Chaplain's Blog

2019/03/01

March Message

My Brother Knights,

We are in February and during this month we celebrate a special event: Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) .  Therefore my message for all of you this month will focus on this topic: LOVE.

How can we live without love?  We need love. Love from God, from our parents and from one another. Love is a huge topic and we never talk about it enough.

I recall a story that h appened in my family.  It was in 1994, and my Dad got lung cancer. We all knew that he would die soon. A  few weeks before he died, one of my brothers who is a priest made a suggestion that we should do a video of him while he was still alive.  This video would be kept for us and for the next generations so we could have a memorial of him.  My brother priest also planned that each of us would come close to him to say a few words, just a few words, such as I love you, it's sad to know th at you are going to leave us, to thank him for being great father and a good example for us, or even to say a few words to apologize for not being a good child, that we would promise that we would try to live better, to take care of Mom, to change something in our life, to love one another, to have good behavior…..

So on that day, all of us gathered around his sick bed and of course my mother would be the first one in this video recording.  I remember my mother came, sat on the be d beside my Dad.  She took his hands and kept them in her hands.  Both of them sat in silence for a while and then my Dad started to speak t o her.  In front of us, he said to her these words: "Thank you for being with me, for sharing your life together with me.  Now I acknowledge that you are a wonderful lady, a wonderful wife and mother.  You have great love for your husband and children.  I am blessed to have you as my wife…"

In return, my Mom said to him: "I thought you knew me because we have been living together as a co uple for over 50 years.  I thought you knew me and understand how I am.

I would never forget th is story because it tells me that we are living close to one another - it s eems that all is so normal and simple.  We miss chances to acknowledge the love that others show us.  We think that we know each other enoug h and because of it, we ignore or do not value enough the love that others share.

In the Gospel of Mark, we hear the story of people in Jesus' home town denied and rejected Jesus b ecause they thought they knew him well. They rejected him because they believed that in him, there is nothing new.

Therefore I believe tha t we need to renew our relationship with one another, with our family membe rs and with God. We get a long, we know each other well, but each of us is a mystery. Yes, we are all a mystery for others.  In each of us we have something that others cannot know or touch.  In another words, I would say that we are books.  The books that people would like to read and understand.

If we pay attention, if we spend time for reflection, we would see that love is among us. Be aware that we are loved, we are blessed by one another. We need to know that we are loved by God and others. Once we acknowledge and appreciate it, in return we will offer our love and respond to it in a very positive way, in the way we act and speak.

My Brother Knights, I invite you to think and reflect on it.





2019/01/29

January Message

Week of Unity

My Dear Brothers,

Year by year, at the last week of January we are reminded to pray for Christian Unity. The Church knows how important unity is, in and among us, therefore she never stops asking her children to pray and act on it. We recall the prayer that Jesus offered to the Father for his disciples, "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me". (Jn 17: 21-22) We can also see this in the prayer before the Communion Rite: "Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your Apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live forever and ever".

During this week we pray for the unity of different Christian Church communities, the unity in our community, and in our own families. This year we are invited to reflect on how we might commit to a particular act of Justice, Mercy and Unity. When we pray for these, we are reminded that we have a call to be members of the body of Christ - to follow and embody justice. Indeed, our unity in Christ empowers us to take part in the wider struggle for justice and to promote the dignity of life.

We are the members of the body of Christ. We know it but we seem to forget it. It is good for us to hear St. Paul in his letter to the Romans: "For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and independently we are members one of another".  In other words, we would say that we are in union - we are in communion to one another. We need to acknowledge this:if we have unity we are one.

In this letter, St. Paul continues: "Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers".

Yes, we need to reflect and see how much LOVE we have for God, for His Church and for others.We have to confess that because we lack love, therefore we make the divide, separate, split from and within ourselves.

How can we have Justice, Mercy and Unity if we don't have love or lack of love? And how can we have Justice, Mercy and Unity if we don't act to exercise in our daily lives what we have heard from God's Word? My brothers, please allow me to remind you about it - people will see the Justice, Mercy and Unity in and among us and as Jesus says, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another".

Gracious God, you have shown us your compassion and care for all creation. Your love inspires us to offer these commitments to act justly by loving others wholeheartedly regardless of their cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Listen to our prayers and transform them into action for the unity of your Church. We ask this through your Son Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who live with you as one God forever and ever.

In Christ,
Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen




2018/01/23

January Message

My brothers Knights in Christ,

As this is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I would like to invite all of you, brother Knights, to reflect on unity in our family, in our parish community and in all Christian communities.
Question:  in our family and in our parish community, what is a valuable matter that we need to respect, to build up and to protect?  The answer is very simple: it is unity  - because if we have unity, we will have communion, peace and love.

The call of Christian Unity is found in the prayer of Jesus himself as he prayed that they may be one (Jn 17:21).  The Lord has bestowed this unity on his Church and he wishes to embrace all people in that unity.  This unity belongs to the very essence of the Church and we need to look for opportunities to express this unity in greater ways.  Therefore as Christians, we affirm that we need to act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel us to act separately.
We often talk and reflect on love, but it seems we do not talk or reflect enough on unity.  Love and unity connect and support one another.  Both love and unity make a very strong connection so we can say without love we cannot have unity and without unity we cannot have love.
In fact, the Lord has led us to make progress along the difficult path of unity and communion between Christians.  The Catholic Church and other denominations have been involved in dialogues on many different levels.  You and I, we need to be aware of the fruits of these dialogues so that we can know our role in building it up.

