Don Ángel in Don Bosco Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh — Sunday, 02/28/2016. Don Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, arrives this morning to the Phnom Penh International Airport for his first visit to a Southeast Asian country. A delegation made of members of the different Cambodian Salesian projects went to the airport to welcome the 10th successor of Don Bosco, who landed at 10:30 after 18 hours of flights from Europe via Hong Kong.

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Don Ángel at the side of Mgr. Olivier Schmitthaesuler before the first Mass in Cambodian soil. Two seminarians of the Apostolic Vicariate, who are also past pupils, Br. John Nary, one of the first Cambodian Salesians (the last at right) and Fr. Roel Soto, Cambodian superior and Fr. Klement Vaclav, superior of the EAO Region, made this photo.

Don Ángel placed inciense sticks at the Don Bosco statue in the first place where the Salesians arrived on May 24, 1991 in Cambodia among songs by students from different provinces.

In the afternoon, Mgr. Olivier Schmitthaeusler, Apostolic Bishop of Phnom Penh, joint the welcoming ceremonies at the side of different groups of the Cambodian Salesian Family.

The Rector Major inaugurated the exhibits of the different projects in Cambodia since the time of the refugee camps in Thailand (1988) and the starting of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia in 1991 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Don Bosco in the Kingdom.

An unending chain of photographs with different groups and persons, marked the first afternoon of Don Ángel in the country. At 18:00 Bishop Schmitthaeusler presided the Eucharist at the side of the Rector Major.

During this 25 years, the Salesians have done a lot work for the Cambodian children and youth, making not only great constructions, but big communities that have provided a good impact for the Cambodian society and the Cambodian Church, said Mgr. Schmitthaeusler.

After the Mass, Don Ángel was translated by Fr. Mario Gezzhi, member of the Italian priest society, PIME and past pupil of the Salesians in Milan.

The presence of the Rector Major in this country today is a show that the world Salesian family put their eyes in Cambodia (…) We are very much happy that the Salesian charisma has became really Cambodian during this 25 years of Salesian mission, said the Rector Major.

In the night the Rector Major talked in Spanish translated by Fr. Albeiro Rodas (here Fr. Samnang) as a message of Good Nights.

I want to tell you two things: The first is that Don Bosco wanted that all his boys were always happy and thus I want you too to be really happy. I confessed that I though that the Cambodian youth was serious, very formal, but now you surprised me: you are very smiling, very kind, very happy and full of activities. Please keep on it. The second thing is: please keep the love of God in your hearts to keep you happy and make of all of you a good people, concluded Don Ángel.

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