(Garland, United States) Pope Saint John Paul II once has said that “priesthood is both gift and mystery.” With this he means every priest “should be humbled to represent Christ—because through the priesthood, the world can “catch a glimpse of the Lord.” This is so true not only for the people of God but especially for the two Redemptorists from Extra Patriam, who have received the gift of priesthood through the invocation of the Holy Spirit by Most Reverend J. Gregory Kelly, Auxiliary Bishop of Diocese of Dallas, on Saturday May 18, 2019 at Mother of Perpetual Help Church in Garland, Texas.
Indeed, priesthood is a gift and at the same time a mystery for both Fr. Mark Lam Tran, CSsR and Fr. Martin Cat Nguyen, CSsR. Somehow, they feel that they are encountering the Lord at Mount Sinai, where God appears to Moses through the burning bush (Ex. 3:1 – 4:17). Moses was so scared to approach the holy ground but the same time it was so fascinating that Moses was drawn toward it. This is also the experience that both Fr. Lam and Fr. Cat had before the ordination mass. When they were asked “Are you ready for this?” They both replied “Yes” though not worthy. Even though they find themselves not being worthy of this sacred gift, they both said ‘Yes’ to the Sacred Order of Priesthood not for themselves but for the people of God. For they understand that they “no longer live, but Christ” (Ga 2,20).
Thanks be to God. Today indeed is a special day. The Redemptorists of Extra Patriam, the families of the newly ordained, the people of God joyfully celebrate the Mass of Ordination. We continue to pray for Fr. Lam and Fr. Cat as well as for all the Redemptorists, those who have gone before us and those who are zealously following the footsteps of St. Alphonsus in proclaiming the Good News to the poor and most abandoned. May this gift and mystery of priesthood encourage the two newly ordained priests and at the same time remind all priests that it is through their life, the people can “catch the glimpse of God.” Amen.
Fr. Vu Nguyen, CSsR