After a month of summer apostolate and vacation with their families, the Redemptorist aspirants have returned to their formation house to prepare for a new academic year.
Today, the 21st Sunday, August 27, 2023, at 5 a.m., the Redemptorist House of Aspirancy in Saigon celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass and received 12 new seminarians into the program of formation. The Mass was presided over by Father Joseph Tran Huu Hoan, the director of formation in Saigon. Concelebrants included Father Anphongso Le Thien Tam, Father Peter Nguyen Ba Quoc Linh (who is working in the United States), and Father Dominic Nguyen Ba Vuong, currently on a mission in Myanmar. Also in attendance were all the Redemptorist aspirants of the formation house in Sai Gon.
During the homily, Father Peter emphasized the importance of recognizing God. He urged everyone to contemplate who God is in their lives, a necessary step for anyone embarking on the journey of following Christ. Father Peter also explained the subsequent ceremony of reception as a strong response to begin a new journey of closely following Christ. Through this, we gradually come to know the face of the Redeemer as the One who went forth to proclaim the Good News to the poor. Knowing God is knowing ourselves. In conclusion, Father Peter extended his wishes that each day the new seminarians align themselves more with the Redemptorist identity, that of disciples of the Redeemer in this holy congregation.
Following the homily was the rite of the profession of faith and the welcoming of the 12 new seminarians. These new brothers come from various regions of our country and have different ethnic backgrounds. Through this, we can affirm that the formation process of the Redemptorist vocation in Vietnam is expanding and reaching far and wide. Thanks be to God for this joyful occurrence.
Next, the new seminarians declared their determination to follow the Redeemer in their Christian lives, starting as aspirants of the Redemptorist. Under the protection of Mother Mary, the saints, and the blessed of the Congregation, the brothers are determined to live a contemplative life by meditating on the Word of God, diligently participating in the liturgy, and receiving the sacraments, as well as striving to adhere to the rules, actively fostering brotherly relationships, dedicatedly studying, and always confidently professing their faith amidst today’s secular world.
Subsequently, the director of formation presented each new brother with a Bible, expressing his hope that they would choose the Word of God as the guiding star of their lives. He also gifted each new brother with a Rosary, imploring the Blessed Mother’s protection and support on their challenging journey of following Christ.
With the rite of reception of the new brothers concluded today, the Redemptorist formation house of aspirants in Saigon now consists of 32 seminarians, a fairly significant number, and an encouraging sign for the Congregation during this phase.
Finally, before concluding the Mass, Fathers Quoc Linh and Ba Vuong shared precious experiences from their vocational journey and mission. They emphasized that following Christ is an experience of encountering Him. Through this, we can experience the happiness of being joyful and at peace wherever we are and whatever we do. Moreover, when we truly know Christ in our lives, we can prove to our fellow brothers and sisters around us that Jesus is real and loves them immensely.
Peter Ba Minh Khang
Aspirant of the Redemptorist, Saigon.
Translated by: Duc Trung Vu, CSsR