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Parish 5 Day Outlook

Friday, March 6th

End Quarter 3
Baptismal Mass • 8:05am - 9:05am
Children's Choir Practice • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Stations of the Cross • 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Lenten Soup Supper • 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Saturday, March 7th

Religoius Goods Sales • 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Sunday, March 8th

Daylight Savings Time Begins-2 a.m.
Religious Goods Sales • 9:00am - 10:00am
Children's Choir Mass • 9:00am - 10:00am
Monday, March 9th

Lenten Prayer Service • 7:55am - 8:10am
6th MDPT • 9:30am - 10:30am
5th MDPT • 10:30am - 11:30am
Meals on Wheels-Mrs. Pelzel • 11:15am - 12:15pm
3rd MDPT • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Kights of Columbus Meeting • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Home and School Meeting • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, March 10th

6th MDPT • 9:30am - 10:30am
5th MDPT • 10:30am - 11:30am
3rd MDPT • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Want to stay informed about parish events & information? If you have an email address & are not receiving emails from the parish office, & would like to, please let us know! Please let Summer know at screed@stjosephmcpherson.com Print
Written by Summer Creed   
Friday, 06 March 2015 10:20

 
Weekly Message from Father Print
Written by Summer Creed   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:02

My Dear Parishioners,

Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us eternally.  I am blessed to be home healthy and safe from a long journey to Vietnam.  Thanks be to God!  No one knows how happy I was when my flight landed in Wichita on Friday morning around 3:30am.  I said to myself, at last I am home and no more flying for me for a long time.  I would like to describe my trip to Vietnam in three words: good, bad and ugly.

Good: it was so good for me and my relatives to see each other again after many years.  It was a blessing for me to be able to celebrate Holy Masses with my relatives in Vietnamese and pray for one of my uncles and one of my aunts who recently died.  I loved it whenever I had the chance to exercise my priestly ministry, especially celebrating Holy Mass and preaching to bring the love of God to His holy people.  I was blessed to celebrate extra Masses in my village for the parish while the pastor was away to see his family.  Everyone, including my relatives, were very interested in my vocation and my priestly ministry in America.

Bad: I have been living in America most of my life so I am used to the weather here.  I would rather be cold than hot and humid.  The weather in Vietnam where I was was very hot and extremely high in humidity, to the point that my head hurt and I had headaches.  There was no air conditioning in the village so I had to take a shower every few hours to keep myself cool, especially in the afternoon.  It was miserable during the day, it was hot and humid, and at night the mosquitoes were everywhere and they loved my blood.  The mosquitoes bit me everywhere, especially around my arms, legs and neck.  I did bring and used mosquito repellent but it couldn’t keep the devils away from me.  Finally, I said to my relative that we had to visit each other in a mosquito net.  Even in a mosquito net, I frequently had to kill the mosquitoes inside the net with an electric mosquito’s racket (it’s the size and shape of a tennis racket and operated by a rechargeable battery.  You swing the racket at the mosquitoes and the electrical wires shock and instantly kill the mosquitoes.  You can hear and feel the electrical shock when you kill one).  At night, everyone and all the animals, including large animals like pigs and cows, had to be in a mosquito net.  The mosquitoes were that bad.

Ugly: I have flown many times in my life and this trip was the worst trip in my life.  First, my flight was canceled before I departed for Vietnam.  I stayed up all night on the phone to reschedule my flights to Vietnam.  I was tired and frustrated because all the flights and connections to Vietnam were all full for the next at least 4 days.  Finally, I went to the airport at 4 am and asked to fly stand by.  Thankfully, the lady at the airport (after she learned that I was up all night) called and pleaded with Delta airlines to allow one seat for me to fly Minneapolis, MN and then fly to Japan and reconnect with my flight to Vietnam.  Once I got to Minneapolis, they told me that there was no seat reserved for me to fly to Japan.  I patiently asked them to help me by making contacts to United airline and speak with the necessary people to make it work.  Another ugly part of the trip was that I didn’t get to fly first class or business class as I was scheduled.  A member of our parish was so kind and upgraded my flights to either first class or business class.  I was excited and looking forward to fly in comfortable seats, especially on the long 14 hours flights from US to Japan.  It was ugly that I didn’t get to fly first class or business class but ended up in the last seat of the airplane.  Finally, the ugliest part of traveling was in a mid-size van with 25 people for many hours with two ducks under my seat.  I said to the ducks; please don’t poop in the van otherwise I will have to kill you.  It was very hot and humid in the van and can anyone image hot, humid and smelly duck poop?  I told myself, why did I travel with my dad?  Didn’t I tell him to rent a car?  I believe my dad finally learned his mistake for not taking my advice.

