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  Page Updated: February 27, 2021
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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? I hope things are going well with you and your family regardless of the VERY COLD WEATHER we had recently. By this time, hopefully we are finally getting over the really cold weather. Bye-bye and so long to our heavy coats and sweaters. Well, we may need it again one more time, maybe, but not freezing weather anymore. Even though the cold weather did not last very long in New Orleans, it was so cold that it killed a lot of plants. In my garden there were many plants that suffered from this last freeze, even though we protected them very well, especially the tropical plants. All the leaves looked like they were just boiled in hot water. I tried the best I could to trim them, and pray that they will grow back again. If not, sayonara to all of my dead plants. Well, I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the spring weather of 2021, cool, breezy, sunshine, colorful with a smell of fresh flowers in the air, and with a little light jacket you are ready to go out. But just remember, even in Springtime, don’t forget to bring your handkerchief or Kleenex everywhere you go just in case you are allergic to the pollen in the air. Regardless of whatever happened, we survived the winter.

Compared to other places, we are still in good shape. Watching the news, you can see for yourself how all of the states up north have been suffering with the snow storms. Many people suffered with the loss of power, water and lack of food to eat. Especially, our neighbors in Texas, their entire state suffered because they were not prepared for this kind of weather. Many people lost their power for over a week, and due to the broken pipes many homes flooded inside. The sad thing is that there was no heat, so all of the water turned to ice right in front of their eyes, hanging from the roof and some ceilings. I spoke with a few friends who live in Texas, Houston, Dallas, and Arlington and they are trying the best they can to cope with the situation. One of my friends told me that if he knew something like this was going to happen, he would have evacuated before it happened. No one could predict it would happen like it did. Right on one of the Texas highways there was over a hundred cars in one major accident, and of course a few fatalities along with it. There were over 62 people who died in this snow storm, and sadly two elderly women died alone in cold, freezing weather in their house because there was no heat. Even one Vietnamese family died, (a grandmother and three grandchildren), due to a fire because they were trying to stay warm with the fireplace. Well, let us pray for everyone in Texas and up north, and try the best you can to help these people. It is so sad to look at Texas and see how big the state is and all was frozen and crumbled underneath the snow. It is sort of like their own little Katrina. The difference is they had no warning and were stuck at home in freezing cold temperatures, and then homes started flooding from broken pipes. It will take some time for them to get back to normal. Even now that the power is back, my friend told me that there is no water yet, and the stores are empty. In the last week the entire family was eating on instant noodles. The adults can accept it, but the children are different, they were looking for McDonald’s or Burger King, or whatever was opened so that they could eat something that they are used to. There are many people who are lucky to have the power on during the snow storm, and now they have to face the cost of having that power with high electric bills. The average house suddenly got a bill for almost $6,000 or $7,000, how can you pay for it? Thank God the government has declared it a natural disaster and funding should be on the way, hopefully the sooner the better.

Well, we are already in the second week of the Lenten season. Just a reminder that the season of Lent provides us as Catholics a chance to reform, to correct our mistakes and to live in the Gospel. One way to do it is to recheck our spirit, our souls, our morals and our characters through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yes, sometimes we pay too much attention to physical aspects, the outside of our bodies and neglect our souls, our spirit and our character. Such as those who have eye problems or ear problems, we have to go to the doctor and have them checked twice a year, to make sure that everything is ok and that our eyes are good enough to see and our ears are good enough to hear. Even our teeth, the dentist reminds us to make sure to come to them twice a year for cleaning so that whatever else happens, they can prevent it before it happens. On the same aspect, I think we need to do the same for our soul, morale or character, otherwise we get into the habit and we presume that we are perfect and that nothing needs to be improved. Yes, what our eyes cannot see, our nose cannot smell, and our ears cannot hear doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. I remember my deceased aunt who had a hearing problem, but she didn’t think she had a problem. She thought that WE who talked to her had a problem. Either talk softly or she would correct us, “you don’t need to shout to me, I can hear you!” May she rest in peace. I remember the only problem she never had was when we talked about money, she heard us loud and clearly, and never let one penny slip through her fingers. God works in mysterious ways. Just a reminder that in March there will be Confessions from 5:006:30pm March 10, 17 and 24.

Believe it or not we still have to deal with the pandemic. Up until today, a half million people in America have died from this horrible virus, and over 9400 in Louisiana alone! Thank God that we have a few companies that are producing the vaccine, and so far many people are getting vaccinated. Now, the younger generation from ages 40 plus can begin to receive the vaccine. I know a lot of people are still afraid to receive the vaccine, but THE ONLY way to control the pandemic is to have people vaccinated, otherwise you cannot control it. So, what are you afraid of? It is protection for YOU and for OTHER PEOPLE as well. Remember that we prayed a lot for this COVID19 vaccination to come out as soon as possible, and God answered our prayers and we have it. Now you have the nonbelievers of this vaccine who are encouraging others not to do it. Frankly, I don’t understand that at all. But, they have a right to believe what they believe. Well that’s enough for this week, be healthy, be happy, be kind to one another, be humble, and aware of temptation around you during this Lenten season. Trust me, evil has many faces. Sometimes it appears on a piece of cheesecake, steak, cookies, or a glass of wine. If you are healthy, and not taking any medications, ages 7-59, you have to not only fast, but also abstain on Fridays during Lent. God bless!

Fr. Bac-Hai