My Dear Parishioners,
Are you ready for the election? Do you know who to vote for and why you are voting for that person? I hope and pray that you will not be voting for a political party, but instead, voting for the candidates who have proved to love God and their country through their words and actions. We need all public leaders who call themselves Catholics/Christians to be true to God, and to their faith, so that they can better serve everyone in America, especially the yet-to-be-born Americans. America was founded on, “In God We Trust, with liberty and justice for all.” May we all see God in one another, in the born and the unborn, so that we can be people of life, love and service to God and one another. Here is a prayer in English and in Vietnamese for you to pray before the election.
God bless America, Fr. Hien
Prayer Before an Election: Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community. We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty. We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender. We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voices of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom. We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and His Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen
LỜI NGUYỆN TRƯỚC KỲ BẦU CỬ: Lạy Chúa, trong khi cuộc bầu cử sắp diễn ra, chúng con đang cố gắng tìm hiểu thêm về những vấn đề và những mối quan tâm mà thành phố/tiểu bang/đất nước của chúng con đang phải đối diện, đồng thời tìm hiểu qua Phúc Âm phương cách ứng xử như những người công dân trung thành. Xin ban cho chúng con đôi mắt sáng suốt để nhận biết nhau là anh chị em, cùng hiệp nhất và bình đẳng trong nhân phẩm và nhất là những ai đã từng là nạn nhân của sự ngược đãi và bạo lực, sự dối trá và nghèo khổ. Xin ban cho chúng con đôi tai để nghe những tiếng kêu khóc của những trẻ em không được chào đời và bị bỏ rơi, những đàn ông và phụ nữ bị đàn áp vì chủng tộc hay tín ngưỡng, vì tôn giáo hay giới tính. Xin mở lòng và trí chúng con để chúng con biết lắng nghe tiếng nói của các vị lãnh đạo, những người sẽ mang chúng con đến gần với Nước Trời. Xin ban cho chúng con ơn khôn ngoan để chọn ra những vị lãnh đạo biết nghe theo Lời Chúa, sống theo tình yêu Chúa, và biết gìn giữ những đường lối của sự thật trong khi họ tiến theo bước chân của Chúa Giêsu và các Tông đồ, ngõ hầu hướng dẫn chúng con tiến đến Vương quốc của công lý và hòa bình. Chúng con cầu xin nhờ vào danh Đức Giêsu Kitô, con Thiên Chúa và qua quyền năng của Chúa Thánh Thần. Amen
My Dear Parishioners,
Blessings from our Lord be with you all. Please join me in loving our Lord and praying to our Blessed Mother Mary to watch over us, our families, friends, country, and the whole world. We are in dire need of help from heaven so that we may be free from this pandemic to be a people of God who truly love one another, especially the unborn, throughout the world. Every unborn person must have the right to life for God says, “Thou shall not kill.” Every unborn person is like all of us: beautiful, precious, and sacred. Let everyone living in this blessed nation and throughout the world truly love one another---the born and the unborn. Every human life matters to us - our families, communities, and the whole world. Let us fight for one another, beginning with the most innocent persons--THE UNBORN. Jesus loves them dearly and we must too. A person who claims to believe in God or to have love for God, must also see God in every person, including the elderly, the unborn and the disabled and handicapped, etc.... God loves us all no matter who we are!
All Saints Catholic School: Thankfully our All Saints students are doing very well since school has started. They are learning and attending daily Holy Mass, also, two classes per day from Tuesday to Friday. Please keep our students in your daily prayer so that they can grow in their Catholic faith and learn all that they can to be the best Catholics and students. This week, please pray for the following students of our All Saints Catholic School. Pre -K with Mrs. Beverly Kilian: Angelina Bramhall, Jacqueline Gonzalez Ramirez, Francisco Maldonado, Roman Mosqueda, Crystal Nguyen, Ethan Nguyen, Josephine Nkouga, Logan Pham and Rosalee Wheaton. Kindergarten Mrs. Nancy Hansen: Sophia Blanchard, Jackson Bulson, Ava Eastman, Adir Hernandez, Ava Le, Jovany Lopez-Dominguez, Ivan Mosqueda, Kathy Nguyen, Emmanuel Nkouga, Daniel Pham, Anh Phung and Leonel Rocha. First grade with Mrs. Peggy Moore: Michael Abarca, Nicole Bramhall, Sofia Gonzalez Ramirez, Emma Huynh, Mylia Huynh, Marcos LeDonne, Apple Nguyen, Ryan Nguyen, Cindy Quiroz-Rocha and Elena Webb.