Good, bad & ugly, and the best of it all is that I am home safe & sound in one piece.  I was a little worried that I might not make it home.  I am sure that your many prayers have kept me safe.  Thank you!  It was so good for me to see you again.  I am truly sorry for not being around for the funerals of those who recently passed away.  Please know that I love you and my sympathy & prayers are with you.  I personally offered all of the last weekend’s Masses for you and your deceased loved ones.  May they rest in peace eternally with our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior.  Fr. Hien

 

 
Excerpt from Father's Story Print
Written by Summer Creed   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:21

In the next few weeks, as Father Hien is gone in Vietnam, we will be listing excerpts from his book.  You may find the book in it’s entirety in the top left hand corner of this webpage.

JOURNEY WITH MOM:  Not too long after that, my fourth sister Huyen [Alice] was born in early May 1984.  It was on a cold rainy night about three in the morning and I was in a deep sleep.  Suddenly my mother woke me up and said, “Wake up and take me to the clinic!”  I didn’t know what she meant or where the clinic was but she said that she was about to give birth to my sister.  My dad had been sick that night.  After she got a straw hat, she told me to run over to my aunt’s house, and tell her to come and help my mother.  Once I got back, my mother grabbed my hand, and she and I were walking so fast we were running in the dark toward the clinic.  She was walking twice faster than I was, first because I was half asleep and second because she was in a hurry to get there before giving birth.  She already had one child in her pants, and she didn’t want that to happen again.  Once we got close to the clinic she told me to stop by and wake the assistant nurse, as she continued walking towards the clinic.  I was a bit frightened to enter his house because he had some mean dogs.  I went in and banged on his door and told him what happened then I ran fast to catch up with my mother.  Not too long after she got to the clinic, my sister was born, and immediately the church bell rang.  My aunt who came right after us told me to run home and get some lime to sanitize the baby’s belly button.  I went home to my grandfather’s house and picked some limes from his tree and brought them to my aunt.

Once I returned to the clinic, it was very early in the morning.  I was very tired because of all the walking and running in the mud due to the rain all night.  I found my aunt washing my mother’s pants in the river, and the water was muddy because of the rain.  It was the main river in the area and so it’s pretty large and the current was very strong.  Suddenly she asked me to jump into the river and save the pants for my mom that she accidentally let go of, that were floating to the middle of the river.  I had never swum in this river before because I was afraid to due to its strong currents.  It was a cold morning as well, so I did not want to jump in.  I had to think for a little bit about where I could swim back to the bank once I got in.  I jumped in and got the pants and got back safely but it was very cold once I got out of the water.  On my return home fully soaked, I realized that the road we took was very muddy, slippery and dangerous but during the night nothing happened to my mother or me.  God kept my mom safe so that my sister could be born and have life, so that I could enjoy having her as one of my sisters.

This sister of mine was born healthy and my mother was also perfectly healthy.  However, before my mother conceived Alice, I believe she had a serious miscarriage that almost cost her life.  After she had the miscarriage at home there was leftover afterbirth that caused my mother serious sickness for weeks and months.  My dad tried and tried to find help to heal my mother but he could not, until finally they found an herbal healer who lived far away and she helped with the right herbs to restore my mother’s health.  There was no modern medicine or surgery to help my mom.  I remember traveling to her house to get herbs for my mother.  I told myself that I did not want my mother to die.  I also helped my sister cook the herbs to make medicine for my mother.  I never enjoyed going away from home to a strange village or place but because I was the only son and the oldest in the family, I had no choice.  I never liked to walk for hours to my mom’s parent’s house in another village, but I had to do what my parents asked of me.

