ACTS' mission trips to Cambodia in December: Building of high school in Cambodia was the 'realisation of a dream'While 350 ACTS (A Call to Share) participants were on their annual mission trip to Phnom Penh from Dec 14-20, some got the chance to witness the inauguration of the Don Bosco High School in Tuek Thla, Cambodia, on Dec 15.
The high school was constructed as ACTS wanted to help the Salesian Sisters build a safe and enriching environment for students, as well as to expand it and create a kindergarten, a primary and secondary school, and the latest addition, a high school.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by guest-of-honour, His Excellency Pa Socheatvong, Governor of Phnom Penh and Battambang. Representatives from the major donors, several bishops of Phnom Penh and Battambang, priests, Religious and officials from various ministries also attended the inauguration.
Better coordination and more commitment from local Catholics are needed to better serve Chinese migrant workers attending activities in parishes.
This was a comment made by parish coordinators serving some of the 200 or so blue-collar workers – both Catholic and non-Catholic – who attend activities in at least six parishes.
These are the parishes of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sts Peter and Paul, St Mary of the Angels, St Vincent de Paul, Holy Trinity and Risen Christ.
As part of its ongoing series featuring foreign Catholic communities in Singapore, CatholicNews spoke to some of these parish coordinators to find out more about these activities.
When was the last time you had fun? Name the occasion.
The last time I had fun was when I went for an outing with Chinese migrants. We played a game called “four-legged race”. Before the race, my team agreed to walk faster. In the end, our group ended up last. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself.
Name an occasion you felt embarrassed or humbled.
One day, I went to give the last rites to a bedridden person. He wanted to make a confession. He said to me, “Father, I want to make a good confession, I will confess all the sins that I have committed since I was young.” I was touched by his humility. At the same time, I felt humbled. An elderly man confessed his sins to a priest who was less than half his age.
It was the first time that a large group of 118 ACTS volunteers, led by spiritual director Fr Jovita Cyprian Ho, travelled to Battambang Prefecture in northwestern Cambodia from Dec 6-13 last year to do mission work.
Previously, about 30 ACTS volunteers went there annually.
The volunteers, who also included non-Catholics, formed various teams, and set out to parishes in five different places – Battambang and nearby villages in Nikum, Crab Viel, Tahen and Chomnaom.
In all five places, ACTS kindergarten teams did arts and crafts and other activities with the children, while the various ACTS work teams assisted in painting work.