We thank God and their parents for these beautiful children so that we can pass on our Catholic faith to them and educate them for the future. Jesus loves our children, please love them too every day. “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Love you all, Fr. Hien
From: Bishop Carl Kemme
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: With the upcoming elections, I wish to offer the faithful of the Diocese of Wichita some reflections concerning our responsibilities as faithful citizens of the United States. I offer these words as your bishop with humility, praying that they will be an encouragement to all of us as we undertake the important exercise of our civic duties. I thank you in advance for your kind attention. We face today a country deeply divided by many issues that will wreak havoc and cause great destruction in our culture today if left for future generations to resolve. Some of those most pressing issues include the following: the denial of the right to life of the unborn, the increasing distance between the rich and the poor, the proliferation of addiction, the denial of religious liberties, a broken immigration system, the wounds of racism, the redefinition of marriage and the family, the imposition of capital punishment, and the concerns about climate change. Because of this, all of us, eligible to vote, must do our part in participating in public life, to help us become a more just society, a community of persons where everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We do this by exercising our right and our responsibility to vote. Many more of us, especially faithful Catholics among the laity, must step forward to offer leadership on all levels. It behooves us as citizens and especially as Catholics to build up the earthly city, even though as St. Paul reminded us, our true citizenship is in heaven. Jesus said in the Gospel, “Render unto Caesar…” Voting and participation in public life is an obligation that we must accept and undertake seriously and with prayerful reflection. Please vote! Please get involved! How do we determine to cast our votes on these pressing issues which we face? This is an important question. Put simply, although there is really nothing simple about it, we must vote with a well-formed conscience. To that end, I want to encourage every serious and thoughtful Catholic to read and reflect on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ recently updated document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” which you can easily access online at the following link https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf. This document and its new introductory note, which I will quote throughout this reflection, is worth reading. It spells out in great detail the importance of forming one’s conscience, which “is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere ’feeling’ about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments, based on the truths of faith.” (#17)
The bishops’ document further delineates the many issues that we face in the nation, about which the Gospel and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church have much to say. But among these issues, preeminently is the issue of LIFE and in particular the vulnerable life of the unborn, who have a special claim on our consciences because their life is innocent and defenseless and like ours is precious to God. As we bishops say in the document,” the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed.” (#7) The Gospel of Life and the unequivocal teaching of the Church that abortion in every instance is intrinsically evil, should be uppermost in our minds and in our hearts when we cast a vote for any particular candidate on the national, state or local level. We need no further justification to disqualify any candidate from receiving our vote, who has taken a position to advance efforts to increase abortions on demand or who chooses to do nothing to reduce the number of abortions. Why? Because “a Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position.” (#34) The vote we should cast because of the issue of abortion, however, does not preclude us from considering other important issues, issues that I mentioned at the beginning of my reflections, such as poverty, racism, immigration, climate change and respect for creation, religious liberty, the economy, etc. Why? The reason is that we as Catholics must be committed to the “common good,” committed to solidarity with our sisters and brothers, especially the poor, the marginalized, the downcast, the stranger and others, so that a more just society will be created and available for all, not just for some. Although that commitment must begin with the unborn, the teaching of the dignity of the human person at all stages and in all circumstances demands that our responsibility not end there but continue on through the whole of human existence and experience. The task of voting is therefore a great challenge. Many openly wonder for whom we as faithful Catholics can vote, given the positions of certain candidates and their parties that are in direct opposition to the teachings of the Church. It is important to remember that no candidate asking for our vote today, even those who profess to be Catholic, perfectly aligns with the teachings of the Church as an integral unity. This makes our participation in public life and the exercise of our civic duty even more challenging. Even as challenging and unpleasant as it might be, we must nevertheless make our decisions in this regard in favor of the candidates who, because of our personal and prayerful