Pastor’s Column

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

We are blessed by the Lord with wonderful weather in the last few days.  Unlike the Spas-Tagen Festival at the city of St. Bonifacius, we had a wonderful time at the 32th Annual Country Festival at St. Mary of Czestochowa and many had come and enjoyed the beautiful day blessed by our Lord.

We continue our theme from the chapter 8 of Romans you hear me in the last few Sundays speak about our “life in the Spirit”.  This weekend in the second reading that life in the Spirit is the context that “All things work for good for those who love God.”  Yes, it is true that for all of us regardless our status or where we are coming from, we all have a heart for the Lord and He is the source of our life.  Saint Benedict once said “that in all things, Lord may be glorified.” As the followers of Jesus Christ we are the Christ, for this reason we continue receiving the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus.  We are the present Christ Jesus at our present time.

I have so much impression working with you and seeing how dedicated you are to build up our community, for instance at the prep for the festival at St. Mary of Czestochowa, many had come and done their part.  It was great to see such parishioners come together and get ready for the day.  I am impressed because without carefully preparing, it may not be so enjoyable on the actual day of celebration.  The highlight in the midst of the Festival was the prayer service at St. Mary cemetery.  Many had commented how nice it was to have a few moments to commemorate those who had rest in peace as we are part of this parish tradition.

St. Paul again points out that all things work for good for those who love God.  Yes, we are in all things we do to glorify God.  A couple Fridays ago we celebrated a saint; I would like to tell you about this man who God brought low in order to raise him up. His life dramatically illustrates how God can use all things, even physical ailments, for someone’s ultimate good. This man was a physical giant – six foot, six inches tall. Dreaming of military glory, he entered the Venetian army where he fell into vices common to soldiers, especially drinking and gambling.

In the war against the Turks he suffered a leg infection. He received poor medical treatment and was partially crippled the rest of his life. A giant brought low, he heard the preaching of a Franciscan Friar and made the decision to give his life to God. He went on to form the Servants of the Sick – a congregation of male nurses. They cared for plague victims and the wounded on battlefields. He founded eight hospitals. He was a good administrator, but he also had the ability to focus on each patient as they were the only person that mattered.

This physical giant who God transformed into a spiritual giant had an unusual name, Camillus. We celebrated his feast day on July 18. He is a good saint to help us if we suffer from an addiction or if we have an ailment that won’t go away. St. Camillus illustrates how God can make all things work for good for those who love him.

Rev. Joseph-Quoc Vuong

I have visited a few parishioners’ homes at St. Mary in the past weeks; please continue highlighting your name placed in the folder in the Narthex at St. Mary and in the Fellowship Hall at St. Boniface.