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.