Newly Ordained—Opportunities and Blessings Abound
God is so good. I am continually amazed at how the Lord has continued to bless me in ways I never thought possible. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to look back and reflect on what that first year was like.
The year has definitely passed quickly, filled with experiences and blessings too numerous to recount in full. How grateful I am to God for calling me to be a priest of Jesus Christ. The feelings of excitement have faded, which is to be expected, but the deeper, deeper experiences of joy and gratitude remain strong.
My first assignment had many opportunities for many different ministries. I was so excited to start my priesthood and serve the people of St. Patrick and St. Boniface Churches. Becoming a priest helped me fulfill my desire to serve God and his people. I discover deep dimensions of what it means to be a servant of God and of the church, to be a faithful witness to the Word of God in my life with a humble heart and a prayerful soul. I had the opportunity to express God’s love for the sick, the poor and the vulnerable.
One of the most impressive experiences of my priestly ministry in the parish is celebrating the sacraments with the people and for the people. I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate baptisms and to see in children the new creation, the new life.
I celebrated with children the first communion they received – the moment they were looking forward to with joyful anticipation. I spoke with adults and children about reconciliation, recognizing that we are all sinners in need of God’s love and mercy. I have accompanied young couples who are preparing for the sacrament of marriage in which they bring to life the incredible beauty of the mysteries of God.
I have visited many families, nursing homes and hospitals to bring the healing touch of Christ through holy anointing and blessing. I spent many blessed times celebrating funerals with the families whose loved ones passed away.
In particular, my priesthood has been greatly enriched by celebrating the Eucharist with people each day in which we are nourished and refreshed with heavenly foods. All of these have been moments of deep joy for me that I could never have imagined.
I also enjoy being involved in many other parish and school activities. I have accompanied young people on mission trips and retreats during which we obtain many wonderful experiences to enrich the journey of faith, hope and love. I have participated in many spiritual events that help me deepen the love of Jesus and make me stronger in my relationship with others.
Indeed, working in the parish helps me realize that ministry is less about what I do than about encouraging and attracting people for the building up of the Body of Christ.
As a priest of Jesus Christ in holy cooperation, I hope to have been configured in Christ and sanctified not in my name but in the person of Christ the Head.
I try to bear abundant fruit for the life of the Church and for the salvation of the world in my priestly life.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have loved me in a way that words cannot express – your love, hospitality, kindness, support, patience, generosity and sacrifice.
Peace and blessings!
Father Quan Nguyen was ordained a priest by Archbishop Emeritus Joseph E. Kurtz on May 29, 2021.