Shalom Valley Center

Today our DDP program manager and I went south to Kep Province to take a look at a new facility called Shalom Valley. It’s connected with a church and offers a large space and accommodations for retreat groups and other activities. We are thinking of taking our DDP staff there for our annual staff meeting.


“Going to work” has a different connotation in Cambodia than it has in many other countries where there is a commute from your home to your place of employment. In Cambodia, the majority of businesses are contained within the building that is also the home. These two photos are examples of that on a big scale.

This a large warehouse-type structure selling generators, air pumps, water pumps, and other types of machines. But notice that the rear of the building encloses a three-story housing block. The family built their home inside the warehouse.
Here is the same arrangement, on a much smaller scale, with just a two-floor house built into the back corner.

The Martin Relics

The Diocese of Phnom Penh is in the middle of a three-year focus on families and family life and Bishop Olivier connected that theme with the bringing of the relics of the parents of St. Theresa of Lisieux to Cambodia. Today was a family day celebration at which the bishop (behind the yellow table) addressed those attending
The relics are contained in the metal receptacle enclosed under the heavy plastic cover. A photo of Louis and Zelie Martin, Theresa’s parents, is at right.

School visit to church

Three groups of students from ASEAN International School went to the Church of the Child Jesus in Boeung Tum Pun this week to learn about what Catholics believe and practice. Almost all the students were Buddhist and this was their first time in a Catholic Church. I explained our basic beliefs and then showed them around the church and answered their questions.

Vocations Camp Visitors

The Church of Cambodia is having a vocations camp this week, bringing together 300 youth from all over the kingdom to discuss what it means to be a Catholic Christian and to reflect on the idea of a vocation of service as a sister or brother or priest. Today different small groups visited various organizations to learn about the work of the Catholic Church in Cambodia. This group came to the Deaf Development Programme where I talked to them about deaf ministry.

The Government needs help

This is a really good example of what’s wrong with Cambodia. I have no problem with respecting the culture and traditions of a nation–I encourage it–but….pointing your foot at a car? Who was offended? The government makes a big deal of things like this to convince the populace that the government is with them and protecting them. And such antics distract from the failures of the government to do all the things it should be doing: providing schools, insuring medical care, protecting the forests and rivers, preventing land grabs, etc.