My Dear Parishioners,
How are you doing? I hope that you and your family are well and COVID free. I am doing well. Thanks be to God. God is the one who is in charge of every one of us, including our life and salvation. Let us love God, trust in God, and always give thanks to God.
Autumn is coming and I am excited for the cooler weather with less allergies and bugs. The saddest part of cold weather is to see our garden, flowers, and plants dying and winterizing. Let everything that is about to happen in nature be a reminder to us that we too will be eventually suffer and die; therefore, we must live for God today for us to have the perfect eternal life of heaven tomorrow.
Thousands of people and I, including people in our diocese and throughout the country, especially those who served in the military, are very excited to welcome the remains of Fr. Emil Kapaun as he comes home to us with his funeral procession and Mass on Wednesday, September 29th at Hartman Arena. I will attend the funeral Mass while many of you can watch it online. Father is our true hero through his service to God and neighbor. He is my brother priest and the diocese's hero. I have learned a lot from him by reading his story. I also lived in his parish for 7 years, 2005-2012. We need heroes like him among us. We all can be like him if we would put our faith into practice, "Love one another as I have loved you, said Jesus." That was what Fr. Kapaun did. He practiced what he preached and believed. Fr. Kapaun, pray for us. Last Sunday, I was in Marion and Pilsen to celebrate Holy Masses for them. The pastor of the parish has been sick, and they had to cancel their Masses the weekend before. Since I was their pastor for seven years, 2005-2012, I volunteered to come down and celebrate Masses for them. I left Marion County to serve in McPherson County for six years before coming to All Saints. It has been so long since I was in Marion County; so it was good for me to see the parishioner again. Thank you to Fr. Hung Pham, who celebrated our Masses here on Sunday in English and Vietnamese. Fr. Pham is a retired priest of the diocese. May God help all priests to be like Fr. Kapaun-- with love, Fr. Hien
How was your Labor Day weekend? Did you enjoy your family and friends? Please remember that each day of our lives is a gift from God. We are all called to be thankful to God for one another, especially this weekend as we celebrate grandparents' weekend. We all know that without our grandparents, our moms and dads, none of us would be here. It was God who chose to give us our families, and one another, so that we may love them as God loves us. One thing that gets in the way of loving and showing our respect to our elders, especially to our grandparents, is that we tend to think that we know more than they do and that they need to listen to us. That's just wrong. God never made them to listen to us but rather, we are to listen to one another, and in most cases, we are to listen to their advice and wisdom. It's God's fourth commandment that we are to honor and respect our parents, especially our grandparents this weekend.
As we are gathering in church this weekend to worship God, may we all pray especially for our families, especially for our parents and grandparents, whether they are alive or deceased. If you parents or grandparents are still alive, please stay connected with them and let them know you love them. Of course, everyone of us has different ways of showing our love for others. Some people love to give gifts such as flowers and money, others love to do things such as cook for them, many others love to stay around and visit with them, etc.... Please know that if you have good intentions to show your love and respect to your elders, they will know, and they will repay you more than you can ever give it back to them, To be a family, we must love one another unconditionally, especially through the gift of life--birth and salvation by passing on our Catholic faith to everyone in our family.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone of our church's family mission that has been in our parish forever: All Saints is a diverse Roman Catholic community, centered in the Eucharist, guided by the Holy Spirit, nurturing one another through friendship, prayer, education, service, and stewardship, on the journey with Christ to the Father. Let us be good parishioners of All Saints by becoming one with Jesus and helping others come to Jesus for love, life, and salvation. Fr. Hien
Happy Labor Day Everyone,
God bless America and all those who live in it, including the new Afghanistan refugees, those who rely on America for life, freedom, peace, food, and shelter, etc.... Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone. Let us give thanks to God for all the work of our human hands that have been the life-giving source to us, our families, communities, country, and the whole world. America is a God-blessed nation because of all the good we have done for one another locally and worldwide. May we continue to grow in our faith in God, and "In God We Trust," so that everyone, born and yet-to-be-born, will be proud Americians. America is our beautiful homeland for she has so much to offer everyone. God's continuous blessings upon our country and all those who live in it.
Sadly, Covid has not been slowing down here in America nor in all places of the world. I have been staying connected with my relatives in Vietnam. Sad to learn that Covid is horrible over there. Many people have been sick with it and the entire country has shut down. People are not allowed to go out in the street unless they have a permit to go out to buy food. In some areas, food can only be brought to their homes. How blessed we are living in America; even during the worst time, all we have to do is wear a mask and we can go almost anywhere we would like. We have never been locked down. Let us be thankful to the Lord and to all those who are sacrificing their lives to save lives and to make our country a better place for everyone. Today, let us be grateful for the many blessings that our country is giving us; even if we were to get sick from Covid, more likely we would not die from it because we have the world's best technologies, doctors, health care systems, etc.... Don't live in fear but live for God alone!
I would like to remind everyone of our parish's mission that has been in our parish forever: All Saints is a diverse Roman Catholic community, centered in the Eucharist, guided by the Holy Spirit, nurturing one another through friendship, prayer, education, service, and stewardship, on the journey with Christ to the Father. Let us be good parishioners of All Saints by becoming one with Jesus and helping others come to Jesus for love, live, and salvation. Fr. Hien
Father Hien Nguyen