I was fully prepared to keep posting updates here for each day of the retreat. It’s just that the wi-fi system at the pastoral center did not cooperate. The last two nights, when I was ready to post photos and comments, I could not gain access to the Internet at the center.

Priests Retreat–Day 1

Traditionally all the priests of Cambodia had a retreat together the first week of June. Because of Covid there was a two-year hiatus, but this year the diocese of Phnom Penh organized a smaller gathering of only the Phnom Penh priests at the diocesan pastoral center on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Fr. Alberto, from the Kampong Cham diocese, presented a talk each morning of the retreat.
The afternoon session was led by Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler.
In the evening I sneaked out of the retreat to attend a farewell for Liz Pfifer, the outgoing country representative for Catholic Relief Services, and a welcome for her replacement. Marc D’Silva (c) organized the gathering.

Teacher Training

Our students are still on their Khmer New Year break but the teachers were back at DDP, participating in teacher training. This session was led by lay missioner Julie Lawler.

Preparing for the 3rd New Year!

The Khmer New Year is coming up, April 14-16, but because our students will go home before the holiday for a long break, the Deaf Community Center will have a new year celebration on April 1. Here some of the DCC staff prepare a backdrop for one of the activities. (Hmmm…everyone is supposed to be wearing masks!)

Women’s Day (Part 2)

A really important part of any deaf gathering is the communications among deaf people who are isolated from almost everyone else in their daily lives at work or school or at even at home. Click here to see some photos of deaf people enjoying being together–and talking together–at the DDP Women’s Day celebration.

I told you so….

One week ago (February 21) I related how I try to keep this cat out of my office because once before a previous cat gave birth to kittens there. I was (partially) successful. This morning, Sophy, our Education Project manager, came to work to find the cat and two new kittens settled down in an open desk drawer Sophy had forgot to close in her office.

A truce of sorts

This cat–caught today waiting? resting? stalking? on top of our accounting filing cabinets–and I have a running battle going. Our deaf office building is not “tight” as you might expect a solid concrete building to be. Doors are often just grates; even if solid, they’re mostly open; and the way the tile roof sits on the walls, the cat can always get in and out. I always tried to make sure she was “out” because a previous cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in my office. The cat always makes sure she’s in, and judging from the overturned rubbish bins in the offices, she manages to be “in” a lot, searching for food scraps. I used to chase her out, and then when we were having exasperating rat problems in the Maryknoll office, it occurred to me that maybe we are not having the same problem in the deaf office because of the cat. So now I tolerate her–chasing her out of my office but not getting too exercised when she’s slinking through the second-floor corridors.

Musica Felice Donation

Three weeks ago Musica Felice held a benefit concert for the Deaf Development Programme, and today Ms. Miwako Fujiwara came to present the money DDP was to receive from the event. Miwako handed over $5,100, more than she initially announced to us. That will really help us for the coming year in which we will need to make up a $30,000 deficit. Thank you, Miwako, and Musica Felice!

More Musica Felice!

A week ago we had the Musica Felice charity concert which was a great success. 100% of the ticket sales went to the two groups—our Deaf Development Programme was one of them–for whom the concert was organized by Miwako Fujiwara. A reporter contacted me after the concert and we talked a bit but then I didn’t see anything in the paper and thought an editor might have killed the piece he was planning. But today Miwako sent me the following link to the article–and I was quoted!

Take a look to get a “feel” for the concert experience!