Merry Christmas Everyone,
We are in the Holy Season of Christmas, full of God’s blessings and love for one another. We are to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls. We are also to express God’s love to one another. Every time we wish someone “Merry Christmas,” we are sending them God’s heavenly blessings. Therefore, please always fill your hearts with Jesus’ love so that each day you spread His love to others. Merry Christmas everyone and I love you all. Let us give thanks to God at Holy Masses this weekend as we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. My intention for these Holy Masses is to ask the Holy Family to keep your family close to each other in this life and together as a family in heaven. The reason the Church wants us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family is for us to ask them to watch over our families so that we will always be together with God and with each other. We are also to imitate them. A family that prays together, stays together.
Vietnamese Mass at All Saints: Beginning this Sunday, December 29th, our 11am Mass will be in Vietnamese. That means that we will have three Masses in English and one in Vietnamese every weekend. The weekday Holy Mass of Obligation will be two Masses in English and one in half Vietnamese and half English—all the prayers that Father says will be in English, everything else in Vietnamese. The upcoming Holy Mass of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in Vietnamese will be Wednesday, January 1st at 11am. The English Masses for this Holy Day will be at 4pm on Tuesday and at 9:30am on Wednesday. Again, all Masses will fulfill our obligation, and everyone is invited to all of our Masses. Of course, everyone is invited to all our All Saints parish activities, too, regardless of the purpose of the celebration, such as All Saints’ feast day celebration, our parish picnic or Vietnamese New Year celebration. All Saints is one family parish with one parish council and one finance committee. We are blessed with so many parishioners from so many cultures and nationalities.
As a foreigner, it’s very important for me sometimes to pray in my own tongue as well as help others to pray in their own language. If a member of our parish needs to attend Holy Mass in their own language such as Spanish, please feel free to do so occasionally. The diocese is blessed with many Spanish Masses in town for you to be in touch with your language, culture, and people. It is also very important for you to keep and to pass on your language, culture and tradition to your children and grandchildren. It’s also important to be faithful Catholics by registering in our parish and practicing your stewardship of time, talent and treasure.
America is beautiful because of people like you coming from different cultures and backgrounds. The word “Catholic” means universal. Therefore, Jesus wants every people, every culture and every country to be Catholic and to celebrate His love in their own language if possible. Catholics are to cultivate a culture of life for every born and unborn person and to care for the salvation of everyone. Jesus came from heaven for all people and He died for all people, regardless of their culture, language and race or if men, women or children. All Saints parishioners are here to help each other to love our Catholic faith and to be the best Catholic you can be before God for the good of one another’s salvation. Do you know that for years, frequently, our Filipino parishioners would invite guest priests to All Saints to have Mass in their own language? Monthly, they rotate their Filipino Mass at different parishes too. That’s beautiful.
Finally, please know that you and I are here to help each other to heaven, the old and the young, the sick and the healthy, the regular church goers and the C.E. (Christmas & Easter) Catholics, the native-born Americans and the immigrants, etc.… We are one family under God and united we will stand for God and for the salvation of all souls. We are going to be an “open minded” parish in order to serve God in one another.
MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH HEAVENLY BLESSINGS, FR HIEN
My Dear Parishioners,
Are you ready for Christmas? It’s very near. We have been praying and preparing our bodies, minds and souls to celebrate Christmas--the birthday of our Lord Jesus--with joyful and happy hearts. Our Holy Masses to worship our Lord Jesus in the manger will be Tuesday, December 24th at 4pm in English and 6pm in Vietnamese, and Christmas Day at 9:30 am in English. Jesus will bless all of us at these special Masses for we will praise Him, worship Him and adore Him together. I will offer all these Masses for your personal intentions as my Christmas gift to you all. May you know the love of God through the voices and hearts of one another and the holy angels and saints with us at our Holy Masses. Let us love God with all our hearts, minds and souls this Christmas. Don’t forget to be joyful and wish each other a Merry Christmas from your hearts.
On Wednesday, December 18th, our All Saints Catholic school children attended Holy Mass, with adoration and confession after Mass. We were blessed with Fr. Marco A. De Loera, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, and Fr. Matthew Siegman, assistant pastor of Blessed Sacrament, to help our children receive their sacrament of reconciliation. A special thanks to the many priests who came to our penance service on Sunday the 15th to help us clean our body, mind and soul for Christmas. Thank you, Fathers, and may God bless you and reward you with good health and many heavenly blessings. Also, thank you to our All Saints school children for the Christmas program. God bless our children!
