Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Masses in Hanoi


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Some more pictures from Hanoi

Denise Daley, a wonderful graduate of our Theological Institute, has been teaching English to pre-seminarians in the Hung Hoa diocese during this past year and sent along some more pictures from the ordination this morning, which I know you will enjoy!  We will be joining Denise in Hung Hoa on Monday to meet with her students.  

Ordinations at Hanoi Cathedral Today


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 2 in Hanoi

Today we met with Cardinal Pierre Nguyen Van Thon, the Archbishop of Hanoi, who will ordain our brothers tomorrow at the Hanoi Cathedral.  His Eminence kindly invited us to lunch and we had a wonderful discussion concerning seminary education.  The Cardinal also filmed a short message to the Seminarians at Saint John's Seminary which I will include in next week's Rector's Conference.

In the afternoon we visited a museum built on the site of Hòa Lò Prison, the "Hanoi Hilton," where many American soldiers were imprisoned during the war, and this evening we had a tour of air-raid bunker located under our hotel.  I find my mind and heart spinning this evening as I return to those tumultuous years of the war in Vietnam, during my College and Seminary years.  I keep thinking of Pope Francis' wise counsel several months ago: “It would do us good to ask for the grace of tears for this world that does not recognize the path of peace.”

Monday, March 28, 2016

SJS in Hanoi....

Just before midnight, after close to 24 hours of travel, Father Scorzello, Father O'Connor and I arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to the smiling faces of one of the best welcoming delegations ever!  We are here for the ordination of Fathers Tu, Hinh, Huy and Phu.  In the van on the way to the hotel, I said "Father Phu...that sounds so good!!"

The sun rises over beautiful Vietnam this morning and we entrust our little pilgrimage to Our Lady of La Vang, who appeared at a time when the scourge of religious persecution was at its height in eighteenth century central Vietnam.  The King had ordered the destruction of all Churches and the closing of Seminaries.  The faithful took refuge in the jungles and small villages (much like those who gathered at the Irish “Mass rocks” in Ireland).  One night, unexpectedly, a beautiful lady with a child in her arms appeared to them and told them to boil leaves from the surrounding trees to use as medicine.  She urged them to pray and assured them that her son would hear their prayers.

The joy-filled faith of the people of Vietnam, despite the enormous adversities which they have faced throughout the years, is an answer to those prayers.  Pray for our brothers about to be ordained and pray in thanksgiving to God for the strong faith which is the Church in Vietnam!

The Easter Night...

This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.  (Exultet)

Sunday, March 27, 2016