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Apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh highlights significance of missionary work

Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler says upcoming Extraordinary Missionary Month is a booster shot for the Church in Cambodia

Apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh highlights significance of missionary work

Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P., the apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, celebrated a Chrism Mass that was attended by close to 80 priests in the Cambodian capital on April 9. (Photo supplied)

Published: April 16, 2019 05:48 AM GMT

Phnom Penh’s apostolic vicar has called on Catholics to live their mission as baptized persons in a message linked to the upcoming Extraordinary Missionary Month.

Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P., spoke of the importance of missionary work during his homily for the Chrism Mass in the Cambodian capital on April 9.  

Pope Francis made October an Extraordinary Missionary Month to foster greater awareness of mission work and to enliven the missionary transformation of church life and pastoral activity.

Bishop Schmitthaeusler said the reason why he wanted to talk about the month was because many churches around the world forget that the very essence of the Gospel is to announce the Good Word.

“Too many churches limit themselves to ensuring the survival of structures that are sometimes too heavy or are closed in on themselves,” Bishop Schmitthaeusler said.

“In Cambodia, the Extraordinary Missionary Month is in a way a booster shot reminding us of our daily lives as baptized persons and envoys.

“Here, our little vicarage and our little prefectures do not have large structures, and our communities, often tiny and planted in the middle of a rice field, at the foot of a hill or in the middle of a town, also do not have crowds of Christians.

“The mission is the core of our lives as believers, priests, monks and nuns. Here, the entire people of God are apostles, with a daily concern, like St. Paul: ‘Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!’”

The French bishop’s homily was given in advance of the Church in Cambodia baptizing 154 new Christians during Easter vigil services in the provinces of Battambang and Kompong Cham.

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