Holy Mass in Vietnamese will begin on Christmas Eve at 6pm (thereafter, our 11am Sunday Mass will be in Vietnamese). Everyone is invited to our Holy Mass and to join us for our special Christmas celebration reception in the Fischer Center with lots of Vietnamese food. I learned that the best way to know somebody or their culture is to eat their food. Do you know that Vietnamese love to eat foods that are crunchy, spicy, salty, hot, bitter, sweet, and even sour, all of that in one bite? Oh yes, we love fish sauce, too. Come and join us and celebrate Christmas with us. Of course, I will have candies for everyone to make you a little sweeter to Jesus and to everyone else in your life. Merry Christmas everyone! I love you all, Fr. Hien
PS. A special thank you to the family of Agnes Urban who donated $20,000 to our All Saints Catholic School. I was honored to celebrate Agnes’ funeral Mass with her many family members and friends. Thank you to the Urban family and to all families that have given memorials to our church & school. Another THANK YOU to an anonymous family who donated $1,000 to our church after they have sold their small business. We are blessed because of your love for All Saints, Fr. Hien.
My Dear Parishioners,
I want to thank those who have completed their stewardship forms and returned them to us. God bless you for your love for God and your stewardship way of life in our church and school. Our parish leaders and I hope that everyone will do all that they can for our church and school with their time, talents and treasures. This is my first time asking every family to complete and return their stewardship forms to us since I have been here, about 1.5 years ago. Why is it so important to complete your stewardship forms? It’s because you are the heart and soul of our church and school. We need your commitment to your Catholic faith by helping us at Holy Masses, by cleaning our church and facilities, by helping with the upkeep of our buildings and grounds, by helping us form, educate and evangelize our children through their high school years, by helping us pay all necessary bills of about $1.5 million a year. We need your hands, your heart, your skills and talents and your financial support too. Your best gift to God in our parish is your faithful stewardship way of life. If you cannot give much of your time and talents because you are so busy with other commitments at home or at work, then please support us with your donation. Thank you! Deadline to return your stewardship forms is this Sunday, December 15th.
Parish Penance Service this Sunday, December 15th at 4pm: We are blessed to have WAM, a special group of Catholic singers, who will be leading songs during our adoration and confession. Adoration will start at 4pm with 70 of our confirmation students. Please pray an Act of Contrition in church so that you will not have to pray it in the confessional. Also, please prepare yourself well before going into the confessional. Begin with the sign of the cross, then tell the priest how long ago your last confession was and start telling him your sins, the sins that you are most sorry for and can remember. Please do not mention other people’s problems or world problems in the confessional because so many are waiting in line to go to confession. Confession should be - admit that you are a sinner and mention your personal sins so that they can be forgiven. Priest’s names will be posted: Fr. Ben Nguyen (west confessional), Fr. Doug Campbell (west sacristy), Fr. Paul Oborny (east confessional), Fr. Curtis Hecker (east entrance area), Fr. Eric Weldon (library), and Fr. Dwight Birket (choir room). Please give to Jesus the gift of your clean heart and soul at one of our Christmas Masses: Tuesday, December 24th, Christmas Eve at 4pm (English) and 6pm (Vietnamese), Christmas Day at 9:30am (English).
Finally, please know that beginning December 29th, our 11am Sunday Masses will be in Vietnamese. Everyone is welcome to join us. Of course, it will fulfill your Sunday obligation. Please pray for me as I am helping and training our Vietnamese parishioners to take care of all the liturgical ministries for our 11am Vietnamese Mass. The more people who can serve God is the better for them and for us. God bless you. I would like to ask those who have been serving the liturgical ministries at our 11am Mass in the past, to please consider helping at our 4pm Saturday Mass, or Sunday at 8am and 9:30am Masses. We can really use your help, especially bringing up the gifts at Holy Mass. Thank you and God bless everyone, Fr. Hien
My Dear Parishioners,
About six months ago, I met with members of our parish council and the finance committee. Many were present but no Vietnamese parishioners. One of the subjects we talked about was Mass attendance. Although we are blessed with a large church that holds over a thousand people, our four weekend Masses are only about twenty to thirty-five percent full at each Mass. Technically, our church is big enough to hold everyone in one Mass. My suggestion was to eliminate one Mass or to have one Mass in Vietnamese. Since I have been here, many Vietnamese parishioners have asked for this. We have many Vietnamese Catholics in our church and school. A third of our 1,616 members are Vietnamese. Sadly, we have lost about 600 families in the past decade due to different reasons, situations and circumstances.
