Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler of the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh announced that from 2020-2022, the Catholic Church of Phnom Penh diocese along with the Catholic Churches in Asia would make a joint Pastoral journey with a main focus on the common goals of spreading the values of the Gospel. For the three years to come, the Catholic Church in Cambodia will pay greater attention to spreading the Gospel. The church will do so by having dialogues with religious groups and live by the culture of Cambodian people.
The bishop made the announcement at a meeting with more than 50 participating staff members from the Phnom Penh pastoral offices on 19 December 2019 at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul in Phnom Penh Thmey.
He recalled that for the three years to come, each office has to participate actively in joint activities to make the journey together with 30 countries in the Asian continent which are under the governance of bishops from 17 countries. The journey is aimed at spreading the values of the Gospel to the people in the region on instructions given by the late Pope St. John Paul II to the Churches in Asia.
In his homily, the bishop said: “Everything we have when we take the Word of God, is the source of strength for our hearts. Good perspective is what comes from the Good News of God. Hence, the Word of God is not far from our daily lives.”
At the meeting, the bishop encouraged all pastoral office heads to pay attention to management systems and the way of communicating in their own offices with the Catholic institutions.
He highlighted a 10-point guideline. First, to have dialogue with all priests of the pastoral sectors. Second, to evaluate pastoral affairs; third, to make monthly reports; fourth, to organise monthly meetings to encourage one another and seek solutions; fifth to make financial reports clearly and transparently. Sixth, to participate in events in Phnom Penh diocese; seventh, to have time to make retreats about the faith and the work of spreading the values of the Gospel; eighth, to do the work with strength; ninth, choose information to disseminate and tenth keep our perspectives right. Such gatherings are organised once a year on the occasion of Christmas to encourage and get to know one another church offices. They also have the opportunity to receive instructions given by the bishop, followed by a fellowship meal.
The pastoral offices consists of the Pastoral Office for Youth, Children and family; Catholic Social Communications (CSC); health; Education on the Faith and the Bible; the Education office; labour; the episcopal office; the reception office in Phnom Penh Thmey; Catholic social enterprise and the art office.