Other Links

  Site Last Updated: August 4, 2018
3310 Jefferson Highway, Lousiana 70121 | Phone:(504)-833-3366/ 833-4118 | Fax:(504)-834-1532

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

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greetings and blessings from God!

Well summer vacation is almost over. In a few more days the new school year will start. On behalf of the whole parish, may I say Happy New Year to all of the school students. Best wishes to all of you for this coming school year. Study hard, make new friends, and just be patient, Christmas will be here before you know it. Surely I don’t need to remind you, right after Halloween all of the shopping malls will put up their Christmas decorations and get ready to sell all of those great Christmas gifts. From the radio and TV you will hear the Christmas music and see the Christmas specials to put you in the mood for shopping. As you may remember, just about ten years ago there was a boycott of people who complained about the Christmas music being played on TV and the radio way too early. Many TV and radio stations stopped playing the Christmas music until a few days before Christmas, and guess what, many businesses did not make any profit during that year, and quite a few of them closed. Well, they learned a good lesson. Without Christmas music, people were not in the mood to shop or feel that the spirit of the season of giving was coming. The problem right now is that they put Christmas music on too early, especially in the shopping malls right after the kids start school. Many places have already started celebrating with “Christmas in July.” A good example is even in our parish, I have to shop for Christmas decorations sometime at the end of August when Sam’s and Costco start selling their Christmas decorations. Guess what, the products only last a few weeks before they are all sold out.

Back to our parish business, as the fiscal year has already started, last Tuesday, July 31st we resumed our Finance meetings. We went over last year’s budget as well as planned the new budget for this fiscal year. Thanks to Tony Stoltz, who is our parishioner, but also serves as our CPA for St. Agnes, we are free of debt, and with your sacrifice and continued generosity we are able to pay all of our bills and assessments. On behalf of the Finance Council we thank all of you. May God return to you plenty rewards and blessings for your sacrifice and contributions to the church. Please continue to financially support your parish the best way you can. No gift is too small. Give what you have and can, God will multiply. Remember the Gospel story of the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fish!

In addition, with school getting ready to start, our CCD classes will resume soon. This weekend we begin registration for all new CCD students. So if you have children and grandchildren who are attending public schools and are wanting to receive their sacraments, please stop by the MAC and register your child. Remember all Catholic children in public schools are required to attend CCD, especially those who are receiving their First Communion and Confirmation. If you need more information, please call the rectory.

The next fundraiser for St. Agnes is the Brunch and Auction that will be held on Sunday, August 26th at 10:30am - 2:00pm. You can purchase your registration in the MAC this weekend in conjunction with Coffee & Donuts. Registration forms are located on the tables in church. The cost is $40.00 per adult and $12.95 for children ages 8-12 years old. Besides food, there is also live music. There will also be a silent auction with a variety of donated items to bid on. So please mark your calendars and don’t cook anything for breakfast or lunch that day and come to the brunch. This is the third year that we are hosting this brunch. Thanks to Corinne Hebert, who regardless of her busy schedule organizes this successful event every year.

About two weeks ago, one of our parishioners asked me “where is the best place to eat Pho in New Orleans?” I am sure that by this time many of you are familiar with what I am talking about. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. It is very tasty, very healthy and very reasonably priced. We have so many places that sell Pho in New Orleans now, and I hate to tell you that I cannot favor one over the other. Pho is very much like spaghetti or gumbo. It depends on the place where you eat it, your taste, your mood for that day and on the weather. So, it’s tough for me to recommend one particular place. Talking about Pho, I remember when my mom was still living in San Jose, after 8 years living away from her homeland, Vietnam, in 2004 we went back to visit. The first thing she said after landing at the Saigon airport was to take her to her favorite place, An Nam Pho Noodle House, which was close to where my family lived and she used to eat there years ago. She had been waiting a long, long time for it. Once we got there my mom was so happy, but after she finished eating, she looked around and said “it doesn’t taste like it used to, everything is different.” And then she began to talk about the lady who used to own that place who is no longer there, and the atmosphere of the restaurant in the past, how friendly it was, how much she missed the old place, the people she knew, and the smell of fresh mint that they used to serve which went with the Pho. To make a long story short, she was not happy.

So, as you can see things are “good or not good,” not just by itself, but someway, somehow it’s the entire personal desire. One of the Vietnamese poets who is a good friend of mine wrote “Living abroad, I see in a my tonkinoise soup, my long lost country.” “The reason why it’s called tonkinoise soup is because when we eat soup in Vietnam we have to make noise because it is so hot and spicy.” So, for some people if it is the right time and the right place and the right soup, they will see the whole country in that bowl of soup wherever they are. But for others it doesn’t matter, especially those who grew up in America. They will say “what’s the big deal, soup is soup.” So I had to say sorry to the people who asked me about a good place to eat Pho. If you already like where you eat and what you eat, it doesn’t matter where you eat, if the feeling is right, then that’s the place for you. To me, cooking and eating can be seen as an art...same recipe, same ingredients, but each chef creates a different taste. Did you know that eating is one of the few activities that a person can use all of its senses at once? When you eat, you’re not just eating, you taste the food, you see the food, you feel the food, you smell the food, and you hear the food. So that is why cooking and eating is a very important part of human life.

Well, if you need to know more about food and cooking, talk to me later. In the meantime, have a good weekend. Be happy, be healthy, be safe, be cheerful, be at peace with yourself so that other people can share that kind of peace too. Otherwise there is an oriental wisdom that I was taught … If you cannot love everybody, at least we can be kind to one another. Say “hello,” smile and move on. Well that sounds so simple, isn’t it? But I bet it will take a lot of practice before you can do that. All we need is to ask God for patience, and yes God please hurry. Until next time God bless you and your loved ones.

Fr. Bac-Hai