by Br. Daryl Charron, C.PP.S.
“La mot nguoi dam chap nhan chet di y rieng cua minh de chi cong ly va thanh thien. He thirsts after justice and sanctity.” These words of Fr. Nhan Bui were inspiring as we celebrated the Feast of St. Gaspar at Xavier Mission House with a bilingual Mass. Fr. Nhan preached a homily focusing on bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives and letting the oppressed go free. He talked about St. Gaspar serving the poor in his early years by bringing them food and serving those in the hospital. As formation director in the Vietnam Mission, Fr. Nhan has been teaching the candidates in formation about using common sense in ministry. He mentioned in his homily that he thought St. Gaspar had 100% common sense when he was doing his ministry and he encouraged all of us to use common sense in our ministries. Justice and peace ministry especially needs a common sense approach.
One of our guests at our gathering was Sr. Thi Mai Nguyen, ASC from Korea. She is from Vietnam originally and now does ministry with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Korea. She was here visiting family in Vietnam for vacation and brought her brother and two nieces with her to our celebration. We were grateful that she shared with us some of her experiences of ministry with Vietnamese women who are in abusive relationships with Korean men who coerced them into marrying them. This is a growing problem of which many people are not fully aware. Sr. Nguyen was able to enlighten us with her knowledge of the subject. May we all pray for the end of the exploitation of these women and for her ministry.
Sr. Hang Pham, ASC was also a guest at Xavier Mission House in celebration of the feast day. It was a joyous occasion as we filled our chapel and blessed our new icons of St. Francis Xavier and Vietnamese Martyrs which will now hang on our walls. This was a good opportunity to build community. Since I returned from the Major Superiors Meeting in Rome, we have been discussing the challenge of the General Curia to build community in our units across the world. We have been exploring and recognizing the different cultural contexts and understandings and praxis of living in community. Together we are identifying some unifying values and concepts in the Vietnam Mission as we strive to live our charisms. Pursuing a path of renewal of community life within our own cultural context has been exciting. I have been enjoying Vietnamese hospitality in all its warmth and care.