, especially in medical situations. My unplanned surgery and recuperation here is a good example.
This is the infamous Bangkok traffic at 4:30 PM on a workday afternoon. Things do move slowly but at least vehicles are in lanes. follow the rules, etc. I was walking from BNH Hospital across Thanon Sathorn to catch a pick-up truck with seats in the back.
This morning I went back to BNH Hospital for follow up with the surgeon. He said the tumor on my kidney was cancer but because it was so new and so small, they got it all and that I don’t need to worry about it.. It’s always best not to have cancer at all, but this was good news after they did discover the renal carcinoma.
After I got home, I started noticing a scratchiness in my throat so I took a rapid test. I’m positive with Covid-19. Bummer. I will have to find out what I have to do according to Thailand rules but I am sure I cannot fly to Phnom Penh on 2 June! And probably I can’t fly to the US on 7 June.
I was discharged from BNH Hospital on Thursday and have been up and about since then. I have been surprisingly free of pain. Today I went to mass at the Bangkok cathedral with Fr. John Barth and then we had lunch with some Filipinas here working with Maryknoll.
Bangkok is quite a city. Situated along significant rivers and canals, I find it hard to visualize and to navigate. There are just a couple areas that I know well enough to walk through with a sense of where I am going.