My Dear Parishioners,
We give thanks to God for the life, ministry and love shown to us by Bishop Eugene Gerber. His funeral Mass was beautiful & well attended even though the weather was cold & rainy that day. I was so happy to see my brother priests of our diocese & some from the Dodge City diocese who were there for Bishop Gerber’s funeral. I also got to talk with the bishops who were first ordained priests in our diocese & now they are bishops in other dioceses. I know them all for I have been in the diocese since 1986 & I am so happy for them. Moreover, from Mon, Oct 15th to Thu, Oct 18th, all the priests in our diocese are attending our annual clergy conference at the Spiritual Life Center. Please know that I have been praying for you & enjoying my time with my brother priests. Please pray for us, too.
As I am writing this letter, I am hoping that the workers are done fixing & adding new lights in our church. Due to the age of the light fixtures, since the church was built in the 60’s, one light fixture fell from the celling about a year ago & the rest of them look very fragile & might fall down as well. As a church family, we cannot allow them to fall on anyone, so we must fix them all. I was told that prior to my arrival in June, the parish did look into replacing these light fixtures but due to the high cost, about $70,000, it was never done.
What we are doing is repairing these light fixtures to preserve the history of our church. We replaced all the electrical wires, installed LED bulbs & installed chains to secure the fixtures to the ceiling. Do you know how many bulbs there were and how many watts were used in these fixtures? There were 9 bulbs in each fixture, six to light the stained glass & three halogen bulbs - up to 250 watts each - to light the pews. Now there is only one 15 watt LED bulb to light the stained glass & many cans with LED bulbs, 15 watts each, to light all the pews & the altar area, Stations of the Cross, statues, etc.… Personally, I can’t believe we waited this long to fix the dangerous light fixtures. The day I came to our parish was the day I prayed during Mass that they would not fall down & hurt anyone. Now they are all fixed, thanks be to God.
The construction on the newly bought house is going very slowly due to recent rain, removing the dead/diseased trees and removing their stumps. Since we don’t have much money, I have been trying to get volunteers and those who can donate their time, talent or treasure from Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
All Saints Multi-Cultural Dinner: Please save Sat, Nov 3rd for our parish special Holy Mass at 4pm to celebrate our feast day of All Saints. After Mass, everyone is invited to our special multi-cultural dinner as a church family. Please feel free to bring any dish you would like to share, & enjoy one another in the Fisher Center-West. In the future, at a special event like this, I would like to see our parishioners show their heritage & the cultures where they came from such as native music, dancing & decorations. We are a God-given church family with people from all different parts of the world with one faith and love for God and one another.
God bless you all, Fr. Hien
Father Hien Nguyen