My Dear Parishioners of All Saints,
Blessings from our Lord through the intercession of All Saints be with you all. For those of you who don’t know me yet, I am Fr. Hien (pronounce like THIN without the T). I am happy to be here at All Saints and I am looking forward to meeting you and being with you at Holy Mass. I was born sometime in the summer of 1972. God bless my parents for they have forgotten the date and month of my birth; so since I have been in the United States, I have been celebrating everyday as my birthday---isn’t it good to be me who gets to celebrate everyday as my birthday? The day of birth on my driver’s license is July 12th. I was born in a little village in South Vietnam, about 120 miles south of Saigon. I have two brothers and five sisters. My two older siblings died in Vietnam when they were little. All of my younger siblings and their families are living on the west side of Wichita near my parents, except a sister and her family who are living in the Kansas City area. My parents have been married for 51 years and I am very close to them. I am blessed with 12 living nieces and nephews and one deceased niece who would have been about 16 years old now. In the Spring of 1985, my family and I escaped in a little boat with 33 people. We sailed across the Pacific Ocean to an island in Malaysia and were found by fishermen. We were transferred to numerous island/refugee camps in Malaysia, then to a refugee camp in the Philippines, and finally to the United States for freedom and education. We have been living in Wichita for over 30 years and we love it here. We have made this city our home for good.
Furthermore, everyone in my family is Catholic and all of my nieces and nephews are attending Catholic Schools and they love it. After I came to Wichita in 1986, I started going to school. I remember learning the ABCs at North High. In 1991, I entered the seminary at Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri; the Immaculate Heart seminary in Winona, Minnesota; and finally the Pontifical Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. I was ordained a deacon in the spring of 1999 and served at St. Mary’s, Newton. I was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerber on May 27, 2000 at our Cathedral with Fathers Eric Weldon, Joseph Tatro and Joseph Eckberg. I was 27 years old and the youngest of the group. As a priest, I served at the Old Magdalen (on Kellogg & Woodlawn - we called it the HAMBURGER CHURCH) and also the new Magdalen at the current location (we called it the BIGMAC CHURCH). As a young priest, I didn’t want to be a pastor, so I asked to be a priest chaplain in the hospitals of St. Joseph and St. Francis hospitals until Bishop Jackels made me a pastor of four churches in Marion County. I served seven years in Marion County and I loved it there for I was so close to my fishing holes at the Marion Reservoir and the County Lake. Also, I was only a mile away from my hunting spots. I loved the people of Marion County and still go back there to fish and hunt in my favorite spots. I am hoping that I will be able to continue doing what I love to do for fun -- fishing and hunting….. (to be continued due to limited space...)
Love you all, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners of All Saints,
Blessings from our Lord, our Blessed Mother and all the saints be with you and your loved ones. I’m Fr. Hien Paul Nguyen and I am looking forward to meeting you and also loving and worshiping our God with you at Holy Mass. You and I, we must love God with all our hearts and always be willing to serve Him in one another. I promise that I will do all that I can to put God first in my life and to love you as my parishioners. I pray that all of us will be among the angels and saints in heaven for eternal life.
The day our Bishop appointed me to All Saints, I started praying for you and for me. I prayed that you and I will get along, that we’ll always accept each other no matter what, and that you would trust me as your pastor. Please know that I care deeply for our church and school and the salvation of us all. I have done some studies about our parish and consulted with some priest friends. After much thought and prayer, I have made the following changes: Starting Saturday, June 23rd, there will be no Saturday 8am Mass to allow for funerals, weddings and baptisms. Weekend Masses will be Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 8am, 9:30am and 11am. Confessions will be heard 20 minutes before every weekend Mass. My goal here is to invite more people, especially those who have not been going to church, to the sacraments. There are about 1,600 people in our parish, but statistics show that only about 1,000 people attend Masses at All Saints. I am hoping that these new changes will lead a few more souls to Jesus. I trust that they’ll join us if you would help me by inviting and encouraging them - your family members, neighbors and friends - to join us. Tell them that I’ll keep Mass short just for them … ☺ Also, I am sorry if these new changes cause any inconvenience to anyone. Please don’t let it take the best of you for you’ll love God no matter what and you’ll be in church to worship Him with your church family.
Finally, please know that I have moved into the old rectory/church office to keep my eyes on our church, school and property, except when I am gone for fishing, hunting or visiting my parents. God bless you always and please, please join me for Holy Mass for that would be the joy of my life, by having God and you.
I love God and I love you too, Fr. Hien
P.S. Because I love you, I’ll share with you everything about our church and school at Mass and also in the bulletin. Please read our bulletin for my weekly personal message to you.
Father Hien Nguyen