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Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greetings and blessings from God!

How was your week? I hope things are going well with all of you, and I hope you had a wonderful time at the St. Patrick’s Day events. Once again, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the Irish, and Happy St. Joseph’s Day to all of the Italians. Yes, I, Fr. Vinh and Fr. Tom did get some blessings and gifts from last weekend’s St. Patrick’s parade. Three huge cabbages from Sabrina. Yes, I know how to cook them, and Fr. Vinh will really enjoy them after they are cooked. Cabbage is very good for your digestive system. It was so wonderful to see Italians and Irish in harmony and unity now. Man we’ve come a long way between the Italians and the Irish. As sometimes I would watch the Golden Girls, and the Mom on Golden Girls, Sophia, she would speak about the good old days when she was dating an Irish man, while her parents did not want her dating anyone ’outside the village.’ Just a few decades ago it was a huge curse for Italians and Irish to date one another. Time changed, society changed and we changed too, just like the seasons of the year. Sometimes it’s rough, sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s short and sometimes it’s longer. And boy the winter this year is really, really long. Please pray for those up north and northeast who are still suffering with this weather where here is no power, no heat and some could not get back to their homes yet after a week.

Last Friday, a week ago, the Men’s Club held their second fish fry. Well, it was another success, even bigger than the first one. Bravo to all of the Men who make this possible. Mark your calendars for next Friday, March 23rd which will be the last fish fry. Make sure you come with a little extra change so that you can enjoy the family BINGO that evening. Good luck to all of you. Lady luck may come to you this time. Like anything else in life, you have to take a chance, otherwise you cannot win. On Wednesday, March 28th our CCD children will hold its First Reconciliation for our children who are going to receive their First Communion on Sunday, May 6th. This year we have 10 students. Please keep them in your prayers so that they will be well prepared and know what the sacraments are all about.

Next weekend is Palm Sunday weekend. If you would like to donate palms for the ceremony, please bring them over to the back of the church next to the rectory office before Thursday, March 22nd so that Pedro can clean them. Due to the weather, we know that many palms have been burned, but we will use whatever green palms you have leftover. On Palm Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Mass we will have the blessing of the palms outside of church and process in. I hope that many of you will try the best you can to attend this special ceremony held only once a year.

Well Spring has finally arrived because my Cherry Blossoms in my garden have started blooming beautifully already. Due to the cold weather a few weeks ago, I thought they were completely dead. But I prayed and guess what, they finally recovered and gave me just a few flowers. It still looks good. As you may know, Asian families, especially the Vietnamese and Chinese people love to grow Cherry Blossoms so that every year when Spring comes, we can enjoy the beauty of the flowers. Besides the beautiful flowers, there is a little custom, for those who don’t know, especially for the Chinese people of the south. Whenever the couple has a daughter, on the first birthday, they grow a cherry blossom tree inside of the fence, and every year they try to grow and cultivate it so that around 16 or 17 years later the tree would be higher than the fence, and everyone who passes by would see it. Indirectly, it is the secret to reveal that their daughter is available for marriage. Well, now you know a little Chinese tradition. Remember, years ago there was no technology whatsoever, so that was the best way to notify the single males. Well, as you may know, I am a priest, and I grow a cherry blossom, but I don’t have a daughter, so single gentlemen, don’t come and knock on my rectory door and ask for my “daughter’s” hand, unless you are Mr. Bill Gates, or the founder of Amazon.com, then I will try to find a daughter for you.

This weekend begins our Lenten Mission, and as you can see from last weekend’s bulletin, we have daily topics for our mission. We welcome Fr. Simeon Gallagher. Please remember, if you want to have a private session with Fr. Gallagher for counseling or confession, call ahead of time so that we can make arrangements that are convenient for you and for him. Remember that this Mission is a 4-day Mission. Due to his busy schedule and previous commitments, Fr. Gallagher was very hard to book. We booked him three years ago! So, please make every effort to attend the mission. Bring your family members and your neighbors, even if they are not Catholic. There is something that we all can learn to grow in our faith.

As we come into the Holy Week, the Masses and services this Holy Week are published in this bulletin. I highly recommend all of you to try to attend these services, even though it is not a holy day of obligation. On Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, please remember there are NO MORNING MASSES. Instead we have the Masses and services in the evening. Holy Thursday is at 7:00pm, Good Friday is at 3:00pm and Holy Saturday Easter Vigil is at 7:59pm. By the way the office will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Like many of you, I am not so happy about it, but what can I do, we have to follow the Archdiocese of New Orleans Holy Day schedule. What is written, is written. I am just a little Pastor in this big holy parish, a servant of all servants. I cannot change anything, so help me to bear with it. Well, that’s all for this week. Be happy, be healthy, be kind, and be generous, and learn the joy of gift giving, and keep smiling. Remember that smiling, laughing and giving, keeps you young and takes away your stress and grumpiness everyday! Get ready for Holy Week with a positive attitude! God Bless.

Fr. Bac-Hai