Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ordination of Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen

On the 8th of December, the Feast of The Immaculate Conception of Mary, our Archdiocese celebrated a happy event in the Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen. Fr.Louis' road to the priesthood was a long and challenging one because of the situation in his homeland of Vietnam. His perserverance in the face of many challenges made this day very special. You can read some of this interesting history on the Archdiocesan Web Page:

An ordination to the Priesthood is always a special occasion for all the priests of the Archdiocese, a great number of whom came to participate in the ceremony. The presence of the assembled people of the diocese, the deacon and the priests together with their Bishop made a full image of the Church gathered in Christ to celebrate this beautiful sacrament.

Deacon Louis Kim was presented to the Archbishop for ordination by Fr. William T. McGrattan, the Rector of St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario, where Fr. Louis completed his studies for the priesthood. His presence and participation in the Ordination was welcomed and greatly appreciated.
"Most Reverend Father, holy mother Church asks you to ordain this man, our brother for service as priest."
Bishop: Do you judge him to be worthy?
Fr. McGrattan: After inquiry among the people of Christ and upon recommendation of those concerned with his training, I testify that he has been found worthy.

Bishop: We rely on the help of the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and we choose this man, our brother, for priesthood in the presbyteral order.

The candidate then, responding to questions put to him by the Bishop, affirms his resolve to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the priesthood in the prestbyeral order. Following this, he places his hands between those of his bishop and promises respect and obedience to the Bishop and his successors.

The candidate then prostrates himself in prayer and the community prays the Litany of the Saints asking that God will pour out the gifts of heaven on this servant of God whom God has chosen to be a priest. "Bless this chosen man, make him holy, and consecrte him for his sacred duties. Lord, hear our prayer."

The bishop then lays his hands on the candidate's head and he is followed by all the priests present who do likewise. The laying on of hands is a gesture used from the earliest times in the church to confer the Holy Spirit. The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

"...Almighty Father, grant to this servant of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew within him the Spirit of holiness. As a co-worker with the order of bishops may he be faithful to the ministry that he receives from you, Lord God, and be to others a model of right conduct." Consecratory Prayer)

The palms of the newly ordained priest are anointed with the consecrated Oil of Chrism: "The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian People and to offer sacrifice to God."

The gifts of the people are brought forward to the Bishop by friends and family of Fr. Louis.

The Bishop then hands the paten with the bread and the chalice containing the wine for the Eucharist to the newly ordained priest: "Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to him. Know what you are doing, and imitate the mystery you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the Lord's cross."
Fr. Louis Kim now celebrates the Eucharist for the first time, concelebrating the Mass with the Bishop and the priests present. "Father, accept this offering from your whole family and from the one you have chosen for the order of priests. Protect the gifts you have given him, and let him yield a havrest worthy of you."

Following the Mass there was a delightful reception in the cathedral hall for the many friends who took part in the celebration of this ordination to the prieshood.

From left to right: Hong Pham, Fr. Louis' brother in law; the newly ordained Fr. Louis Kim Nguyen. Next to me is Fr. Louis' Sister, Nhu Nguyen; then Fr. Louis's two brothers who travelled from Vietnam: Fr. Alphonsus Long Nguyen and Fr. Joseph Vung Nguyen. Fr. Louis' mother was not able to make the long journey from Vietnam to attend. Her presence was none the less felt and we are grateful to God for her gift of her youngest son to serve God in the ministerial priesthood.


Welcome to Fr. Jiminez

Recently the Archdiocese welcomed Fr. Carlos Paa Jimenez, SVD, to Regina to begin a period of ministry within the diocese. Fr. Carlos has been working in the Philippines and has a background in financial administration. He will be staying at the Cathedral with the Rector, Fr. Brian Meredith for the next several months to acclimatize himself to the Church in Regina and to the culture and ministry here. We are grateful to him for his willlingness to come and to carry out his ministry here, and for his community in sending him to us. Fr. Carlos is a member of the Society of the Divine Word.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Visit to Marian Centre

Recently I visited Marian Centre Madonna House Apostolate to pray Evening Prayer with them and join them for supper. Marian Centre opened in 1966 in response to an invitation by Archbishop Michael O'Neill that Madonna House Apostolate come to Regina to serve the transient and downtown men. You can learn more about this community at their web site

There are five members of the Madonna House Apostolate at the Marian Centre: David Gusman; Director, Nancy Toping, Fr. Paul, Trudy Moessner, Doreen Dykers and Marg Stobie.

