Twelve members of the Kansas City Province met with the Moderator General of the Society of the Precious Blood, Father William Nordenbrock, at Precious Blood Center June 5-7, 2014 to participate in an Appreciative Discernment process for the Vietnam Mission. All six members of the Vietnam Mission—Lac Pham, director of the Mission, Dien Truong, Nhan Bui, Tam Minh Hoang, Loi Huu Nguyen, and Truc Minh Vu—were present. They were joined by three members of the Leadership Team (Joe Nassal, Richard Bayuk, and Jim Betzen), and three members who have been to Vietnam and have been engaged in formation ministry, Joe Bathke, Timothy Guthridge, and Daryl Charron.
Here is the vision discerned by the group:
VIETNAM MISSION OF THE KANSAS CITY PROVINCE
MISSIONARIES OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Rooted in the spirituality of the Precious Blood, and following the example of our founder St. Gaspar, the members of the Vietnam Mission are missionary disciples. Our common life is a witness of renewal in the Church and reconciliation for the world. Sharing life in Mission Houses, we live with mutual respect and care, creating a safe place for personal growth and healing, and the nurturing of community relationships. Through the sharing of responsibility, our servant leaders call on the gifts of all the members to promote the life and the mission of the community.
We courageously embrace a mission of solidarity with and service to the poor and abandoned, the broken and marginalized, as an expression of Precious Blood spirituality and our charism of reconciliation and renewal. Committed to collaborative ministry, we work with others to fulfill our mission.
In a spirit of mutuality, our relationship with the Kansas City Province is characterized by open communication, frequent interaction, and a sharing of resources and gifts.
To implement this vision, the group discerned several provocative propositions that will guide the province and the mission for the next six years:
PROVOCATIVE PROPOSITIONS FOR THE VIETNAM MISSION
Our community life is centered in Mission Houses where we balance our spiritual and apostolic lives. In the Mission House we share life and meals, regular prayer and study, which enable and empower us for ministry. The Mission House is a safe place where we enable and encourage each other to greater faithfulness in our lives and ministry, and where we are able to personally risk the vulnerability of sharing deeply from the heart with one another. Our community relationships are a countercultural witness of mutuality, where we share the responsibility to remain in right relationship with one another. The practice and use of the Circle method facilitates this freedom of respectful dialogue.
Our Mission Houses are centers of hospitality and our members engage in the life of the local community (neighborhood). We welcome our neighbors and are responsive to their needs.
Our community makes decisions based on consensus. This shared leadership is carried out with fraternal responsibility.
The responsibilities of appointed and elected leaders are clearly defined. The leadership team consists of the mission director, vocation director, formation director, and treasurer. These leaders invite the participation of each member based on their recognized gifts, empowering them to place their gifts at the service of community life and community ministries.
SOLIDARITY IN SERVICE
Precious Blood Spirituality calls us to be in solidarity with others and to serve their needs. While we continue our urban ministerial presence, we recognize the great need of the rural poor as those that others cannot or do not serve. Our priority is to establish a Mission House in a remote area (e.g., in the Highlands) as a means of expressing our solidarity with the poor through our presence. Our initial response to their needs will be spiritual accompaniment, pastoral care to families, health outreach, educational support, and catechetical assistance in the local Church.
We respond to the needs of the local church and of the communities in which we live, by working with the dioceses in which we serve, other religious communities (including Precious Blood sisters), parish clergy and laity, social workers, medical mission teams, and ecumenical groups. Through a ministry of presence, preaching, teaching and service, we give witness to the spirituality of the Precious Blood, by going out to those on the margins as missionary disciples.