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Photographer's Note

.Take 10 (Click the number for info of entire trip)

You may not see anything interested in this photo. But I do. This is a Sunday Mass in Chong Kneas Floating Church over Tonle Sap Great Lake.

In the past, I had chances to attend the Sunday mass at the basilica of La Vang (Quang Tri, Vietnam), at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Wang Fujing (Beijing, China), at Notre Dame Cathedral (Saigon, Vietnam), at the Cathedral of St. Joseph (Hanoi, Vietnam), at Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (Montreal, Canada), at Santa Rosa de Lima Church Muzquiz (Coahuila, Mexico), and at some other most deferential and solemn churches. But it is the mass of Fourth Sunday of Lent I attended at Chong Kneas floating church that I felt a complete communion.

Here they come to share their misery with God, to chant and praise the glory of God, and to ask for being forgiven and for meal as the way children would ask their parent, “Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Chong Kneas Catholic believers don’t pray to be rich or to be given spare food. They only wish to escape the hunger. They ask to be able to survive. They know their misery is endless. What they pray is to let them have a short break. Taking the dilemma of destiny, they don’t blame. "I confess that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do.”

These Vietnamese residents said their prayers in Khmer—the language that the Indonesian priest used to communicate with them. Year after year, many Vietnamese seminarists have been ordained around the world but no Vietnamese catholic priest yet to volunteer to this dangerous and inconvenient corner of the planet so far. In my hometown Houston alone, I saw many priests driving their $50K luxury cars and many of them must share the limited apostolic work in a same parish. None of them can give up the wonderful post. If Chong Kneas village still need a shepherd, that’s God problem to hire one, not theirs.


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 128 N: 2360] (8578)
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