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

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greeting you with love and blessings from God.

How was your week and your Mardi Gras holidays? I hope things are going well with you and your family. And yes, regardless of the cold weather we were having, everyone seemed to enjoy Mardi Gras with a lot of sunshine from the morning until late at night. Everywhere you went on Fat Tuesday, it was so quiet. Most of the places around the city were closed for the holidays except for a few opened restaurants. They did not have too many patrons until around 6:30pm. Suddenly everywhere was loaded with hungry people who were coming back from the parades. I went to get some Popeye's fried chicken next door and I had to wait for 35 minutes. Everybody wanted to get large orders of fried chicken. That’s why we have to learn to be patient. Even I had a connection with one of our altar servers who was working behind the counter, but we just raised our hands and said “hello” and that’s it. There was no quick service because I had a connection. I just had to be patient.

Well finally, we can say bye-bye and so long to our heavy coats and sweaters. We may get cold again, but not freezing weather anymore. Well this year we had a long, long cold winter. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the nice Spring weather of 2019, cool, breezy, sunshine and colorful with the fresh flowers in the air. I was so happy to see a few of my cherry blossom flowers just starting to bloom. And yes, I checked on my grapefruit and lemon trees, some buds are waiting for the warm weather to bloom. I definitely will have lemons and grapefruit this year, halleluiah, thank God! Last year we did not have one single grapefruit or lemon. If we have many lemons and grapefruit I may have to have a farmer’s market right in the parking lot to have a fundraiser for church and the rectory.

Well, you may think that we are finished with the celebrations and parades, but hold your breath. This weekend there are tons of celebrations and parades to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you are Irish or not, make sure that you wear green this Sunday to make the Irish heritage happy. Honestly, after almost over 200 years in America, I don’t think that there are too many 100% pure Irish anymore. Watching the PBS channel on the story of DNA’s, I learned many lessons. You would not believe that just recently one of the actresses with mixed race parents had a direct connection to the Queen in London today. And a well known movie actor found out that his ancestor was an executioner. Oh my, he cried. And looking back into my own heritage, I cannot say that I am a pure, pure Vietnamese. My ancestors were definitely from somewhere in China. It could be connected with the Qui Emperor or the last Empress of China, Tu Hi. It’s tougher for Asians to search for their ancestors, because after four generations there are no records whatsoever.

Well, we talked about St. Patrick’s Day, but we must also remember St. Joseph’s Day this Tuesday. This is the day that we all become Italian. In keeping with tradition on this day in our Archdiocese there are many parishes who will have a St. Joseph’s Altar to honor this Holy man and at the same time to feed the hungry. So, if you don’t know where to go, you can go on Google, the Archdiocese website, or last weekend’s Clarion Herald, and look for the St. Joseph Altar locations. You can enjoy the food they offer and don’t forget to get the cookies, and above all, the lucky bean. Just pray and hope for good weather. St. Joseph and St. Patrick pray for us!

Last Friday, the St. Agnes Men’s Club held their first Lenten season seafood dinner. At the time of dictation of this bulletin, we don’t know how it turned out, but I think it would be wonderful with the weather. Spring has definitely arrived. Well thanks to the St. Agnes Men’s Club and those spreading the news about the fish fry. And as you know, St. Agnes Men’s Club puts a lot of hard work and thought into their ministry. Sorry with inflation going on the price of the donation had to increase a little to $12.00 a plate, but I guarantee that there will be plenty of seafood on the plate to satisfy your hunger. The next two fish fry dates are Friday, March 29th and Friday, April 12th. And remember the last fish fry on April 12th there will also be a Bingo. So mark your calendars and plan ahead to be at the next two dinners. By the way when you are there don’t forget to stop at the dessert table to get some homemade desserts and help support the CYO. St. Agnes Men’s Club is not just a social club, but they very seriously carry on the ministry for the church. So we are asking that all of the men in our parish, if you have not yet been involved in any ministry, this is the one for you. They only meet once a month, and the meeting lasts about an hour, and that includes a meal, libations and social conversations regarding the happenings of today such as sports, community, religion, etc. So it’s a win-win for everybody.

Recently someone asked me about whether I knew if there was a 24-hour Catholic radio station because they wanted to listen to it. I am so glad to let you know that yes we do. Channel 069AM, EWTN will broadcast 24 hours a day with news, music and a lot of information and updates about the goings on in and around the church worldwide. So if you want to listen to it, just go to channel 069AM on your radio. Yes, they do have Christian music too.

Just in case you forgot, I just want to inform you again that in our Archdiocese there is a Substance Abuse Ministry (SAM) Center which will help those who are suffering with any type of addiction. So if you or anyone in your family needs help, please contact the Archdiocese Catholic Charities Office Substance Abuse Line at (504) 834-4357 or 1-800-749-7444.

Last but not least I need to share with you something that happened about a week ago. As I watched the ABC evening news, there was a story about a lucky man who hit a big lottery jackpot of $227,500,000.00. It’s not about him winning the lottery, but the way he won. It was a good lesson. The man who purchased 5 tickets in New Jersey forgot it on the store counter and walked away. When he got home he knew that he lost it, but he never intended to look for it or thought he would get it back. But then there was an honest person who saw the ticket on the counter and handed it over to the owner of the store, and the owner who knew who bought it called him and returned the ticket to the rightful purchaser. To me this man had double luck. And this is a good lesson about honesty, that there are still a lot of good people in our society today who are honest and decent. If God intends to give it to you, then no one can take it from you. The day he received the ticket, he still could not identify the first person who returned the ticket so that he could reward them. So whoever it is, please come out and receive your reward. Well that’s enough for this week, be happy, be healthy, be lucky, be kind to one another and be willing to share what you have with those who are less fortunate. Trust me you can find the joy in giving and the rewards in sharing. God Bless.

Fr. Bac-Hai