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
Father Hien Nguyen