DEATH CAME TO OUR FAMILY:  July 13, 1984, my mother’s mother in the next village died so I went to the funeral with my family.  It was my first time seeing a dead person in a coffin.  It was from that day on that I no longer got goodies from my grandmother.  She always gave me some chicken eggs for the family or sugar cane to eat as I walked home.  She was very small in stature but very hard working like my mother.  Both of them always gave their entire selves to their families.  It was truly like mother like daughter.  Since the day of her death, I have missed her very much and thankfully I still have her by having my mother with me.

Not too long after that, my dad’s father also died and I was there at his bedside.  It was my first time witnessing someone die in his bed.  I remember my grandmother was crying so loud.  He died around eight in the evening, when most of his children were around him.  After he died, every hour there were people coming to his house to visit his body and pray for him day and night.  For two days and nights, there were many guests.  Finally we took him to church for an early morning 4:45 a.m. burial Mass on a rainy day.  It was very muddy at the cemetery, and everybody was dirty, including me.  I remember seeing a big deep hole as they lowered my grandfather’s coffin into the hole with bamboo ropes.  We manually shoveled dirt over his coffin.  It was then that I realized eventually we all have to die and be buried.  After his funeral, my uncle butchered a young water buffalo in celebration of his life and to thank everyone who had come to give their condolences and help out.

After my grandfather died, my dad planned to move our family to a different town so as to escape.  He couldn’t do so before because his dad told him that as long as he lived he would not allow my dad to take our family to escape.  My grandfather knew how dangerous it was to escape.  He himself had escaped from North Vietnam to the south, so he knew the dangers.  He had seen too many either in jail, or killed while escaping, or captured by pirates.  Not only that but if the Communists knew that a member of a family was escaping, they would give the family members that stayed behind a hard time, for Communists have no mercy or fear of any person or God.

There were many nights in my childhood when the Communists came to my aunt’s house, looking for my cousins, to force them to into the military or to go to a labor camp in Cambodia.  Many nights when I was with my aunt and cousins, and even during the night while people were sleeping, if we heard an adult walking or a dog barking, then my cousins would have to flee out the window and hide in the rice field, bushes, or in the river.  Two of my cousins who were a few years older than me were captured and we didn’t hear anything from them for four years.  The Communists had taken them to Cambodia to a labor camp.  Even to this day, our world is full of violence and killing of innocent people.  As a matter of fact, it is happening legally in America, that over one million Americans are being killed by abortion each year.  Why are we killing our own flesh and blood?  Please pray for an end to abortion as it is the most evil action in the world.  Over 49 million babies are killed by abortion worldwide every year.  Thankfully none of us were victims of abortion.

 

 
Excerpt from Father's Story Print
Written by Summer Creed   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:32

In the next few weeks, as Father Hien is gone in Vietnam, we will be listing excerpts from his book.  You may find the book in it’s entirety on our website at www.stjosephmcpherson.com.  There is a link to it in the top left hand corner.

LORD, MAKE ME YOUR FISHER OF MEN!  Since that day, I took greater care of Jennifer and she became my closest sister.  She was three years younger than me.  My mother had quite a story in giving birth to Jennifer.  When it was time for my mother to give birth to her, my dad put my mom in a small canoe, taking her to the clinic a few miles away.  About halfway there my mother gave birth to my sister in the canoe while it was raining.  My dad didn’t know what to do.  He stopped the canoe and carried my mother to shore and brought her into a neighbor’s house.  The family was shocked and didn’t know what to do when they saw my mother with her baby in her pants.  My dad was furious and said to the family, “You better help me take care of my wife and baby.”  They did and both my mom and sister were fine.  God took care of them through the hands of their neighbors.  I can’t imagine how happy my parents must have been to have another child after losing my older sister and brother.  We were all precious to them.

Jennifer grew up and became strong and healthy like a boy.  I never saw her get sick in her childhood.  We went to church together every morning at 4:45 a.m.  We walked in the dark and in the rain.  Before Jennifer’s accident, I wasn’t always nice to her because she was a girl, and I was her big brother who she looked up to for getting tasks done.  I took advantage of her and made her act like a boy by running and walking while having the confidence of a man.  What I meant was that I often acted like a ghost to scare her, or made our neighbor’s dog angry so he would chase after us, and she would have to run with me, frightened and crying.  Jennifer was pretty innocent, and I had to teach her about everything, how to start a fire for cooking and even how to cook different dishes.  She always loved to do things with me and did them well.

