Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Prayer Warriors

It's so important to pray, and it's so wonderful to pray with people. Prayer is the universal language of the Catholic Church. No matter what parish I am at, I always find prayerful people. At St. Patrick's, like many other parishes, there is a group of "Prayer Warriors". Majority of the group belongs to the Senior Club. They pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy in the chapel after the 8:15 am Mass. Every Wednesday, they have a Bible Study on the Sunday Gospel Reading. I am also very glad that a number of them expressed interest to join my English Prayer Group.
Most members of my English Prayer Group are either Filipino or Chinese. A good portion of our members, of course, is from my former parish: Corpus Christi. But there is also a good number of members from the Young Adults Group @ St. Francis Xavier, and a good number from the Handmaids of the Lord. With parishioners from St. Patrick's also expressing interests to join our group, I hope that many of us will be united in prayer for the peace and salvation of the world.
Prayer is very important for us priests. This is our primary duty. Without the nourishment of prayer, our works can become dry routines. Prayer gives us a sense of wonder and awe of what we are doing as priests. Thanks God for giving me so many prayer companions!!!
Today and yesterday, I was busy setting up my office and bedroom. I want to feel prayerful in my office too. It is where I post things @ this blog. Here are some pictures of my new office @ St. Patrick's.

Photo Albums for WYD 08

Finally!!! I have uploaded more than 200 pictures in 4 Photo Albums. Enjoy! God bless!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to Work!!!

It is good to be busy! When I was in Australia, I did miss the business of parish life. I am very happy to be busy once again. I was especially busy on Saturday. I said a Mass for the volunteers of the Summer Day Camp ran by the Missionaries of Charity at Lion Bay. I did a wedding Mass at Corpus Christi, and said Mass at St. Patrick's in the evening. While I was with the Chinese Family Rosary Group of Corpus Christi later that same evening, I was called to go over to the Children's Hospital to baptize a baby girl. I already baptized a baby boy earlier on Thursday. I ask the readers of this blog to keep these two babies and their parents in your prayers.

I introduced myself at the Sunday Masses at St. Patrick's. It is a very welcoming and warm community. I really like the people of my new parish!!! Since, Corpus Christi Parish did not have a Chinese priest, I also went back to Corpus Christi to help hearing Confession and to say the Chinese Mass. Many Chinese parishioners were surprise to see me back. We were very happy to be together again! I don't know how long I will be helping to say the Chinese Mass, but I will treasure every moment with this beautiful community!!! On Sunday and Monday (Today), I also conduct prayer meetings for my three private Prayer Groups. "Back to Work" is a great blessing!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Prayerful Experiences During WYD

One of the most prayerful and unforgettable experiences in Sydney is to visit St. Mary's Cathedral on Wednesday (July 16th). There was an Icon of Our Lady, and we were invited to recite a Prayer of Consecration to Our Lady. I knelt before this beautiful Icon, prayed and consecrated myself to our Blessed Mother. Because of WYD, the body of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was also in the Cathedral. Many of us knelt and prayed before this major relic of the young blessed.

During WYD, we, as a group, strive to keep up our prayer life. Sometimes, I had to celebrate Mass at the school where we were staying late at night or early in morning (i.e. 3:30 am). We usually do Night Prayer as a group before going to bed. In the morning, we would read from the Lives of the Saints and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Each morning I concluded the Morning Prayer by giving the Blessing of Mary Help of Christians. On Friday (July 18th), we participated the Stations of the Cross. It was fun to offer "free blessing" to pilgrims from other countries. Some other priests did that as well, and it kept them quite busy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI

One of the big highlights for WYD is to see the Pope. There was a welcoming ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (July 17th). I was able to see the Holy Father from the window of a building facing the stage. On Saturday (July 19th), there was a prayer vigil with the Holy Father. Finally, on Sunday (July 20th), there was the closing Mass for WYD 2008. I was concelebrating with other priests close to the stage. It was so touching to see so many young people expressing their love for the Pope. It was also very edifying to see the Holy Father celebrating the Liturgies with so much respect and dignity.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mass at Catechesis Site (July 16)

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is also the first of the three mornings, we are having Catechesis. We stayed and attended Catechesis at St. John Bosco College & Parish Church. This morning the Archbishop of Dublin gave the Catechesis. He talked about the Holy Spirit. To experience the Holy Spirit, we have to treat others as people. We have to be self-giving, like Christ.

Today, I felt extremely bless to meet personally the Superior General of the Salesians of Don Bosco. I asked him to wear my stole while we were concelebrating Mass with the Archbishop. I also met a Chinese Salesian priest, whom Priestly Ordination I attended 18 years ago. It was June 16, 1990. It was on that date, that I started thinking about to be a priest!!! I also met a few other Chinese priests who attended Salesians High Schools in Hong Kong or Macau. Many of us owe our vocations to the Salesians.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Opening Mass in Sydney (July 15)

Opening Mass for World Youth Day 2008 started around 4:30pm on July 15. The Archbishop of Sydney was the main concelebrant. I was attending the Mass at the clergy section. It was quite an experience to pray with so many bishops, priests, and faithful. This is the largest Mass I have attended so far in my life.

Faith Festival in Brisbane (July 12)

One of the greatest highlight in Brisbane was the pilgrims' walk with the Archbishop of Brisbane and the Faith Festival at the heart of the city. It was Saturday, July 12th. There was prayer services at 9 am. Because there were so many of us, the Archdiocese of Brisbane had to use the protestant churches as well. Our group was quite lucky. We attended prayer service at the Catholic cathedral. At the end of the prayer service, all the pilgrims from different church buldings walked with the Archbishop to the park where we are having the Faith Festival. We were so blessed!!! Because we sat right before the altar, so our group walked right behind the Archbishop!!!! Our group was seen on the local news!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ZOO in Australia

Yertesday, we went to the zoo. It was very fun. The host families at Brisbane are very kind to us. Home stay here at Brisbane is even better than staying at hotels!!!

Today. I am offically the Assistant Pastor of St. Patrick's. I pray God to bless my new assignment. I will post more photos at when I return to Vancouver.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Marian Valley

Yesterday, we went to the Marian Valley. It is a very prayerful place run by the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit. There is a monestary there. And there many small shrines at the Marian Valley built by people from different cultural backgrounds. The Priests and Brother at the Marian Valley are prayerful people. It is like a paradise on earth!!! Too bad, my camera was running out of battery and I forgot to bring my charger!!!! I can only post more pictures from the Marian Valley and from other places in Australia when I return to Vancouver.

Monday, July 7, 2008

WYD Days in the Diocese: Brisbane

On July 6th, we, the pilgrims from St. Patrick's, had an early Mass around 7 am. We took a flight to Japan.

We had Mass in a small quiet room at the airport in Japan on July 7th. We had dinner at the airport, and prayed Night Prayer before we took the flight to Brisbane.

We finally arrived Brisbane today (July 8th). We are welcomed by voluneers at the Catholic University of Australia. We had a concelebrated Mass at the university chapel. We are now a bit tired, but are looking forward to all the activities here in Brisbane.
More pictures: