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Catholic families in Cambodia learn to be more happy and loving 

To help Catholic families live in God's love and experience happiness, the Kampong Cham prefecture in Cambodia convened several seminars on family life on May 20 for local communities to share and reflect.

Apostolic prefect of Kampong Cham Monsignor Pierre Hangly Soun said workshops were held to reflect on Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia to help Catholic families with love, guidance, happiness, and joy. 

The seminar included Catholic families in Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum at the St. Francios and St. Clara of Assisi Church at Koh Rokar Krao village, Kampong Cham province, about 135 km from Phnom Penh. 

Through this program, he hopes priests and nuns will continue this activity even after the end of the Family Year apostolate.

The Apostolic Prefecture of Kampong Cham started the Family Year in March 2023, which will end in September 2023. This prefecture has 26 parishes, with three large parishes, one in Busra, one in Neak Leung, and the other in Kdoleu, with the newly formed small parishes. 

Msgr. Hangly added that the Kampong Cham diocese has a small number of Catholics, most of whom are married to other religions, making it difficult to live up to the faith.

“But we believe that by Church formation and with the assistant from God who give us strength, the catholic people will find the good point to live in happiness as Catholic families,” he said. 

Fr. Sat Se, priest in charge of the Kampong Cham parish, said that a family can be considered a “small parish” because it has the same mission as the universal church.

He said that the goal of the family is to pass on their faith about God to their children and to do good deeds that give people hope, make them smile, or make them realize that God is alive and present.

Fr. Sat said that even though families have to pray, go to Mass, and receive the sacraments as the “traditional way” to be blessed by God and become like the saints, it is also the family's duty to make sure that everyone stays close to God.

One of the participants, 66-year-old Sarun Sok, said he tries to follow the Bible's teachings about love and peace within his family and with other people.

He added, "Without God's guidance, my family life is difficult, especially with resentment towards each other."

42-year-old Nhek Sreyran, from the Chamlak community, said that after attending the workshop, she would share more love and spend precious time with her family.

She says that almost everyone in their village is a Buddhist, so her family needs to be a good example of Jesus’ love.- Kagnha Keo


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