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

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greetings and blessings from God!

How was your week? I hope things are going well with you. Finally Mardi Gras season is over, the Super Bowl is definitely over, and all we have left to celebrate is the Oriental New Year, which was on Friday, February 16th. This is the Year of the Dog. According to oriental ancient legends, the dog is a good year for friendship, happiness, unconditional love, and loyalty. And of course, like many of you who own a dog, it costs plenty of money to care for them. Like many Americans, the second generation of Vietnamese people in America today have begun to have dogs as companions. Right in my family, God forbid, my nephew and my nieces are all dog lovers. They have many cute nicknames for their dogs. About two years ago, when my cousins decided to get a dog, guess what?!! They went on Google to look for exactly the kind of dog they wanted before the dog was born! You would not believe that the two of them traveled 600 miles back and forth to welcome the two dogs into their family. Do you know how much it costs for those two tiny dogs? $2,200!!!! My whole body was shaking, and my head spun around when I heard that news. Well these two “stingy” cousins who never give a tiny donation to the Church, spent $2,200 on dogs!! My goodness, it wasn’t over yet. When they brought the dogs home they had to make sure that the dogs were healthy and the dogs had to get a complete workup from the Vet. Well, it cost another $500; and then the training and discipline lessons cost them even more money. After two years now, these dogs are still costing them money for “high” maintenance, food, grooming, shots, etc. In the name of love, let me stop right here because I’m complaining too much. I apologize to those who love dogs. It is your right and I shouldn’t complain, but I’m just telling you about my cousin. Well, of course it costs money, but if it brings you friendship, happiness, unconditional love and loyalty, go ahead and make your day!

Oh wait, here’s one more story about dog lovers. My good friend in California who owns some type of “Chinese dog,” I didn’t know the kind of dog it was, but anyway, her name was “Ling Ling.” One time they took Ling Ling to a friend’s house, who also owned a male dog. You know what happened. Well a few months later Ling Ling was expecting. The whole family didn’t know what to do. I was there when Ling Ling went into labor, and watched five members of the family running back and forth not knowing what to do. All I said was let nature take over. But they did not listen to me. They took Ling Ling to the Animal Hospital where Ling Ling had a baby. The whole family cracked open a bottle of champagne and celebrated. Ling Ling had to stay in the hospital for two days. To make a long story short, that was a $1,500 bill for Ling Ling to deliver her baby in the hospital. A few days later when I got home, and they called to tell me that mother and baby were doing well. Lord have mercy!!! That’s all I can say. Enjoy the Year of the Dog, just be careful because sometimes it costs more than you can imagine.

Now is the time for Lent. Lent is a time to recharge our spirit and retrain our physical body in discipline. Traditionally during Lent the St. Agnes Men’s Club has their annual fundraiser. Their Lenten Seafood Fryday dinners. Yes, they will have shrimp, fish, French fries, etc. I hope you will come out and support the Men’s Club. Their first fish fry will be on Friday, February 23rd at 5:00pm. The good news is the cost is still the same price as last year, $10.00 a plate, and this includes sweetened or unsweetened iced tea. Mark your calendars to attend all three of the fish frys. The very last fish fry on March 23rd the Men’s Club will also have a Bingo Game and a 50/50 raffle. As you may know the St. Agnes Men’s Club is a very big supporter of our parish. So whatever fundraising they do is not for their own benefit but for our parish. Bravo to all of the members of the Men’s Club.

I also want to remind you that during Lent we have two Masses a day at 8:00am and Noon, with the Way of the Cross following the noon Mass. We also have the Way of the Cross at 7:00pm on Friday evenings, closing with the benediction. Please plan to attend if you can. The Noon Mass lasts only about a half hour or less.

This Sunday has also been designated by the Archdiocese as “Safe Haven Sunday.” You may ask what is Safe Haven Sunday? Well, it is a weekend within the Liturgical calendar selected by Archbishop Aymond to directly address the dangers of the harms of pornography, and to provide resources to support and protect individuals, marriages, and families in overcoming pornography and making their homes safe. As you can imagine, with the technology today, computers, TV, radio, and cell phones, they are good if we use them for the right purpose. Otherwise, it can damage and poison our children and families. There is a gap between our generation and children with technology. Technology today supplies them with a lot of information, without giving them the guidance and knowledge of the dangers of what they have learned. As parents you have to talk to your children to help them realize that the majority does not morally decide right or wrong. Everybody does something, but that doesn’t mean that it is right. The CovenantEyes has published a book entitled “Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting In a Sexualized Culture.” We have copies in back of church and in the rectory. If you would like a copy, please take one from in back of church or give us a call. If you would like more information, please contact the Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Marriage and Family Life at tmccaffery@arch-no.org or visit www.nolacatholic.com.

Well that’s enough for this week. On behalf of 71 million Vietnamese people, and 7 billion Chinese people, I wish all of you a Happy New Year with a lot of unconditional love, happiness, friendship and loyalty…..to God! “Chuc Mung Nam Moi!” (Best Wishes for a New Year). God Bless.

Fr. Bac-Hai