Two sisters and I went to Siem Reap on November 8th, 2016 to attend Maryknoll Colloquium on Inter-Religious Dialogue. The Colloquium was held in Metta Karuna Reflection Centre (http://www.jrscambodia.org/Reflection_Centre/reflectioncentre.html).
Fr. Sebastian Painadath, SJ gave presentation on Religion and Spirituality, Hinduism including reading part of Bhagavad Gita and led the meditation and Mass. Two years ago Br. John Beeching, MM gave me the eye-opening notes of Fr. Sebastian on “Polarities on Spirituality” so I was looking forward for this colloquium. One of his books is Spiritual Co-Pilgrims: Towards a Christian Spirituality in Dialogue with Asian Religions and here is the link: http://www.amazon.in/We-are-Co-pilgrims-Towards-Religious/dp/8172148976
We had a chance to see the Siem Reap’s Incredible Phare Circus. The story on that evening was the true story of their founders during the Khmer Rouge (http://pharecircus.org/symbolism-sokha/). We had a dinner and enjoyed Traditional Khmer Dancing Show (http://www.koulenrestaurant.com/) besides visiting three temples: Ta Phrom, Angkor Thom, and Angkor Wat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat). We also celebrated the foundation day of Metta Karuna Reflection Center and the Water Festival (https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=qoUjt0rhyMM#t=558, http://www.tourismcambodia. com/tripplanner/events-in- cambodia/water-and-moon- festival.htm).
We visited St. John’ Catholic Church in Siem Reap on our way to the pier. We visited St. Michael’s Catholic Church in the Floating Village on their boat. The children, mostly Buddhist, a couple who are the catechists and several volunteers were waiting in the Church. The children sang, ate porridge for lunch and received a gift from a Singaporean sister before went home. We had Khmer language Sunday Mass celebrated by Fr. Kevin Conroy, MM after lunch. We went around the Floating Village before going back to the pier.
Fr. Sebastian asked me to put a red dot on the forehead of everyone (=bindi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindi_(decoration)) as a blessing before attending the closing Mass with Indian culture. At first, I was asked to do simple dance during the Mass but I was replaced by somebody else. It's a privilege to be asked to bless everyone and for sure, it was more meaningful for me especially as Fr. Sebastian mentioned that he asked me because I just had my final profession of vows, a kind of celebration of my final vows.
It’s a fruitful colloquium as it gives me better understanding about Hinduism, religion and spirituality besides the opportunity to exchange stories with the rest of the group: Maryknoll Society, Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Philippine Catholic Lay Mission and Maryknoll Sisters. Thank you very much!
Here is the link of the pictures: https://share.shutterfly.com/share/received/welcome.sfly?fid=c502495541de767f&sid=0EbuWrFm4ZM2ei
Hong Kong, November 23th, 2016
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible