“Experts in Encounter” this was the theme chosen for the Annual Retreat of 25 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from Cambodia and Myanmar who gathered together from 26th of July to 3rd of August at the Provincial House of the FMA in Teuk Thla, Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

Fr. Eligio Cruz, SDB from Philippines - North Province (FIN) guided the Sisters with spiritual wisdom and depth. As he prayed for the Sisters to be experts in encounter at the beginning of the retreat, he let himself be guided by the Holy Spirit. With his well-prepared and integrated materials for the daily Lectio Divina and Conferences, he was able to challenge the Sisters to be experts in encounter with Christ, with the community, with lay people, with the family, with the peripheries of the mission, with youth and with life in Mary. His conferences were always integrated with touching video clips. It was a great help for the Sisters for he was able to harmonize the Word of God, the FMA Constitutions, the challenges of the previous General Chapters, the life experiences of Don Bosco, Mother Mazzarello, Salesian and other lay women Saints of the Church in sharing his input. Above all, his being a simple and true son of Don Bosco and his commitment to be truly one touched the Sisters very much.


Day after day during the retreat, the Sisters were interpellated to be women of faith and of prayer, to protect Jesus Christ in one’s heart, to keep a life centered in Christ, to continue to imitate the kenosis – the self emptying of Jesus in building the communities with a true Salesian family spirit. Moreover, he also encouraged us to be prophets of communion, to empower and collaborate with lay people and young generation, to tread the path of holiness together with families and young people and to be rooted and to find life and hope in the peripheries which can truly evangelize the Sisters, to be loving, tender and firm Sisters and mothers in accompanying the young people who are “the holy land”, “the burning bush” of the Sisters. As a true son of Don Bosco, Fr. Eli, as he is fondly called, shared his love and devotion to Mary, as he guided the Sisters to deepen the topic on Mary and the secrets of the fullness of life in Christ on the last day of the retreat.


The Sisters were filled with gratitude and joy for this moment of grace and conversion to love brought about by this retreat. The retreat ended with the joyous and prayerful celebration of the renewal of profession of Sr. Sarin Eng Mary Domenica Mazzarello and the 25th Anniversary of Religious Profession of Sr. Jessica Salvaña, the Provincial of the Camboida-Myanmar CMY Province.
By Sr. Veronica New Ni Moe. FMA

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