Two Members of Vietnam Mission Ordained Deacons in Rome

by Fr. Garry Richmeier, C.PP.S., Kansas City Provincial Director

The Kansas City Province and Vietnam Mission are pleased to announce the diaconate ordination of Paul Hao Pham and Vincent Hoa Vu Thai of the Vietnam Mission. The ordinations took place on November 10, 2019, at Corpo e Sangue di Cristo Church in Via Narni, Italy. Bishop Gianpiero Palmieri, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rome ordained Hao and Hoa.

Paul Hao Pham Xuan Anh studied language and law at university and worked for Sanyo Electric Company prior to joining the Missionaries of the Precious Blood Vietnam Mission in 2009. He graduated with a degree in theology from the Dominican Center in 2017. Currently, he serves as the co-director of the Vocation Team for the mission and serves in ministry at Tan Thanh Parish.

Vincent Vu Thai Hoa is originally from Dong Nai Province in Vietnam. He was a music teacher prior to beginning his studies in theology at the Dominican School. In July of this year, he was appointed as local director of Than Thanh Mission and codirector of the Vocation Team. He also serves as the treasurer of the Vietnam Mission.

On behalf of the Kansas City Provincial Council, I sincerely request all in the Precious Blood community to remember Hao and Hoa in prayer. May the blood of Christ continue to bless them in their faith journey.

Celebration of the Feast of St. Gaspar in Vietnam Mission

by Fr. Dien Truong, C.PP.S.

On the Feast of St. Gaspar, members of the Vietnam Mission, ASC members, local diocesan priests, candidates, and friends gathered together in our mission of Tan Thanh (about 100 miles away from Xavier House) to celebrate the Mass and have a dinner party following.

At this event, I’ve learned that our members and candidates have developed their friendships quickly. It gives us opportunities to expand our mission by establishing the very first group of Companions or working in ministries where we find the most need of renewal and the spirituality of the Precious Blood, which has never been known.

If the dream of St. Gaspar was to have a thousand tongues to proclaim the blood of the Lord, today, we need a thousand hands to serve those who thirst and hunger for God’s love.

Community Connections

by Denise Murrow, Director of Precious Blood Resource Services

On October 25, 2019, Community Connections Coalition held a resource fair at the Good Samaritan Center in Excelsior Springs for those in need. Precious Blood Resource Services(PBRS) was one of twenty other service providers who participated in the fair. Those who attended were assigned a companion to walk with them as they visited with the service providers that could meet their needs in the areas of housing, mental health, physical health, employment, and many other services. Attendees were able to pick out any clothing that they needed. Free haircuts were given, and lunch was provided by the culinary school at Excelsior Springs Job Corps. One woman and her husband who attended was very excited about the fair. She stated that she and her husband were homeless and walked all the way from Texas and came to Excelsior Springs. She said that a few agencies who were at the fair, including Good Samaritan Center, helped them with resources such as clothes, food, emergency assistance, and moral support. Now they both have jobs and a home to live in. Overall, the fair was able to help 78 people from 30 households.

The coalition holds this resource fair twice a year and is hosted by the Good Samaritan Center who provides emergency financial assistance, a food pantry, clothing, senior services, and special programs. Transportation has always been a major issue in the rural areas of Missouri such as Excelsior Springs. These fairs allow those who are low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless in Excelsior Springs to have access to services without having to travel long distances to get to agencies that can assist them.

Companion Retreat at Saint Charles

Companions and members gathering at Saint Charles the weekend of October 26 / 27, 2019 for their retreat led this year by Fr. Tim McFarland, C.PP.S. Fr. Tim led the group in a thought provoking and at times energetic conversation about how to discern their role in the New Creation. At Mass on Sunday four Companions made their first covenants with the community: Chris and Ruth Bodyke from the Marywood Companions, Josie Santos from the Columbus Companions and Greg Kulas from the Whiting Companions. In addition, 25 Companions renewed their covenants with the community. Thanks to the community of Saint Charles for their warm and welcoming hospitality.

 

Precious Blood Ministries Team up to Support Parents

by Dennis Coday, Director of Program Development, PBRC

Precious Blood Resource Services and Precious Blood Renewal Center are teaming up to help people faced with the challenges (and joys!) of raising children.

The two provincial ministries will be hosting Parent Cafes that are open to anyone who has the responsibility of raising children: parents, grandparents, foster parents, aunts and uncles, even older siblings.