Marian Centre is on Halifax Street and is a warm and inviting environment. Madonna House Apostolate was founded in 1947 by Catherine Doherty and her husband, Eddie Doherty, today the community has more than 200 lay men, women, and priests, dedicated to loving and serving Christ through promises of poverty, chastity, and obedience. (And, in addition to staff priests, there are more than 125 associate priests, bishops and permanent deacons who strive to live the spirit of Madonna House in their home dioceses or wherever they are serving.)

This icon of St. Nicholas at Marian Centre is a bit different from the pictures of "St. Nick" that abound at this time of year. St. Nicholas was a heroic reminder of the generosity and love that God has for all of us, particularly those in difficulty.

I hope to visit the Centre again in January to help out with one of the meals that are regularly provided to the men of the area. Marian Centre provides meals and used clothing for men in need. The community witnesses to a spirit of simplicity and poverty. But most of all, they offer friendship and warm hospitality to all who enter. There is no charge for meals, no question asked, no judgement made. We hear the echoes of Jesus' words: "Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest."

Home Catechetics Program

I have been away visiting my mother and my family before Christmas. With the weather being so unpredictable and taking into account my need to be in Regina over the Christmas and New Year's season, I decided to make my "Christmas Visit" home to see my family before Christmas this year. But before I left there were some interesting events.

The first of these was a lunch with the Facilitators for the Home Catechism Program in the Archdiocese. This program helps families whose children are not in Catholic Schools to teach the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Faith to their children throughout the diocese. A program is provided for the families and the work done is supervised and corrected by these facilitators. This program was originated in the archdiocese by the Sisters of Service.

In this picture along with Sr. Anastasia Young, Director of Pastoral Services, on the far right and Jo-Ann Selinger of the archdiocesan Secretarial Services are Eleanor Pletz, Joan Dalrymple and Penny Forrest. Missing from the picture is a fourth facilitator, Marmy Wagner.

The need to make sure that our children and young people know the teachings of their Church and the practices of their faith is a demanding and important one in our Church today. To know Jesus and his words are light and life to all who believe in Him. We want this blessing for our children.

We are very grateful for the generosity of our volunteers and their work for the wellbeing of our children and youth. We remember Jesus' words: "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for to such as these belongs the Kindgom of Heaven."

Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Recently I had to pleasure to meet Sr. Esberta Nicampo Pugong, SIHM and welcome her to the Archdiocese for an introductory visit.

Sister Esbert belongs to a Phillippine community whose origins are in the Cordillera region of the Phillippines where there are numerous indigenous tribes. She is in our diocese to see if her community could establish itself here and perhaps build on its history and experience of working with indigenous peoples to help in the work of ministering to the Aboriginal Catholics in our archdiocese.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Catholic Family Services and its New Home

Thursday past Catholic Family Services celebrated the Grand Opening of its new facilities at 974 Albert Street in Regina. There was a very good crowd in attendance and its new location provides them with very bright and cheerful surroundings.

We asked God's blessing on the building and on the staff and all who would come to Catholic Family Services seeking health and wholeness in their lives and those of their families. I was assisted in these prayers of blessing by Deacon Joe Lang and Fr. Richard Jasiak, Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Representative of the Archdiocese on the Board of Directors.

In the middle is Fr. Gary Kuntz, clinical supervisor, counsellor and consultant at Catholic Family Services.

After the Blessing of the whole facility, the Executive Director, David Sax cut the ribbon officially opening the new facility. Beside him is Marueen Dumonceau the president of Board of Directors.

And of course afterwards there was a lunch and a few speeches. Here we see Councillor Mike O'Donnell giving words of congratulations and encouragement on behalf of the City of Regina.

"CFSS exists to assist families and individuals to utilize their capacities and strengths to grow toward enhanced well-being and preserve the integrity of their relationships, foremost their family. The agency recognizes the family as central in the healthy development of its members and is committed to advancing the strengths of families through its various programs. Our focus is on building healthy relationships."