We need to improve our attitudes in our relation with our other sisters and brothers in Christ.  We need to be more open to more welcoming.  Perhaps Parish Pastoral Council and other groups such as the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women's League could make themselves aware of the various events that are happening in area churches, or even establish a prayer relationship with a nearby church.

Ecumenism requires that we fully respect others for who they are and what they believe.  Ecumenism also requires that we be committed to dialogue. This dialogue is not only of words, but of hearts and spirits and lives.
I would like to ask you continue to reflect on this question: Do we know what moves and touches the hearts of our sisters and brothers in their relationship with God?
During this week, we are called to pray for unity - unity in our family, in our parish community and with our sisters and brothers - those who believe and follow Christ, and those with whom we may not have unity.

I encourage each of you to continue to pray, think and reflect about the importance of unity in our community and how can we reach out to other Christian communities.
May we continue to grow in our vision of the Church as we journey to our common home as children of God and sisters and brothers of Christ.

In Christ,
Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen



2017/11/26

December Message

My Dear Brothers,

We are nearing the end of the year 2017.  The new liturgical season of 2018 will be starting soon on Sunday December 3, 2017, the first Sunday of the season of Advent.  Liturgically, we are moving into Year B.  We have four Advent Sundays to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord.  At Christmas, we will celebrate the birth of our Saviour, which is one of the great mysteries of our faith, the Mystery of Incarnation.  I would like to share with you my thoughts on this mystery.

First of all, I invite all of you to look back on the year 2017, thanking God for the good year that we had within each of us, in each family and in our Parish community.  We are very blessed in our parish to have many different committees such as the K of C, the CWL, Liturgy committee, Community of Life, Social Justice, choirs, etc.  With the love, help and support of these committees, we are building a strong community of faith in Yorkton.

Every weekend and every day, we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, the mystery of faith.  The Eucharist is the centre of all our activities.  I am so very pleased to acknowledge good attendance at each mass.  We have many young people, and children; we also have many different ethnic groups such as Aboriginals, Africans, Filipino and Mexican in our parish.  Their presence and participation makes our parish multicultural and richer.

However, I do believe that we still have some people who are away from the Church and are not choosing to be with us to celebrate our faith.  Therefore, I would encourage every one of you to please let people know that we are here, inviting and encouraging them to come to celebrate the faith with us every weekend.  We can talk and share with each other about our celebrations.  Please allow me to remind you that Sunday is a Holy day of obligation.  We are called to make it holy by attending Mass.
Like you, I am looking forward to the New Year coming with hope and positive thoughts.  I am asking you to share my dream that we would build strong communities of faith, unity, love, friendship and joy.

Because Christmas is coming soon, I would like to ask you to be aware that anytime when we do celebrate Christmas, we are called to acknowledge one of the great mysteries of our faith, the Mystery of Incarnation.  It is a great mystery.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)
He became flesh.  He lives among us and as St. Irenaeus says, The Glory of God is a human being fully alive.   I invite you, along with me, to reflect upon these words.  Ask yourself these questions:  Do I let myself draw close to Christ?  Do I allow Him to love me?  Do I allow myself to love Him?  Do I appreciate this glorious love?  Am I ready to enter into its mystery?  Am I ready today to make my heart shine with this glory of Gods love?

I am with you in prayers, to praise Him and to thank Him for all the blessings that we have received throughout the year of 2017.  I am also with you to prepare for Christmas and the New Year.  May God be with you and your family, giving you His blessing throughout the coming New Year.  You are in my prayers.  Please keep me in your prayers as well.

In Christ,
Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen


2017/10/30

November Message

My dear brother Knights,

We are now in November, a special month dedicated to the remembrance of those who have gone before us.  According to the tradition of the Church, we are asked to pray for them because they themselves cannot do it now.  They are waiting for and needing our prayers so that God may cleanse them from any sins and allow them to share His eternal life.  My message this month focuses on this.

First of all, we need to ask ourselves who are they and where are they now?  They are our sisters and brothers, friends and relatives.  God has called them from this life to His.  Because, as human beings they were not perfect in this life, they cannot yet be in heaven.  They have to wait in purgatory where they can no longer help themselves.  They depend on us to pray for them.

Purgatory is real and true.  The catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven, which is experienced by those who die in Gods grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified. (CCC 1030)

In the book of Revelations 21: 27, it is written that purification is necessary.   As scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven.  While we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.

The day after celebrating All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) we celebrate All Souls day (Nov 2nd).  It is the communion amongst us.  All Saints (Church Triumphant) are the souls in heaven.  All Souls (Church Suffering) are the souls in purgatory and we on earth are (Church Militant).   Whenever we celebrate the Eucharist we mention these states.

It is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that we are in communion with each other, that we will not forget them and that we will pray for them.  I often think that those who are deceased would truly be deceased if we, who are still alive on this earth, did not think of them and pray for them.  There is a long history of remembering and praying for the deceased.  You may find this in the book of Maccabeus.  Therefore, making sacrifices, praying rosaries, offering and/or attending Masses, praying for them would be very helpful in assisting them on their journey to Heaven and releasing them from Purgatory.

Thus I encourage you, brother Knights to make more sacrifices, pray more rosaries, offer and attend Masses to pray for them.  We believe in the power of prayer and by doing so, God may cleanse them from their own sins and bring them into His Eternal Life.

Rev. Louis Kim Nguyen

chaplain