“Let us look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion and embrace the future with hope”,
Pope Francis, Year of Consecrated Life, 2014.
This saying of Pope Francis is properly true experience of the children of Fr. Eymard in the 50th anniversary the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament was present in Vietnam. Half a century ago (February 5th, 1973), the first SSS community was established in accordance with Canon Law, placed in Khiet Tam – Thu Duc, Saigon, under directly General Curia. Fr Joseph Nguyen Thanh Tam, SSS was chosen as the community superior and Khiet Tam parish priest. The 5th February is also the Baptism’s anniversary of Fr. Eymard – the SSS Founder. Therefore, today (the 5th February, 2023) is the day the SSS Congregation have been in Vietnam for 50 years precisely and walked together the Church for the mission of evangelization, and also made the Eucharist’s reign known and revealed to the world.
Let’s praise “Give thanks to the Lord, because He is good; His love is eternal” (Ps 136). In thanksgiving to God and celebrating this especially historical event, in the morning of the 4th February, 2023, the SSS priests and brothers of Khiet Tam community and of provincialate gathered in the provincial chapel to concelebrate thanksgiving mass to God and solemnly open the Holy Year (the anniversary jubilee) in the rhythm with all other SSS communities and parishes in the country. The presider was Fr Peter Trinh Nhu Cung, former provincial superior.
Moreover, in the spirit inspired by the Rule of Life, A community does not exist for its own sake, but aims at being a setting for seeking God in order to reveal his love to people (RL #10). Thence, as soon as the SSS Congregation had been in Vietnam, Khiet Tam parish was chosen as the initial community for doing mission of the Eucharistic service; and from this community, other communities were set up and developed. In the role of serving and giving God’s grace to people, in the Sunday morning of the 5th February, 2023, all SSS priests and brothers from two communities of Khiet Tam and Provincialate concelebrated mass in Khiet Tam church with the presiding of Fr Joseph Pham Dinh Ai, the provincial superior.
In this mass, everyone gave praise to God preserved the SSS Congregation blessedly and safely, prayed for our ancestors and thanked to those who have helped for its presence and development.
Before the mass began, a representative of the parish had read a short history of the SSS Congregation in Vietnam from the event of the 5th February, 1973 until now. Then, in the beginning of the mass, Fr Joseph Tran Minh Hieu, the provincial secretary, read “the letter of the establishing the first SSS community in Vietnam”. At the end of the mass, Fr Joseph Vu Hoang Anh, Khiet Tam parish priest, proclaimed the decree of The Apostolic Penitentiary No. 1155/22/11 allowed the SSS Congregation in Vietnam open the Holy Year of the Anniversary Jubilee from the 4th February 2023 to the 4th February 2024.
Although originated from a small community in the situation of the country with many social, economic movements, our Congregation is always preserved by God’s providence. Through the intercessions of the Founder St. Eymard, of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and of Vietnamese Martyrs, may God bless and grant our Congregation along with all its members growth up in many aspects, especially in adoring and proclaiming Jesus Christ in the Eucharist for everyone. Lord, receive our prayer. Amen.
Brother Joseph Son, sss
Father Joseph Kiet, sss