You can get a full idea of their operation and services on their web-site

It is a blessing to have this organization to help people deal with challenging situations in a way that brings a fuller and happier life to families today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regina Catholic Schools, Board/Clergy liaison Committee

On Wednesday of this past week I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the Regina Catholic Schools Board/Clergy Liaison Committee at the Board Office. On behalf of the Archdiocese, Msgr Ken Miller, Fr. Gary Kuntz, Fr. Brad Fahlman and Fr. Steve Bill sit on this committee with members of the Board of Regina Catholic Schools.

To my left in the picture is Rob Bresciani, Chair of the Regina Catholic School Board and next to him is Rob Currie, the Director of Education.

Widening the scope a little bit, to Rob's right is Paul Malone, Donna Ziegler, E J Adams and Msgr. Ken Miller.

This is a better picture of EJ Adams and Msgr Miller, Vicar General for the Archdiocese. To his left is Fr. Gary Kuntz and Fr. Brad Fahlman. We are blessed with both committed Board members as well as committed priests who share the vision of Catholic Education and who understand the value of the presence of members of the clergy to our children and youth in the Catholic Schools.

Miles Meyers, the Coordinator of Catholic Education Services is on the left. To his right is Fr. Steve Bill, Pastor of Resurrection Parish, then Gerald Kleisinger, Rick Turchenek and Vicky Bonnell, Deputy Chair. This committee works to deepen the relationship between Regina Catholic Schools and the priests and parish ministers whose parishes are home to Catholic Schools. The strong and supportive triangular bond of school, home and parish is a valuable and productive relationship in the education of our children.
I am particular grateful for all our pastors who have Catholic Schools in their parishes and who set aside time to be present in a regular way to the children and young people who attend Catholic Schools. This is a special way of affirming that Christ is present to each and everyone of our students and their teachers.

A Visit to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and their residents.

I recently was invited to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary to celebrate the Eucharist with them in anticipation of the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. They have a lovely residence with a chapel on Pells Drive.
Sr. ReAnne Letourneau led the music for the Mass.

And here are the other sisters who live at the residence: Sr. Mariette Bilodeau, SWr Emma Rousseau and Sr. Cynthia Lewans.

Part of the Sisters' work is to provide residence accommodations to young women attending university in Regina. We had a wonderful meal together and I had the pleasure of meeting the three university students who are seen here at the table with us.

From WYD 08 to World Youth Day 2011

Last Sunday we had a reunion meeting of those of us who went to Australia last July to take part in World Youth Day 2008. We were meeting to plan our diocese's participation in the next World Youth Day which will take place in Madrid, Spain in 2011. Here's a bit of our experience in Australia as pilgrims to WYD 08.

There were six of us who went as the diocesan component of this huge, international pilgrimage. The six of us are pictured below outside of the parish church in Taree, north of Sydney, where we spent the "Days in the Diocese" portion of our pilgrimage.

Along with me there were Robert Twa, Fr. Danilo Rafael, Harmony Langraff, Melanie Giambattista and Kristen Schneider.

But we were part of a much larger group, having joined the pilgrims from Prince Albert Diocese.

Among the many things that a World Youth Day expierience involves, it is fundamentally a pilgrimage, a spiritual event in which we celebrate our Christian faith as Catholic people. So we were in many places of prayer, from the Cathedral in Brisbane,
To a small chapel in Lamington Rain Forest National Park,

to our parish church in Taree, in the Diocese of Maitland - Newcastle, north of Sydney
to a world wide outdoor gathering of the youth of the world with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

We met all sorts of great people like these three from our group.

in all sorts of experiences

meeting all sorts of creatures such as this Koala bear

even walking on the top of the Rain Forest.

Experiencing different cultures. The Australian Aboriginals were very much evident throughout all the activities of World Youth Day.

I had the opportunity to renew aquaintances with bishops I had met previously. On the right is Bishop Gianfranco Todesco, the Bishop of Malfi in Italy who is standing with Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney and the host to the world for WYD 08.

The most impressive part of the whole WYD experience were these people and the hundreds of thousands like them who came from all over the world to pray with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, to celebrate the Eucharist with him and to hear his words of instruction and guidance.

And now we are preparing for the next World Youth Day which will be held in Madrid, Spain.

I would hope that we can have at least 100 young people, if not 200! from our diocese take part in this wonderful faith experience.

Information will be coming out shortly from the Youth Ministry Office of the Archdiocese and information meetings will be held soon. Until then, "via con Dios, amigos."