Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Feb. 25, 2014 Tuesday: Divine Mercy Week 1 - Pray for the Health of Priests

During the personal retreat I made last week, I was asking Our Lord and Blessed Mother what the focus of the Divine Mercy Novena should be for this Lent. “Pray for the priests of our diocese,” kept coming up. So, at each week of the novena, we’ll have a sheet for you to take home which has a prayer and a list of names of priests to pray for that week. Each week, there will be a different intention. This week we are going to pray for the health of priests. At this time, some of our priests are ill, yet are still actively serving in parishes.

Take for example, Fr. Than Vu. I first met him when I was an engineer and living near Sherwood Forest. I would go to early morning mass at St. Patrick’s before heading to Geismar for work. The first time I went to daily mass there, an Asian priest was at the door greeting people as we entered. He shook my hand and said, “Hi, my name is Fr. Than, like a ton of bricks.” I said, “Hi, my name is Paul Yi. Where is your bathroom?” I don’t know which was funnier, his attempt to make his name more familiar or my attempt to familiarize myself with the facility for the active emergency I was having.

Fr. Than is currently the vicar general of our Diocese as well as the pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in Baton Rouge.  About four months ago, Fr. Than learned that his lung cancer had reoccured. He had been successfully treated for the cancer more than four years ago.  He is still fulfilling his two full-time roles -- administrative work at the Diocese and ministering to approximately 2,800 families in St. Aloysius Parish -- despite taking treatment for his cancer. He continues his work humbly and without pretension. He is one of the priests who offers himself as a victim to the sacrifice of the Holy Mass for souls. Fr. Than is one of the disciples of Jesus who truly embraces Jesus’ words, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

As we pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy today, we pray for the physically ill priests, who are the ministers of the Divine Mercy on this side of Heaven.