Chaplain's Blog

2019/11/28

December Message

My Brothers Knights,

We are going to celebrate the 115th Anniversary of the first parish in Yorkton – St. Gerard’s, and the 114th Anniversary of the construction of our first Church.

Like you, I am proud of St. Gerard’s with its long history and very nice community.  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you few things about the meaning of Church.

We all know that the Church is not only about the building.  The Church is both visible and spiritual.  Yes, it is a building, a visible sight for people.  However, it is more than it.  Church is also a community -  a community of faith, a community of love, a community of friends.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the word "Church" means "convocation." It designates the assembly of those whom God's Word "convokes," gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ (cf. CCC 777).

The Church exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical and Eucharistic assembly. The Church draws its life from the Word of God and from the Body of Christ.  The Church becomes Christ's Body.

The Church is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and humans.

I love the Church because I see it as my family.  Every Sunday when people gather around the altar to celebrate the Eucharist, I have a chance to meet many different people coming for the Holy Banquet.  No matter who they are, they come and share the holy meal with one another.  It’s a good opportunity for people to be at Mass as our Lord Jesus makes them one: one in Him, one in Unity, one in Faith and Love.

When we celebrate the anniversary of our parish, we are called to keep our faith alive and transfer it to the next generation.  Each of us has a mission, to continue to build up our Church, to make it alive and be a sign of salvation to people in this city.  We are call to become a community of love as Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Merry Christmas to all of you and your family members.  You are in my prayers.  May God bless you all. 

Rev. Louis Kim Nguyen


2019/10/29

November Message

My Dear Brothers of Knights,

Winter is coming! We have few more days until the end of October and then we are ready to welcome November.

My message for you at this time is a short reflection of death.  Do not be surprised or shocked.  We should
think and talk about it; we should face to it, especially when we are going to spend a special month to pray
for all our deceased members.

First of all, we read again the passage of creation in the book of Genesis: “…Then the Lord God formed a man
from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being
" (Genesis 2:7). God created human beings from the dust, so when we die, our physical body will come back to dust. Indeed, in any funeral celebration we hear these words: “Because God has chosen to call our brother (sister) from this life to himself, we commit his (her) body to the earth, for we are dust and unto dust we shall return".

On Ash Wednesday, as we enter into Lent, we receive ash on our forehead in the form of a cross. This represents our human mortality, and we are reminded, "… that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return".     
We read in the Gospel of John at the death of Jesus, "… Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit". (cf. John 19: 30). "Gave up his spirit!" John had a special view of death.  In John’s view, Jesus didn’t die, He passed His Spirit to the world and returned to God the Father.

There are two lives in each human life: Physical and Spirit (Soul). Our journey on earth is temporary as one day it will be finished.  However, for our souls, our human came from God (by his breathing).
Because God is a Living God -  God never dies - our souls are living souls, to never die as well. Our souls will move into another journey, to be with God and in God forever.  St. Paul said about this in his letter to the Corinthians, "Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever" (2 Cor. 5: 1).

 It is the meaning of death. We will not die because God is calling us home with him. The Church is our Mother, calling her children to remember and pray for those who have died and entrust them in the hands of God. And through it the Church invites us to think of death.
 
When I visited sick people in the hospital, many times I have experienced the facing of death from them.  Most of them have been in fear or shock.  They thought of death with horrible/terrifying feelings. I have often helped them to acknowledge that there is nothing to fear - God is calling them home, their eternal home with Him.

We are entering November, a month to remember and pray for all deceased members, those have fallen as sleep in Christ.  We remember and pray for them.

When you open the recent St. Gerard pictorial director you will see that we have some faces are missing because God called them home with Him.  It’s sad to lose them, those who have gone before us.  Although they are no longer with us, they are still in communion with us. Yes, they are truly with us in a spiritual way or in many other ways.

In November we will celebrate several Memorial Masses such as Nov. 2 and Nov. 7, and also have one more for all the deceased members of K of C and CWL (TBA). You are invited to attend these Masses to pray for them.

Thus I encourage you, brother Knights, to 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



2019/10/06

October Message

My Brother Knights,

On Monday Sept. 23, we celebrated the memorial of St. Padre Pio, a great Saint. When I celebrated it I recalled his words of the Rosary as he said, "The Rosary is the weapon for these times." (St. Padre Pio).

Why is the Rosary a weapon? We, the Church on earth, are the pilgrim Church. We fight a daily spiritual warfare in our lives. You and I, we all have experiences of it.

Remember that Mary has another title, it is the New Eve, and she is depicted crushing the head of the snake. Asking her to intercede for us is a powerful prayer for our own battles against temptation and sin.

No doubt that you and I, we are living in a world of darkness and confusion -  the darkness of death and the confusion of relative truth.  St. John Paul II called it "the culture of death."  We are called to "fix" the culture. But do not forget that we have a weapon to fight darkness and confusion, and that weapon is the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
  • Why not? - Each of us should have a rosary in our pocket and use it to pray every day.
  • Why not? - Come to daily Mass early and pray the rosary with others before Mass.
  • Why not? - Why not pray the rosary at home with your spouse and children and grandchildren?

The Rosary is a special prayer that leads us to Jesus. We are called to bring the Good News of Jesus to all people, and the Rosary is a prayer that focuses on Jesus’ life! I say it because when we pray the rosary we have opportunities to meditate on His Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection and Luminous Mysteries. These events are the meaning and answer to everything and the answer to what we need and what the world needs.

During this time, when you enter into the Church, you will see a long banner, praying for Canada, hanging on the wall. It reminds us that we need to make every effort to pray for our country, for our Church and for ourselves.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that, for the first time, we will have a procession of Mary outside of the Church at 12 noon Saturday, October 12.  You are invited to join this event with other people from our church and from St. Mary' s as well.

My Brothers Knights, together with Mary and the rosary, we pray and we ask her to lead us to her Son, who is the way, the truth, and the life. Times change but one thing remains constant. It is Jesus in whom we believe and are following.

May God bless you all

Rev. Louis Nguyen



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




chaplain