“What will we do to be able to see beautiful and new things during 2019? Let us enter the Year dedicated to the family and in June 2019 we will hold a large diocesan gathering of families. In October there will be a ‘special mission,’ in the extraordinary missionary Month desired by Pope Francis, during which we will reflect on how our families can be signs of God’s love for all in our society.” These were the comments of Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh, in a January 8, 2019, report by Fides News Agency.
“On Christmas Eve, we celebrated some baptisms: what a beautiful sign to be able to put a newborn baby in the manger,” the bishop said. “The family is a community and a small Church in itself. We are called to grow up in the family looking at the model of the Holy Family.”
Among the keywords indicated by the Bishop in his writing, which describe the life of the community of the baptized, there are: fidelity, love given and received, hope, life, dignity. The Bishop quotes “the little orphans abandoned on the sidewalk, without family and without love, who, thanks to the Missionaries of Charity, found a warm and loving home. This is our Church: a great family”. On the other hand, there is also the memory: “On Christmas Day, many communities gathered old people to share joy and give them a little peace and serenity. It is edifying to see young people serving the elderly and listening to them. In this Year of the Family, we need to give our seniors an important place, so that our roots are part of our history and that the generations can listen and understand each other.
“Muslims and Buddhists came to visit us and wish our community a happy Christmas. Christmas is an invitation to peace.
“During the year 2019 – hopes the Vicar for the local Church – let us become an open and fruitful community and people will be happy to meet and find a great loving and welcoming family”.