Today, All Saints is a multi-cultural parish with a large number of Vietnamese who love our church and school. At one point in the meeting, I left the room for about 15 minutes so that parish members could talk openly about my suggestions. When I returned, they voted to have one of our four Sunday Masses be in Vietnamese. I informed them that I must visit with Bishop Kemme for his approval. A week later I met with Bishop at the chancery. He then called a special meeting with the Diocesan Vietnamese Council (DVC) (Fr. Ben Nguyen is the chairman and Vietnamese representatives from most parishes in Wichita are members). Four days later, the meeting was held at the chancery. Everyone strongly suggested to Bishop that there should be another Vietnamese Mass in the diocese to serve not only the spiritual needs of All Saints’ Vietnamese parishioners, but also those Vietnamese in other parishes who might wish to attend Mass in their own language. For many years throughout the diocese, including most parishes in Wichita, there have been Masses in Spanish but only St. Anthony has Vietnamese Masses.
On Sunday, November 24th at St. Anthony of Wichita, on the celebration of the 118 Vietnamese Martyrs, Bishop Kemme announced to everyone that there will be Masses in Vietnamese at All Saints. Our first Mass in Vietnamese will be on Christmas Eve Mass at 6pm. Thereafter, one of our four weekend/Holy Day of Obligation Masses will be in Vietnamese. The reason to wait until Christmas Eve for the change is to allow time for adjustments. So, yes everyone is welcome to any of our Masses to fulfill the Sunday obligation - three Masses in English and one in Vietnamese. Do you know that it will be a challenge to me to use two languages in one weekend? Do you know that reading, writing and speaking English is hard enough for me; but to read, write and speak Vietnamese is harder? After my third grade in Vietnam, I skipped many years of schooling to look for food to feed my family. I started learning A, B, C at North High of Wichita and continued learning English in my 9 years of seminary colleges. I am 47 years old—a slow learner in languages; however, I trust that God will come to my aid. God has been good to me ALL-THE-TIME. Thank you--Jesus, Fr. Hien
Stewardship: Please complete & return your forms to the office before December 15. Thank you!
Parish Penance Service: 4pm Sunday, December 15th with guest priests: Ben Nguyen, Doug Campbell, Eric Weldon, Curtis Hecker, Paul Oborny, and Dwight Birket. All confirmation students are expected to attend and to have dinner with guest priests in Fischer Center.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,
Blessings from our Lord to all of you as you are celebrating this special time--THANKSGIVING--with your families and friends. If you are reading this message before Thanksgiving Day, please join us for Thanksgiving Mass on Thursday, November 28th at 8am. Wherever you may be, please be thankful and always be safe in your travels. Most deadly accidents and serious problems can be avoided if we all follow the traffic laws and are patient with each other. Also, please remember to attend Holy Mass by visiting Masstimes.org for Catholic Masses near your traveling locations. Can we ever be too busy for God?
We thank Bishop Kemme, who came to us on Friday, November 15th to celebrate Holy Mass for our children and bless the statue of our Lady of Guadalupe for us to use in our church. May our Blessed Mother Mary keep us close to God and to each other now and forever. Did you know that we pray for our bishop by name at every Mass and for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, too? They always need our love and prayer so that they can minister to God’s children throughout the world with Jesus’ love for all human life from conception to natural death. Every person in the world, born or yet to be born, always needs to be loved by us with blessings from God.
Please keep the follow All Saints students and teachers in your daily prayer. 2nd Grade with Mrs. Samantha Somes: Neal Atsou Dzini, Nolan Atsou Dzini, Yenna Chang, Katherine Diaz, Jennifer Do, Jennifer Thi Do, Michael Eastman, Aria Henry, Joseph Le, Dawson Lippert, Eva Loveall, Baylee Medicus, Ailyn Mora, Kathlene Navarrete, Alan Nguyen, Hoc Nguyen, Jonathan Pham, Lucia Rolfe-Murray, Jocelyn Stewart, Jenna Thompson, Emilio Vargas, and Ian Wheaton. 3rd Grade with Mrs. Nancy Clark: Christopher Bramhall, Anthony Bui, John Do, Olivia Florentin, Caleb Guzman, Beyonca Irwin, Alejandro Jimenez, Minh Le, Diem Quynh Mai, Zemirah Melton, Daniel Miller-Rodriguez, Ariel Moreno Avila, Brayden Pham, Jamal Rolfe-Murray Jr and Olyve Tajchman.
Finally, let us enter the new liturgical season of Advent full of love for the Holy Trinity so that we will enjoy the fullness of joy, peace, love and the blessings from God to us in the person of Jesus at Christmas. Beginning this Sunday, our Mass readings will be taken from Cycle A.
PS: Due to the many Vietnamese in our parish, Bishop approved that one of our 4 weekend/Holy Day of Obligation Masses will be in Vietnamese beginning with Christmas Eve Mass. More details in next week’s bulletin.
Always love you all, Fr. Hien