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A nun professes first vow in Lovers of the Cross in Cambodia

Msgr. Perry Hangly Suon bleeses the new nun, Theresa Khem Sokha, on May 1, 2024

Theresa Khem Sokha, sister of Lovers of the Cross, professed her first vows on May 1 in Combodia.

Many faithful attended the first vow mass, officiated by Msgr. Pierre Hangly Suon, Apostolic Prefect of Kampong Cham.

In his sermon, Msgr. Suon thanked the Sokha family for attending the first vows event and handed over their daughter to a group of nuns in Kampong Cham prefecture.

"Dedication to God is an important step in life," he said. "The decision to live a virgin life, live in poverty, and obey a way of life makes others wonder."

The monsignor added that Sokha announced her vow voluntarily, freely, and with love. "Even if we give ourselves and everything we have, without love, it is meaningless," he said.

He told all Catholics attending to be interested in the value of the work that each one has to do.

He added that "no matter how small the task, as long as we do it with love, sincerity, and integrity, it will be worth the effort to join God in building the world.

Sister Sokha expressed her excitement about taking the vow to the Lovers of the Cross family in Kampong Cham.

She said that the vows were probably "due to God's mercy, which gave me the opportunity to walk this path again."

The 30-year-old new nun said that "When I was a sister, I wanted to serve the community in Cambodia because there are very few Khmers there, and this group are all Khmers who I want to dedicate to the mission with."

Sokha admitted that her previous religious life and reformation had put her under a lot of stress, but she said, "This is God's plan for me; he showed me that I did not have to brag about being a sister; I had to be humble to receive Jesus."

The nun said that in her service to God, she would use the gifts God had given her to the best of her ability. "I have only faith and love to preach the gospel," she added.

Teresa Khem Sokha, a native of Samaki village, Russey Keo commune, Russey Keo district, Phnom Penh city, was born on June 10, 1984. Mary Saray Oun and John Paul II Khem Sakhorn are the names of the parents. The eldest of their three offspring is the nun Sokha.

She was baptized on April 11, 2009. On December 8, 2015, she made her first vow to the Rossary Sisters. From 2019 to 2021, she volunteered in various congregations to continue seeking her calling. In July 2021, she chose to join the Lovers of the Cross in Kampong Cham.

Sokha's father, Khem Sakhorn, expressed his utmost delight and enthusiasm on behalf of the entire family as a parent witnessing his daughter's solemn swornoation. "As a father, I encourage my daughter to be determined to be a nun until the end of her life," according to him.

Sister Mary Ang Sangwat, head of the Lovers of the Cross in Cambodia, said that as members of the clergy, they all welcome Sokha, like their sister, to encourage her when she is depressed and help her in her study with her best, especially the spiritual life in the group.

Sr. Sangwat continued that after taking the vow, Sr. Sokha will go to work in the community of Kratie province with another group member.

The Lovers of the Cross have a mission to assist in the work of the parish, to cooperate with the priest in charge of the parish and to help the church with its mission of education, such as catechism, kindergartens, high schools and student shelters, and with the needs of the church. 

Two nuns from Thailand re-established this community in 1993, following the civil war. In 1998, two Cambodian ladies became nuns, and now they have nine members, four of whom have final vows.


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