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  Site Last Updated: May 18, 2018
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Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greetings and blessings from God!

Greeting you with Love and blessings from God. How was your week? What’s up? I hope things are going well with you and your family. Can you believe that we are in the third week of May already?! Summertime has not arrived yet, but you can feel the heat beginning to warm us up already, especially from Noon to 4:00pm daily. Last Sunday I went to a graduation luncheon in New Orleans East. I parked my car on the street, and boy an hour an a half later I came out and opened the car to get ready to come back home, Gee! it was like a hot oven. It was HOT! I had to roll down all of the windows and let the air come into the car for a few minutes before I could start on the road again. Well, actually we are not doing so bad with our weather compared to other places. Look at the weather that was predicted for the entire week, we are in averaging temperatures of 86 to 90 degrees, up and down everyday. The good thing is it really cools down when the sun goes down.

May is a busy month for the church and also especially for the priests everywhere. It seems that everything falls into May. There’s First Communion, Mother’s Day, Confirmation, Graduation, Deaconate Ordinations, teacher and volunteer appreciation, Weddings, Wedding anniversaries, priest ordination anniversaries, etc., etc., etc. So far, as of now I have received almost 25 invitations for all of these special events. I went to some and I missed some. Sorry for those I missed because I can’t be everywhere at the same time. I believe that I am not alone as many of you are probably in the same situation. I am sure that many of them wouldn’t mind or complain, all you have to do is just write a check (if you can afford it) along with a card and they will be happy. Boy, let’s talk about proms and graduations today. It has become a phenomenon! Yes, it is getting bigger and bigger every year as I am getting older. In the Times Picayune last Sunday there were pictures, and a report about a High School Prom. All of the boys were in Tuxedos and the girls were in their long gowns. From the pictures it looks like they had a good time, but surely it was not cheap! I remember in Vietnam after the graduation, it didn’t matter what kind of diploma you got, there was no celebration, you went straight home. After they announced your name and handed you your diploma, that was it! We did not have that tradition of proms or parties in Vietnam. So no one complained and surely it was cheaper than the celebrations they have here today. You may remember around this time last year, that I mentioned to you in my pastor comment, I and Fr. Vinh went to Bravo’s for supper one evening for a special occasion, and we saw about 30 high school couples who were having dinner before their prom. They were dropped off by two limousines. I wish my parents were still alive to witness what I missed in my younger days. To make me feel better, all I can say is that it is good for the economy, and well, time changes, society changes, and we change too, cest la vie.

Last Sunday our CCD program ended. The kids held their closing ceremony in the MAC. We plan to have a teacher appreciation dinner this coming Tuesday. On behalf of the parish I would like to thank Kelly Wilbert, our CCD Coordinator and all of the teachers and helpers who were willing to sacrifice and give of their time and talent to educate our children about faith. Above all, thanks to all of the parents and grandparents and guardians who participated in nurturing your children about their faith in God. You are not only paying attention to their body, but also to their souls and spirit.

This Sunday coming is Pentecost Sunday. This Sunday also marks the closing of the Easter Season for 2018. Now we will begin the Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Cycle B. As we begin Cycle B most of the Gospel this year you will be taken from St. Mark’s Gospel, except on the feast day and special occasions. Oops, I forgot to mention some good news, Cisco Air Conditioning company finally completed the air conditioning system at our school building. It took a while for them to do it because they had to work around JCFA’s schedule. We are waiting for the inspectors from the Archdiocese to come and give a final inspection before we pay off the bill. Of course as I mentioned to you previously, JCFA renewed their lease for another three years.

Last Sunday on the CBS’ 60 Minutes, there was a special segment about Pope Francis. It was the first time the Pope ever appeared on American TV in this type of setting. It was so interesting. For almost 22 minutes the Pope allowed an interviewer to ask him some tough questions about the Church today. I was so fascinated about the way he answered. It was simple and direct, and to the point that everyone could understand. I remember one of the questions they asked him was “Why God allowed children to suffer”? The Holy Father paused for a moment and looked directly into the camera and said, “I don’t know, I don’t have the answer.” He said that, “Why did God allow his only Son to suffer and die on the cross, when he could do other work?” Then he talked about liberty and free will choice. Free will choice is a precious gift from God to give to human beings. To do otherwise in any way is interfering with this gift. And God does not ever want that and we surely don’t want that either. God created us in his own image when he gave us a free will choice with instructions and he allowed us to use it wisely. Free will choice always goes with consequences and responsibility. God is not interfering. In closing his interview, he said that everyday after he says his daily prayers he always asks God for a sense of humor, because life has to be joyful, happy and be able to laugh about things going on. Well that’s enough for this week. Learn from the Holy Father so that you can have a smile on your face, regardless of whatever happens. May God bless you and your loved ones, and as I always say, be healthy, be happy, be merry, be cheerful, and keep smiling. It makes you younger, healthier, happier, and those around will feel the same too. God bless!

Fr. Bac-Hai