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.”