By Maphuc, sss
On Sunday morning of August 26, 2018, at Khiet Tam Church in Thu Duc, on the occasion of the anticipated celebration of the Feast of Saint Augustine, patron saint of the Scholasticate House in Vietnam, 8 SSS religious, after years in living and studying in the SSS Congregation, committed themselves to serve God and his people by receiving the imposition of hands by Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Anh in a diaconal consecration. Below is the list of our confreres:
- John Van Bon Nguyen, sss
- Lawrence Ba Chien Hoang, sss
- Joseph Danh Dung Nguyen, sss
- Francis X. Duc Phan, sss
- Joseph Cong Hai Pham, sss
- Ignatius M. Quoc Hung Nguyen, sss
- Anthony Quoc Huy Dang, sss
- Peter Ngoc Khoi Tran, sss
A drizzly rain early in the morning did not worry those who were involved in this important event. It looked as though the graces of God were pouring down upon each candidate, participant, as well as the Vietnamese Province. In spite of the mild rain, a lot of participants were arriving, such as the SSS religious and priests, friends, benefactors and the deacons’ families. The joy and happiness were evident on their faces while entering to celebrate the sacred mystery.
In his homily, Bishop Michael pointed out two significant elements, one for the participating community, the other for the newly ordained deacons. For the faithful, he stressed the vital element of their cohesion to Jesus Christ. The Church is his Mystical Body. Therefore, each Christian is responsible to proclaim the Word of God. For the newly ordained, he called to mind that besides serving at the altar and the people of God, deacons are invited to evangelize not only by proclaiming the Word of God but also by their way of life in the community, especially in the Vietnamese social context.
Through ordination rites, deacons represent the deacon Jesus Christ in a sacramental manner, bringing into our world the love of God. They are neither substitutes for parish priests nor social workers, rather they become pioneers of a new civilization of love, become those who willingly give their gift of self as their founder who imitated Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
We pray for our newly ordained deacons to have good health and recognise what God gives them so that they can bravely and joyfully go everywhere to preach the joy of the Gospel, of partaking in the Supper of the Lamb, and serve those who are poor. We also pray for them to be deacons as the Church needs, deacons as the Most Rev Dr. Anthony Fisher op, said: “We need deacons who are down-to-earth (humble) men, yet up-to-heaven (spiritual) men, men with their feet on the ground yet aware that their's is a calling given by God through his Church.”