Responding to the call of the Superior General and uniting with nearly 4,000 Oblates in over 65 countries throughout the world, the Vietnam Mission solemnly celebrated the feast day of Mary Immaculate and the inauguration of the Year of Oblate Vocations at the St. Eugene de Mazenod Scholasticate. The celebration took place in the town of Lái Thiêu in the Bình Dương province on December 4, 2017.
Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Tấn Tước of the Phú Cường diocese presided at the Eucharistic celebration. More than 40 priests, including Oblates and the priests coming from 6 dioceses where Oblates are serving concelebrated. Gathered for this occasion were benefactors, the Oblates’ close relatives from across the country, and over 150 Oblates, novices, pre-novices, and Oblate candidates in the Vietnam Mission.
At the beginning of the Eucharist, Father Emmanuel TRẦN QUANG KHƯƠNG, the superior of the Mission, presented the major development of the Mission over the past 16 years, and he introduced Father Casimir NGUYỄN NGỌC THANH, an Oblate recently ordained on December 2, 2017.
In his homily, Bishop Joseph called Mother Mary the first and the most wonderful Oblate as she devoted her life to carry out God’s will. She is a genuine Oblate and an authentic mirror for Oblates to imitate. Mother Mary is aware of belonging to God, so she obeyed God completely, not like an equal partner in a contract, but as a humble servant. The bishop earnestly expressed his wish that Oblates follow the way of Mother Mary, the Patroness of the Congregation; that every Oblate become aware of belonging to God, obeying God’s Will completely within the charism of Saint Eugene, in order to bring the Good News to the poor and the most abandoned.
After Communion, the community prayed together for Oblate Vocations.
At the end of the Eucharist, Father Emmanuel spoke of the need to build a new house for the scholasticate. He encouraged the collaboration of every member of the Oblate family through prayer and sharing to help achieve the project.
Afterwards, the community joined in a simple buffet reception. On this special occasion, each participant was given a gift: an Oblate calendar and a prayer card for Oblate Vocations. (by Khai TÂM, Translated into English by Đức MINH)