God is so good. I am continually amazed at how the Lord has continued to bless me in ways that I never thought possible. Over the course of the past year, I have had the opportunity to look back and reflect on what this first year has been like.
The year has definitely gone by quickly, filled with too many experiences and blessings to recount in entirety. How grateful I am to God for having called me to be a priest of Jesus Christ. The feelings of excitement have faded, which is to be expected, but the deeper and more profound experiences of joy and gratitude remain strong.
My first assignment has had a lot of opportunities for many different ministries. I have been so excited to begin my priesthood and serve the people of St. Patrick and St. Boniface churches. Becoming a priest helped to satisfy my desire to serve God and his people. I am discovering deep dimensions of what it means to be a servant of God and the church, to be a faithful witness of the Word of God in my life with a humble heart and a prayerful soul. I have had opportunities to express the love of God for the sick, the poor and the vulnerable.
One of the most impressive experiences in my priestly ministry at the parish is to celebrate the sacraments with the people and for the people. I have had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate baptisms and seeing in the children the new creation, the new life.
I have celebrated with children as they received their first Communion — the moment they have been waiting for with joyful anticipation. I have talked with adults and children about reconciliation, recognizing that we are all sinners in need of God’s love and mercy. I have walked with young couples as they prepare for the sacrament of marriage in which they bring to life the incredible beauty of God’s mysteries.
I have visited many families, nursing homes and hospitals to bring the healing touch of Christ through holy anointing and blessing. I have spent many blessed moments in funeral celebration with the families whose loved ones passed away.
In particular, my priesthood has been enormously enriched by celebrating the Eucharist with people every day in which we are nourished and refreshed with heavenly food. All of these have been moments of profound joy for me that I never could have imagined.
I also enjoy getting involved in many other parish and school activities. I have accompanied the youth on mission trips and retreats in which we get many great experiences for enriching the journey of faith, hope and love. I have participated in many spiritual events that help me go deeper in Jesus’ love 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 and more about encouraging and drawing 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 am trying to bear abundant fruits for the life of the church and for the salvation of the world in my priestly life.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of you who have loved me in ways that words cannot express — your love, hospitality, kindness, support, patience, generosity and sacrifice.
Peace and Blessings!
Father Quan Nguyen was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Emeritus Joseph E. Kurtz on May 29, 2021.