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Cambodia: Phnom Penh Vicariate urges Catholic families to proclaim the Gospel

Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler blesses the nine families from nine pastoral districts on family day (Photo by RVA News)

The Vicariate of Phnom Penh in Cambodia urges Catholic families to proclaim the gospel through their family lives, with plans for personal relationships with other families and with God.
The event took place on October 23, led by Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church-Phnom Penh Thmey, with a large number of Catholic families in attendance, especially representatives of the nine Catholic families of each pastoral sector in the Phnom Penh vicariate.

The Bishop instructs Catholics to grow in their faith lives by humbling and recognizing themselves as simple people and asking God to give them strong love, hope, and faith.
He said that being humble with a limit of self and knowing self-weakness leads to communicating well with God in their families and others.
"We can form a relationship with God only if we humbly acknowledge our status as inferior and follow the example of the holy family of St. Joseph, St. Mary, and the child Jesus," the prelate said.
At the same time, the priest in charge of caring for the Catholic families in Phnom Penh vicariate, Father Son UN, said that this is a solemn family day to mark the mission of the community to proclaim the gospel, to recognize the value of Christian family life, and to learn to live in a Christian community.
He plans to make a strategic plan, including pre-wedding education and family life.
He stated that he prepared some programs about prayer and formation documents for parents and their children because these children would have a call from God, and the call would be available only if the family could educate and guide their children. 
In the previous year, the Phnom Penh vicariate reflected on the families but later paused because of Covid-19, focusing on the family life of evangelism.
For this day, the Bishop of Phnom Penh asked the priests in charge of each of the nine pastoral districts to gather families for Mass, receive blessings, and reflect on family life together.
"The family is the foundation of society and the foundation of the church," said Bishop Olivier. 

Many Catholic families gather for Family Day at Saint Peter and St. Paul Church at Phnom Penh Thmey (Photo by RVA News)

He said, "This is for families who are married and journey together, especially families with interfaith and troubled families, to receive encouragement from other families and the community to let them be happy and have more strength." 
"Through the recent guidance of the bishop, I will strive to live as a model family for other families," said On Vichet, 39, a family representative of St. Peter and St. Paul Church at Phnom Penh Thmey.
Vichet continued, "My family lacks warmth by not seeing the meaning of family life, especially the education of our children today."
He said that educating children is to guide them to live by following his example through good words and actions, especially in faith, such as going to church, praying and listening to the words of God. These are important for a spiritual path and will enable them to see and want to follow.
Bishop Olivier urged families to proclaim the gospel in many ways, including establishing relationships within their own families and with other families by listening to each other and forgiving each other, not despising anyone.
Another thing is learning to communicate with God so that it will become a way of life for the families of Cambodia through the church.
In addition, the bishop talked about the projects that the Phnom Penh diocese will implement for the family. It would educate young people who are ready to get married, preparing lessons and clear documents to educate couples before marriage. The couples need to be united and loyal to each other and educate the children together and celebrate marriage properly as Catholics. 


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