Thanksgiving Mass celebrating the Jesuit Jubilee of Fr. John Baptist Nguyen Ngoc Tien and Fr. Michel Nguyen The Minh; and the 80th Birthday of Fr. Anthony Ngo Van Vung

The Mass was held on the 14th August 2019, in the chapel of Pignatelli Community. It was an occasion for the Vietnam Jesuits to remember the Golden Jubilee of Fr. Michel Nguyen The Minh and Fr. John Baptist Nguyen Ngoc Tien, and to honour for the 80 years ole of Fr. Anthony Ngo Van Vung.

Participating in the Mass, there were Fr. Provincial Vincent Pham Van Mam; Fr. Joseph Tran Si Nghi, the Superior of Pignatelli Community and other Jesuit priests, brothers from communities nearby.

Before opening the Mass, Fr. Provincial congratulated three priests in this important event of their lives. Then Fr. Superior of Pignatelli Community read the letters of Fr. Superior General, in which he had congratulated them in this special occasion for various grace of God which have been bestowed to the Society of Jesus through their great contributions. He had also sent beautiful wishes to them and expected them to keep going on their devotions to the Church and the Society of Jesus.

In the homily, Fr. John Baptist Nguyen Ngoc Tien, the presider, connected the joy of King David and of the Virgin Mary with the joy of himself. King David felt happy when the Ark of the Covenant was with him and accompanied him in building the kingdom of God. In the same way, it was a privilege for Mary to receive Jesus Christ and to conceive the Lord, to take care of Him and listen, discover and carry out God’s plan, even these things led her to “the cross”. Her life was a journey with full of surprises once she said “yes” to God. There was abundance of joy and happiness as well because she had been greatly blessed by God, especially when she was taken up her body and soul into the Heaven.

On sharing about his own vocation, Fr. John Baptist stressed that God had treated him in an unexpected way. God had never acted according to his own plan, but he himself had to bow his head for God’s way. This was because God often asked him to do what he dislikes. Therefore, his journey of discipleship was full of astonishments. However, it had never been enough for him to give thank to God for all His grace.

Then it came to the sharing of Fr. Michel Nguyen The Minh and Fr. Anthony Ngo Van Vung. Both expressed of their gratitude to God and to people after their life journeys.

Finally, a fraternal dinner came after the Mass. Everyone was in union in gratitude to God for countless grace which He has bestowed to the Society of Jesus in general, and to special fathers in particular. Their lives have always been a great contribution to the Church and the Vietnam Jesuits and now they are encouraging young Jesuit generations to devote their lives for the missions of Christ around the world.

Sch. Văn Toàn Sj