In those days, we had hardly anything, not even a lighter to start a fire for cooking.  We cooked our food over an open fire.  We used rocks for the pot to set on.  We had no electricity, gas burner or firewood or much straw to burn either.  Most of the time we had to cook our food, or food for the pig, with rice shells, which is very smoky and hard to light, especially when it’s wet or humid outside.  We had to blow on the fire to get it started which got ashes on our face.  It was even harder to start the fire when rainwater leaked into our cooking area.  My sister Jennifer learned fast the tricks I taught her, such as killing a fish before you clean it.  Hit the snakes and eels on the head and not on the body.  Grasp the eels with your middle finger along with some ashes in your hands, because they are very clammy and slippery, and the ashes give you a grip.

I don’t think I ever slapped her or hit her physically but whenever another kid made her cry or made her upset, I beat that kid up.  She was three years younger than me but as she grew older, she did everything as well or twice better than I.  She knew how to do things around the house, such as cooking and babysitting; she was also very smart and always did very well in school.  As a matter of fact, she can read and write Vietnamese better than I can.  She knew more prayers and songs than me, and, of course, today she is a million times better cook than me.  We did many things for our family.  She was more of a homebody than me; she didn’t hang around much with friends like I did.  She gave her time to her family, taking care of them and cooking for them.

None of my siblings and I ever complained to one another about the things we had to do for our family or about how our parents treated us.  Because of this, I loved my childhood because I never complained or even felt jealous of other kids for what they had and I didn’t.  I loved my family and I loved to do what was asked of me, and I did it well.  I liked to play games [rubber bands, marbles, and spinning tops] with other kids.  I was known to make the tops spin for a long time.  I cut them from a fresh cut guava tree with my knife and smoothed it with a broken piece of glass.  The smoother the top, the longer it would spin.  I also made many traps out of bamboo to catch all kinds of fish, eels, snakes, turtles, and birds, especially field rats, for dinner.  All of the children my age did not have to do what we did because their families were better off than my family.  What I did at the age of 7 or 8 was done mostly by adults; however, even they were not much better than I was at fishing, or catching fish in the mud with my hands.

Every time a neighbor was done bailing out all the water in their ponds to harvest all the fish they could, they would allow people like me to hunt for any fish that might be left behind.  Now, every pond was full of mud in the bottom, sometimes two or three feet deep.  Many of the fish hid in the mud but no one could see them with the naked eye.  To catch them, you had to put both hands into the deep mud and try to find the fish but sometimes you caught a snake or eel instead.  The trick was that once you found a fish, you never acted up or yelled out because others would move close to you and take it away from you.  The rule was that the fish was not yours until it was in your basket.  So every time I found a fish, I always looked for the head and grasped it with both of my hands; therefore it wouldn’t escape.  The fish were very slippery due to their nature and also because they were in the mud.  If the fish had moved and swam away in the mud or popped up above the mud, then everyone would jump in and try to catch it.  I didn’t tell you that every fish sways its tail--flopping around like crazy when you hold it with your hands.  Yes, every time I caught a fish, my face was full of mud.  However, I had to do what was asked of me to feed my family.

Since the age of six years old, I was very observant and I learned handy work fast.  My family had an old and heavy bicycle.  I learned how to bike on my own.  My legs were too short so I rode the bike sideways.  I did not take swimming lessons.  I learned how to swim by jumping into the water and swimming and I have done it ever since.  I spent many hours with my cousin, and every Sunday (we didn’t work because it was the Lord’s Day) my friends and I swam and played games in the river, sometimes for four or five hours.  One Sunday, after I swam for many hours and forgot to eat, I walked to church and attended Mass at four in the afternoon.  After Mass, I fainted after everyone was gone, and lay in the pew.  A sacristan found me and others came and walked me home to my parents, who fed me uncooked rice.  I could have been dead from starvation.  They believed that uncooked rice helped me.  I think it’s a myth.

 

 
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