Tuesday, 23 Oct 2018

Catholic Cambodia

St. Mary of Magdala Parish Commemorates her Patron Saint

The church of St. Mary of Magdala in Kilometer 11, celebrated the feast of St. Mary Magdalene the patron Saint of its church. Parishioners believe that this is a place, where the Saint takes care of and intercedes for the Church.

The celebration was held in Svay Pak village, Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district on the 16th of July 2017 with Bishop Olivier Schmittaeusler as the main celebrant of the Holy Eucharist. The event saw many Catholics from other parishes attending.

Taking this occasion, Bishop Olivier offered some encouraging words and said: “Today we venerate St. Mary of Magdala even though we cannot walk in procession due to the bad road condition, yet we know God dwells in us.” The bishop reminded all that the Saint is the model for the early Christians and the name contained in the Biblical passages because she followed in the footsteps of Jesus by her own faith.

In his homily, the Bishop said: “Today we venerate St. Mary of Magdala. It is an opportunity to recollect the life of the saint and her relationship with Jesus. It is a special and intimate way with Jesus that made her become a disciple and who became a witness and proclaimed Jesus had resurrected.”

Bishop Olivier urged the Catholics gathered to think of the Church of today and the way of showing that ‘life’ has the presence of God, namely: “First we put a cloth on Jesus when we receive the sacrament of baptism as we are dressed in white clothes receiving renewed life that is intimate with Jesus. Second, we live together with the Word of God by reading and listening to the Word every day. Third, we pray by knowing that our hearts are a small temple petitioning God for the sake of family and society. Fourth, we always have express our love by establishing good relationships in the village among people. Fifth, we forgive them; it is a role of the Catholics. You have to forgive always in order to bear witness to the faith and lastly we are courageous to express our faith because of the loving Will of Jesus has a holy temple encouraging us to be witnesses and even be active Catholics.

Mr. Long Ratana, a leader of youth of the parish said the Saint was a good model for the village because previously the village had a lot of women in the entertainment field, which is why this parish chose the name St. Mary of Magdala to be the model, which has helped them to have a renewed life by believing in the love of God. The leader continued by saying: “Before we had less Catholics because the locals here thought only of making money, so they did not come to church very often However, thanks to the patron saint Mary of Magdala whose life became an inspiration and helped the locals here and the youth with a change of heart thinking of God and hope in a good life again.”

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