Passionists in Vietnam
Vietnam became part of Holy Spirit Province in 2015. The first two Passionist canddiates had joined ten years earlier. There are now 15 Vietnamese Passionist priests, 4 deacons and 18 professed students.

These men are aware that they have joined an international Congregation. They belong to a Province that includes Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, and a Configuration that includes Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia

At the present time there are 3 Vietnamese priests, 4 deacons and 4 students living and working in Australia. They are making a great contribution to the Province and acquiring knowledge and skills that they will be able to take back to the Church in Vietnam or elsewhere.

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Above is Phi proclaiming the gospel for the first time as a deacon.

In his homily on Friday night, the ordaining bishop, Tony Ireland, referred to Phi several times as ‘Deacon Phi CP’. The bishop highlighted that Phi will exercise his ministry through the lens of his Passionist vocation and our charism is the antidote to an attitude like that of the ambition of James and John who were seeking high places in Jesus’ kingdom. James and John saw Jesus’s popularity and wanted the places of honour – so Jesus responded, “You do not know what you are asking”.

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By day Gaza is news and images in the media. Perhaps we avoid them. Perhaps we read about the latest deaths and diplomacy, look at the photos, glance at the opinion pieces that justify or criticise Israel and Hamas, or that set the war in the larger geopolitical interests of the various actors, including Australia. But some delicacy, some despair, some supressed feeling may hold us back from dwelling on it. We concentrate on the business of our daily lives.
But sometimes at night Gaza returns. It becomes personal. For some of us it comes linked to biblical texts such as that of the prophet Jeremiah speaking of the destruction of the Northern kingdom, ‘In Ramah  a voice was heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not’.

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A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of his accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of it's own imperfection, and miserable that it was only able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do.



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Fr Warakaranguruyemuribibihevyoroshe received so many complaints last week about some misplaced images in the newsletter that for some reason he referred them all to Erick who made it abundantly clear he didn’t want to know about it. Seriously, a big thank you to Erick for continuing the newsletters.

It is good to be back after a very beneficial series of meetings in Singapore, Manila Saigon. Denis Travers and I travelled together and our first stop was Singapore where we met with our three Vietnamese formators in a retreat house that enabled everyone to be away from everyday commitments and distractions. There are many challenges trying to provide a suitable formation programme for personal accompaniment.

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The annual celebration of St Gabriel (whose feast day is as mentioned above, February 27th) was held at Holy Cross last Sunday by the ‘San Gabriele’ Community. Bruno and his team were at the centre cleaning, setting up all week leading to the festival.

On a warm but windy morning, Chris Monaghan led us through the Rosary at 10am and a Eucharistic celebration at 10.30am, all in Italian. In his thank you speech, Bruno said to Chris “your Italian is getting better and better each year, you will have to continue doing this for us for it to continue getting even more better.”

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Wisdom from Pope Francis

“There is no saint without a past, nor sinner without a future. The Church is not a community of the perfect, but rather of journeying disciples who follow the Lord because they recognise themselves as sinners and in need of His forgiveness. Christian life is therefore a school of humility that opens us up to grace".
(Pope Francis: General audience: 13th April, 2016)

Continue reading below for the full article…
Vatican City, 13 April 2016 – Being Christians does not make us impeccable, and pride and arrogance are a wall that prevent us from seeing the merciful face of God, said Pope Francis this morning during the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by more than twenty thousand people.
The prologue of today's catechesis was the Gospel account of the call to Matthew who, as a publican, a tax collector on behalf of the Roman empire, was considered by the Pharisees as a public sinner.

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JD and Tri wore traditional clothing for Mass last Sunday. After communion JD explained the similarities between Chinese New year and TET (Tet Nguyen Dan). Both traditions are occasions to honour ancestors so it is common to visit family graves. Chinese New Year celebrates the new moon between January 21st and February 20th. Celebrations can last for 15 days. TET celebrates the arrival of spring in Vietnam (in January or February) by acknowledging the lunar new year. Celebrations last for seven days/ For both cultures it is a time to celebrate family. This means many people return to their hometowns over the week of TET.

Flower decoration forms a bit part of TET. Phi wanted to explain about lucky money (Li Xi) which he did by waving a red envelope. We don’t know how many envelopes he received. The red colour of the envelope is critical to the luck one receives.

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Remembering February 7th, 2009
I drove from Sydney to Melbourne on what was to become known as Black Saturday. When I got out of the car to buy petrol at Wangaretta, the temperature there was 47 degrees. A week before the fires that broke out on February 7th, a significant heatwave affected south-eastern Australia. From 28–30 January, Melbourne broke temperature records by experiencing three consecutive days above 43 °C (109 °F), with the temperature peaking at 45.1 °C (113.2 °F) on 30 January, the third hottest day in the city's history.

On January 7th the temperature in Melbourne reached 46.4 °C (115.5 °F). Because power lines fell in high winds in Kilmore East and the Hume Highway was closed. Fortunately the ABC turned to full-time broadcast of the conditions and I was able to listen to that news that reported at one stage that there were hundreds of fires! We were diverted from the highway and directed to a safe route to Templestowe. 173 people died in those fires; 415 people were injured; over 1,000,000 wild and domesticated animals died; 450,000 hectares were burnt; 10,000 kilometres of fencing was over 2,000 homes were destroyed

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Pope takes the "heresy hunters" to task
Robert Mickens

The mainline Churches in the northern hemisphere have just concluded the 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. And by many of the comments that appeared on social media during the January 18-25 commemoration, it would seem that at least some English speakers who describe themselves as "traditional" or "loyal" Catholics saw this annual ecumenical event as a propitious time to remind Christians who are not in communion with the Church of Rome that they are heretic!

Some of these "staunch" Catholics were particularly steamed that Pope Francis allowed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, and his fellow Anglicans to celebrate the Eucharist at St. Bartholomew's on the (Tiber) Island in Rome. This is the 10th century church that John Paul II designated during Jubilee 2000 to be a shrine to the "new" Christian martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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