Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran
Greetings and blessings from God!
How was your week? I hope things are going well with all of you. Well St. Patrick's celebrations were last weekend and this weekend. I hope you all are having a wonderful time at the St. Patrick's Day festivities. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of the Irish, and Happy St. Joseph's Day to all of the Italians too. I'm sure many of you will go to the St. Joseph's Day celebrations this weekend. Even though I am not Irish, I got two fresh cabbages already and quite a few cookies and lucky beans. Hallelujah to St. Joseph. I will save it and wait for my luck to come in. We have some new recipes to cook cabbage with shrimp or pork chops. I know Fr. Vinh will really enjoy it. Did you know that cabbage is good for your digestive system?
Last Friday, a week ago, the Men's Club held their first fish fry. Bravo! It was a huge success and thank God for the good weather that evening. The MAC was packed with people and thank God we did not have to wait in a long line because the Men's Club really knew how to manage the crowd. There were a lot of take-out orders. I heard several compliments from those who came that said the food was outstanding and plentiful. At the end of the evening I heard they had sold over 400 tickets. Well, next Friday will be the second fish fry, so mark your calendars - March 24th at 5:00p.m. The last fish fry will be on Friday, April 7th with a family BINGO. Make sure you carry a little extra change with you for the last fish fry because we will have the family BINGO and a 50/50. Let us pray for good weather so that we can have one more successful dinner. Above all it made me very happy to see that at the fish fry there were many new young couples with their children.
Last Saturday at 4:00pm Mass we had Confirmation for our 11th grade parishioners and Bishop Cheri was the presider. Boy, I can tell you that he brought a fire to our parish. His singing, his motivation and his spirit was so uplifting, it made all of us who attended the ceremony feel the same way. I was so happy to see him again after his operation. He lost 71 pounds. First we were worried that he may not be able to make it, but the day before I saw him at my former pastor's funeral, boy he looked good and was ready to go. After the ceremony we had lunch together in the rectory. Thank you to the Altar Society for cooking the most outstanding dish for the Bishop and my fellow priests and deacons. Of course Bishop, after his recovery he really enjoyed ALL of the cuisine, especially the dessert. He took two pieces of the cake and said he shouldn't have it but he could not resist temptation. Thank you to all of you who made this Confirmation event so meaningful for the children and for the parish, especially Kelly Wilbert, our CCD Coordinator, bravo, job well done!
Oops, I almost forgot to share the good news with you that our beloved Archbishop John Favalora is returning home in about a week and will begin to say Mass for us. So for those who don't know him, please come and introduce yourself and welcome him back home again. As you may know Archbishop Favalora's family is from our parish, so twice a year he returns to his childhood home to be at the place where he grew up.
I want to remind you that for those who want to attend Confessions in preparation for Easter, all of the churches throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans will have priests available for Confessions on Wednesday, March 22, March 29th and April 5th from 5-6:30pm. If you do not want to come to St. Agnes, you can go to any church throughout the Archdiocese to have your confession heard. It is a good time for each one of us to recheck our morals, our soul and have a healthy spirit. Besides Confessions, we also have our annual Lenten Mission in our parish which will begin on Sunday April 2 and run through Tuesday, April 4th. This year we are so lucky to have Fr. Tom Donaldson, a Redemptorist priest from Chicago. So please mark your calendar and try the best you can to attend the Mission because it is for everyone in the parish. Even if you cannot attend all days of the Mission, try to attend at least one.
On Wednesday, March 29th our CCD program will hold its First Reconciliation for our children who are going to receive their First Communion on Sunday, May 7th. Of course their retreat in preparation for this sacrament will be on Saturday morning, March 25th beginning at 8:15am. Please keep them in your prayers so that they will be well prepared and know what the sacraments are all about.
Well, that's all for this week. In the meantime, with the nice weather, we are blessed, just be happy, be healthy, be kind, and be generous and keep smiling. Remember that smiling and laughing keeps you young and takes away your stress and grumpiness everyday! What goes around comes around, you get what you give out, so you better give out good if you want to receive good. And of course, I know that we all want to receive good things. God Bless.