||April 7, 2014 • VOL. 52, NO. 7 • Oakland, CA|
Good News of Resurrection found in all corners of globe
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Sisters of the Holy Cross, who staff the Hai Phong diocesan chancery and cathedral, have five postulants — just from this parish alone. We are fortunate to have in Oakland a branch of these Sisters, living in Santa Maria convent in Orinda.
Bishop Joseph has been sharing his challenges with the Church/government situation over here, not all of which I can relate.
The government seized the original Minor Seminary. The Diocese of Oakland has helped him build a new one.
The government seized the Home for Retired Priests. The Diocese of Oakland is helping him build a new one. The groundbreaking is in fact tomorrow! (April 2).
I am proud of your generosity, my brothers and sisters in Oakland. Even with our own financial challenges, God is so good to us, we always have something to share.
Today (April 1) I will be meeting with all the priests of the diocese of Hai Phong, who are gathering for their monthly Day of Recollection at the bishop's house. Almost every priest has a relative who has been imprisoned, killed or exiled for the Faith in the political turmoil here in the last decades.
I will be thinking of these families when, at our Easter Masses, after renewing our baptismal promises, the priest proclaims: "This is our Faith. This is the Faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus Our Lord!"
This is the centerpiece of our Faith: That the Son of God became a human being; that he gave his life for us on the cross, and then rose from the dead. This offer — dare I say this "guarantee" — of eternal life, extended to us through Christian baptism, and kept pure through frequent confession, is worth persecution, exile and worse. As St. Paul says: Nothing can surpass knowing Jesus Christ Our Lord (Phil. 3:8).
In the years ahead I look forward to visiting other home countries of the many nations represented in our diocesan parishes. It is so exhilarating to see how the good news of Jesus' resurrection has spread from Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth. How fortunate we are to be members of this, His Church.
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