Thursday, April 24, 2014

AN EVENING OF APPRECIATION

Last evening we were privileged to gather to honor the pastoral supervisors, faculty and staff of Saint John's Seminary.  In the presence of the seminarians and students at the Theological Institute, Phu Tran, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, delivered the following address of gratitude.

Dear Fathers, Faculty, Supervisors and Staff,

Giving Thanks is an indispensable character of every Christian. Our life is an unceasing thanksgiving. This character is manifested deeply and profoundly in the Eucharist which we celebrate each day. Today, it is an honor for me to stand before you on behalf of my brother seminarians to give thanks to the Lord who has chosen you to be his instruments to form young men to become His priests in the School of the Apostles. You play an irreplaceable role in our lives, our formation.

Although the Lord has entrusted to each of you a different task in our formation together you build up an orchestra, which is the life of every seminarian here in this Holy House. With your wisdom, love, kindness, generosity, and patience you help us to grow in human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation; you help us to see clearly our vocation. You teach us what it means to be men of integrity, to be servants of God’s people, to be priests of Christ, and to be spiritual fathers of many children. Through you, through your service, your examples, God transforms us to be men filled with zeal for proclaiming the Gospel to every people and nation.

I just want to take a moment to share with you how important you are in my formation. Although English is not my first language, after seven years of being formed here at Saint John’s I have learned so much in human, spiritual, academic and pastoral formation. I learned how to speak English properly. I learned how to be a man of humility, truthfulness, respect for others, kindness, justice and prudence. I learned how to encounter God through spiritual direction, through meditation on the Word of God, through prayer and especially through
participation in the Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance. I learned to deepen my faith, to be a preacher, and an evangelizer through studying philosophy and theology. Through the help of my supervisors, I learned to be a friend with the youth, to be a friend with prisoners, to be a companion with the dying, and to be a spiritual father, a shepherd of Christ’s flock.

However, it is through your own witnesses, I truly learned what it means to be a man of truth, a servant of God’s people, a priest of Christ, and a spiritual father of many children.

Dear Fathers, Faculty, Supervisors and Staff, I cannot tell you enough how appreciated you are in our lives. Before I go back to my seat, I would like to tell you that I will continue to pray for you that you may be faithful to the task that God has entrusted to each of you in the school of the Apostles.