Going…but not away

Today the Cambodia Mission Team honored Maria Montello at the end of her contract with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Maria is finishing nine years with MKLM but she is not leaving Cambodia so we will still see her around!

Do you have yours?

Pope Francis has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, calling it a lifesaving, ethical obligation and saying the refusal to be vaccinated is suicidal. A coalition of Catholic groups, including Maryknoll, support the pope’s emphasis on being vaccinated. And just this morning, the Maryknoll Cambodia community received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. https://catholiccares.org/resources #CatholicCares

Registering for vaccinations

Something New…

The main reason for this website is to help people get a sense of what Cambodia and mission is like. You will never get that full sense until you’ve been here a while but seeing pictures–and especially videos–can give a good feel for daily life in the Kingdom of Wonder.

I’ve also been experimenting with videos for church work in this time of pandemic and thought maybe I could combine these two interests in some short videos that I might make occasionally.

Here is a first test video, just showing the front part of our house which is the Maryknoll office and home for Fr. Kevin Conroy and me.

Well…. After trying to upload the video I found out this may not work as well as I had hoped. The maximum length is about one minute and here in Phnom Penh it plays in a jerky fashion. Maybe you will have better Internet connections where you are. This project needs more work!

Church Women of El Salvador

Today is the 40th anniversary of the rape and murder of four U.S. church women working with refugees in El Salvador in Central America: Sr. Maura Clark, Lay Missioner Jean Donovan, Sr. Ita Ford, and Sr. Dorothy Kazel. Sr. Maura and Sr. Ita were Maryknoll Sisters. The four women were killed by the El Salvador military in a terrible period in that country’s history when more than 75,000 people were killed.
This is an El Salvador street mural memorializing the four martyred church women. Their memory lives on in some of the Cambodian Maryknollers, too. Sr. Helene, one of our Cambodian group, was president of the Maryknoll Sisters when the women were killed and went to El Salvador to handle the situation after their deaths and was also a participant in the trials of the military that followed. Fr. Kevin also had connections with lay missioner Jean Donovan who was also from Cleveland, Ohio. Fr. Kevin was at her funeral.

Happy Birthday!

Today was Russ Brine’s birthday and the staff presented him with a cake for the occasion and a subsequent mini-party to provide a little merriment and good wishes. In Chinese culture it was an auspicious occasion, marking five times through the Chinese zodiac cycle.

Closing down

Olga, one of our lay missioners, has had to stay in the Philippines because of COVID-19 and death in her family. She will not be able to return to Cambodia so today a crew of Maryknollers emptied out her apartment. Sisters Regina (the organizer), Ann, and Helene were there along with our office manager Siphal and his wife and also lay missioner Julie Lawler and Charlie Dittmeier. Note the common Cambodian space-saving maneuver on the stairway: dividing a normal stairway into half sideways. Broad shouldered people beware.