Participants are being recruited through community channels, local school districts, and social service agencies in the Liberty-Kansas City north area. At the Parent Café, they join in a series of structured, small-group conversations that promote peer-to-peer learning and deep self-reflection.

The small-group conversations are facilitated by leaders who have been trained in the Parent Café protocol and procedures. Childcare is provided, so participants can fully join in the discussions. A meal is also available for families to share before the program begins.

The first Café at Precious Blood Renewal Center is Nov. 5, 12 and 19. Other cafes will be scheduled in the winter and spring.

The idea of the café is not to dispense parenting advice, but to promote networking and sharing among new and experienced parents so that solutions can be found in the wisdom of the group, said Denise Murrow, a Precious Blood Companion and director of Precious Blood Resource Services.

Murrow learned of the Parent Café concept through her contacts in the family social services agencies in the area and thought hosting a café at Precious Blood Renewal Center would be an ideal set up.

Precious Blood Resource Services is a ministry of accompaniment, Murrow said, so the idea of accompanying people who raise children through the Parent Café seemed an ideal project to adopt. And the Renewal Center – with its large, beautiful gathering space and kitchen facilities — seemed an ideal place to host a café.

“It’s a way for our two ministries to build bonds in the community, with other social service agencies and with individuals in the community,” Murrow said. “Isn’t that what the New Creation is about?” she asked. “All of us collaborating together?”

Murrow brought the idea to the Renewal Center team, who embraced it with enthusiasm.

“It’s a perfect fit for the mission of the Renewal Center,” explained Lucia Ferrara, Hospitality Director of Precious Blood Renewal Center. “We say we are a safe and sacred place for healing and reconciliation. [The Parent Café] will be for the parents a safe place to express their ideas, concerns and fears about parenting.”

“They also know that what they say here, stays here. And they know [what they say here] will be accepted,” Ferrara said, “When they leave, they will leave with a renewed spirit because of solidarity with other parents who have gone through the same things.”

“We want families, parents, grandparents to feel welcomed. We want the community to come together for the good of the kids,” said Ferrara, who has completed training to host the café and facilitate table discussions.

Companion Mary George has also completed the Parent Café training and will be working with Murrow and Ferrara to host the cafes at the Renewal Center. “When Denise came to me with the information about Parent Café I felt a calling to ‘Step out, Stand up and Speak clearly about the Precious Blood of Jesus,’ which, as you know, is part of our Companion Vision Statement,” George said.

“Being a part of Parent Café is a way for me to bring hope and renewal to families in my community,” she said.

Ferrara also has a personal reason for welcoming the Parent Cafes. She and her husband, Michael, fostered children in their home for several years. “At that time, we weren’t given any resources that could have helped us out,” she said. Sometimes, they felt isolated and on their own.

“I wanted to be part of something that helps parents be aware that others are going through similar things,” Ferrara said. “Every family has its own set of challenges, but [the Parent Café] lets people know they aren’t alone in the experience of raising children.”

George, too, brings past experience to the Parent Café. “I was a Stephen Minister for several years at St. James–Liberty and learned to walk with people who were dealing with difficult life situations,” she said. “A major part of the walk was listening and not judging, which are two of the Parent Café Agreements that are explained at the beginning of each Café.”

Ferrara also likes how the cafes are structured. “We’re not telling people what to do or how to be good parents.”

The Parent Café, she said, “draws on the wisdom that is found in all of us. Finding that wisdom and being able to share it with others — sharing in each other’s wisdom — that’s how the café works.”

Details about the Parent Café can be found here.

If you know someone who might be interested in attending the café, direct them to this webpage to register or to get more information.

If you are interested in a volunteer opportunity with the café, contact Murrow or Ferrara.

The project is supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Saint Gaspar Celebration in Missouri

Members and Companions gathered at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Saint Joseph to celebrate the feast of Saint Gaspar on Sunday, October 27. During a prayer service Jeanne Keck, Dee Baker, TR Lee and Ed Franz from the Liberty Companions made their first covenants with the Precious Blood community yesterday at our St. Gaspar feast day celebration. Congratulations also to St. Joseph Companion Cayetana Maristela who renewed her covenant. The Saint Joseph Companions as well as Fr. Joe, Fr. Bill and Fr. Lac offered wonderful hospitality for this special day.