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Ordination a
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placeholder June 8, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA
With two of the new priests from Vietnam,
a special guest was Most Rev. Joseph Thien Vu, bishop of
Hai Phong. The three bishops at the altar: Bishop Emeritus
John S. Cummins,
Most Rev. Michael
C. Barber, SJ, and
Bishop Thien.
All: Raul A. Ayrala/
The Catholic Voice

Ordination a spiritual mission

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said he expects his priests to "love God, love your vocation and love your Church."

Members of the Quinhon Missionary Sisters of the Holy Cross, an order of Vietnamese sisters, were represented at the ordination. Music was provided by the Diocesan Festival Choir and the Cathedral Vietnamese Singers.

The Diocese of Oakland welcomed its three newest priests — Revs. Peter Tu Nguyen, Michael Figura Nufable and Huong Van Le — after their ordination on the evening of May 29 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

"We have to thank families of these three young men who have been presented for ordination to the priesthood," said Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, in his homily.

"Dear families, if you had not raised these young men in the Catholic faith, we would not be here this evening. The family is the first experience of church that the young receive. Thank you for passing on our Catholic faith."

The bishop told the priests his expectations of them: Love God, love your vocation and love your Church.

"Pope Francis said you cannot love Jesus without loving the Church. … We cannot separate Christ and his Church.

"Love the parish to which you will be sent. Love your people and make them feel welcome. In our diocese of Oakland there are no good parishes or bad parishes. There are only God's people," he said.

"Love your brother priests," he said. He acknowledged an honored guest, Most Rev. Joseph Thien Vu, bishop of Hai Phong: "You are very welcome here."

"When I went to Hai Phong last year," Bishop Barber said, "I was met at the airport by Bishop Joseph, who met me with a brotherly embrace and a bouquet of flowers.

"He had never met me before or seen me. He welcomed me as a brother in the name of Jesus, because we are united in the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church," an example of the priestly brotherhood.

"You don't have a career," the bishop said. "You have a spiritual mission; you have a vocation. … Brothers, young brothers … Keep the flame of love alive in your heart."


During the ordination rite, the three new priests lie prostrate, symbolizing each man's unworthiness for the office and his dependence upon God and the prayers of the Christian community to be successful in his new ministry.
 
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