discernment, we believe will do the best for the greatest amount of people in our society, with the life of the unborn uppermost in our intentions. So, we must exercise prudential judgment on a deeply personal and individual level, knowing full well that all candidates and their parties fall short, some miserably so, from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Faith. But we must nevertheless act in prudence. “Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate other available alternatives, to determine what is most fitting to a specific context and to act decisively. Exercising this virtue often requires the courage to act in defense of moral principles when making decisions about how to build a society of justice and peace.” (#19) To this end, I encourage us to pray for the light of the Holy Spirit, which will guide us in right decisions. If we truly act under this guidance and with a well-formed conscience, we can be confident that our votes will be cast with moral certitude and right judgment. Even though many might want or expect more specific direction from me, it is not my intention as your bishop to tell you who to vote for or who to oppose. Private individuals may very well enter into partisan politics, but the Church and her teachers, bishops and priests must rise above partisanship and the endorsement of or opposition to individual candidates, even those who present themselves as more or less worthy of our Catholic vote. Instead, it is my role, and that of our pastors and priests, to present to you, the people we serve, the unambiguous teachings which will help you form your consciences. You and I must act in freedom and with moral certitude, out of our well-formed conscience but only after much prayer and reflection and cast the vote we know to be right and true before God.
Why is this so important for each individual? Because in the end, on judgment day, a day in our future that we must keep ever before our eyes, for “we know not the day nor the hour,” each of us will be held personally accountable for all our moral decisions and actions, including our vote. Once again from the bishops’ document, “In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.” (#7) And so, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, let us embrace this moment with courage and determination. Much is at stake and many depend on us to discern, to judge and to act rightly and morally. Therefore, let us act always with a proper and well-formed conscience and with Christian and human integrity so that God will use our vote and our efforts to transform our society into a community of true justice and peace. As Jesus often said, and as St. John Paul II reminded us when he assumed responsibility as the successor of St. Peter, “Do not be afraid.” You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the next weeks as we exercise our freedom and responsibility to vote. I would be ever so grateful for your prayers in return. God bless and keep you all. Bishop Carl Kemme
My Dear Parishioners,
Welcome to the month of October. It’s a special month for us Catholics throughout the world to love God and to honor our Blessed Mother Mary. We all know how important God is to all of us. It was God who gave us life and it will be only God who can give us eternal life in heaven. Let all of us always trust in God, love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls, and worship God in the Holy Eucharist. Recently, our Bishop encouraged Catholics to return to the Holy Mass so that we can really and truly become one with Jesus through Holy Communion. Receiving Holy Communion is receiving God into our bodies, minds, and souls. When we have God within us, all things are possible, including eternal life in heaven. The grace and love of God will give life to all of us and to all people we live with and meet every day. Please make every effort to return to Holy Mass for your good, the good of your families, friends, our country, and the whole world. We need God in every person now more than ever before during this pandemic and the riots at home and throughout the world. The virus is evil, and many people are acting evil everywhere. We need to overcome evil with good, and only God is good--all the time, on earth as in heaven. Please attend Holy Mass, everyone needs your love, prayers, and blessings from our Lord.
Lately here at All Saints, we have had many elders attending our Holy Masses. God bless them and God bless their love for Him. People like them understand very well how important God is for them. They are not afraid of sickness or death. They touched my heart and I am sure they have touched many other hearts too. Thank you for showing us how important God should be to all of us. However, please remember that when you are under the weather, please stay home. Don’t forget to keep our Mother Mary close to your heart throughout this month. We need her intercession and prayers for us too, especially for those who are sick and for our beloved country as we are close to the election. Mary loves America and she wants us to love one another, especially those who are poor, the unfortunate and the unborn.
I love you all, Fr. Hien
PS: Have you seen me on the billboards yet? Thank you, to the Wichita Serra Clubs and Rusty Eck Ford for making me so public. I hope & pray that everyone, including non-Catholics, would go an extra mile to love God and to do good for the salvation of souls like Jesus. This is what I told my siblings, nieces & nephews: I’m watching. Please slow down when you drive. Don’t drink & drive. Click it or I’ll tell momma (:
Father Hien Nguyen