“Why are most Catholic priests ordained in May and June?” my friend inquired.
“I don’t know why but probably because of the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Pentecost. It also depends on the Bishop’s schedule, I guess.”
“Talking about the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, do you believe that is truly His flesh?” she asked.
“To tell you the truth, if someone handed me a piece of raw meat to eat, I would not take it. But with FAITH in Jesus, and as He said, “Take it; this is my body…This is my blood” I believed. Flesh contains blood, and blood means life. Jesus gives us life through this sacrament. We receive His blood every time we receive His host…Do you know why Christmas and Easter are very important in Christian? Think a little bit deeper.”
“Any plan for Father’s Day… I miss my dad. He was such a good man”.
“Yes. Once they are gone, we won’t be able to see them until we have also gone to the other side. But do you know that for Catholics we have an earthy dad, spiritual dads whom we call Father, and our Heavenly Father?”
“Yes. We have God, our Heavenly Father who created our dads among men, and then some of those men devote their lives to religious orders or priesthood whom we call Priest or Father.”
Most of Catholic priests I know, they really love and devote their lives to God and His people. Although they are human, their lives are different from our dads. For example, they get up early for Morning Prayer. In addition to their parish administration and doing ordinary ministry, the parish priests also prepare people for their wedding, baptism, funeral, and so on. They also take turns to be on call; just think about the night, especially during extremely cold weather, they have to get out of a warm bed to go to the hospital or a house call. Then, Priests also wear so many hats free of charge: a healer, a mediator, a counselor, a judge. On top of that, Priests are also subject to frequent criticism, for people often find fault in things they can’t control!
With so many different ethnicities, cultures, and ways to interact, sometimes we get upset when the priest didn’t greet us while they were there greeting others after mass, or our suggestions were not carried-out. We forget that they also have a “blind spot” or receive many other suggestions, too. If that priest didn’t greet you, can you just greet him by his name? Instead of criticizing or focusing on their imperfections or things they can’t control, we need to pray for them, give them support, try to understand, and be compassionate. I think most priests are trying to do what is the best for their parishioners and church.
During the pandemic lock down, I was grateful to receive a message from my church, “I called because I didn’t see you around so I just hope you are ok. All right. We’ll keep you and your family in our prayers”. Those small acts show that they truly care for their sheep’s well-being.
This year, my brother Rev. Joseph Khau Nguyen, and my cousin Vincent Ninh Nguyen will celebrate their 50th anniversary of priesthood; our retired priests in residence Rev. Kerry Beaulieu’47th anniversary and Rev. John Monestero’ 46th anniversary; our Administrator Rev. Sergio Ramos’ 23rd anniversary; parochial Vicar Rev. Nicolas Toan Nguyen’s 10th anniversary; and “baby” Rev Alejandro Nicolat’s 1st anniversary. May God continue to strengthen them, guide them, and protect them.
June 20, 2021 is Father’s day. May God, through the intercession of Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, bless and guide all fathers, as well as these spiritual Fathers, and religious men. May the Holy Spirit, the source of love, kindle our love for God and soften our hearts to love and respect others, especially for our dads and all Priests. May peace, joy, and love be with each of us. Don’t forget to pray (and forgive as necessary) for our Dads and our priests, alive or deceased.
Thanks to our devoted dads who give us life, provide for us, and teach us to be good citizens.
Thank God for our parish priests, called to be the Good Shepherds.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers and father figures!