Thursday, July 30, 2009

Logo Unveiled for World Youth Day 2011

Reflects Unity That Forms a Marian Crown

MADRID, Spain, JULY 30, 2009 ( The logo for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid was presented today: The image reflects youth of the world beneath the cross, united to form the crown of Our Lady, patron of Madrid.

The upcoming World Youth Day is scheduled for Aug. 16-21, 2011.

The logo designer, José Gil-Nogués, explained that the image symbolizes "youth of the whole world united to celebrate their faith together with the Pope, at the foot of the cross, and they form the crown of Our Lady of Almudena, patron of Madrid."

The crown, Gil-Nogués added, forms the "M" of Mary and of Madrid. And the cross, symbol of Christianity, presides over the event.

The message of the logo, the designer continued, is "a catechesis, an opportunity for evangelization: The quick and sure path to reach Christ is the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of mankind. In Mary's faith, youth have the example and model for reaching Christ and fulfilling the primary goal of World Youth Day: to bring their message to the world."

"The logo has a firm and spontaneous stroke," Gil-Nogués suggested, "like youth of the 21st century. It is close, friendly, open. Joyful, carefree and positive."

"The use of a palette of warm colors -- red, orange and yellow -- transmits unmistakable warmth and friendliness, symbols of the identity of a city like Madrid, a nation like Spain. These colors also reflect the 'divine warmth' of Trinitarian Love."

The logo was selected after a competition among professional graphic designers.


Cha Trí nói đến những triển vọng của Đồng Hành

Fr. Tri Dinh's homily at the National Assembly

Saturday, 15th Week
National CLC Assembly 09

I believe God wants me to speak about three things: prophetic tears, prophetic love, and prophetic joy.

Prophetic tears:

Has anyone cried during these days? I’ve seen a number of people cry. Babies, a young woman, a number of adults, and at least two Jesuits; one of whom is me. I confess, I have cried a lot.

When Yvonne & Dorothee, our Rwandan sisters spoke, it’s hard not to. 1,000,000 people killed at the hands of their neighbors, friends, and families in 100 days; in a country of 90% Christians, 50% of whom are Catholics. The Church did not speak up. The world governments did not intervene. There were many moments when I cried yesterday. There are a number of reasons:

Shame: as a religious I felt ashamed, some from religious orders like me killed; as a priest I felt ashamed of a church that did not stand up against such horrifying events.

Sadness: it triggered my own sufferings. I remember my own childhood pains and those of the Vietnamese people. I recalled the pains of the many people I am and have been privileged to serve these past 25 years in ministry. I experienced what Johannes Metz calls the “dangerous memory of suffering”. Such dangerous memories “force” us to acknowledge the place in history of the suffering victims, and confront our own complicity.

Embracing the pain of God. I recalled my experience of the Spiritual Exercises how God was profoundly sad when His people nailed His only on on the Cross. How God was very sad with me when my grandparents died; how God suffered with me in recent times of being misunderstood and accused. As Fr Bernie Owens preached two days ago, we experience the “pathos of God” on our way of becoming prophets.

Joseph, in the first reading, cried tears as well. This was the third time he cried. As you may remember, Joseph was the 11th and favorite son of Jacob the patriarch. Jealous that their father loved Joseph best, his brothers wanted to kill him. They sold him into slavery to Egypt instead. Years later, Jacob’s family and the Hebrew people were starving after a severe famine. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy an emergency supply of grain. They came to Pharoah’s chief steward, in charge of the grain. This turned out to be Joseph. After some struggle, Joseph was able to forgive his brothers and brought the whole family to Egypt care for them. In today’s reading, Jacob, their father died. Still full of guilt, the brothers ware fearful that Joseph would “pay back in full for all the harm they did to him” now that their father has died. They came to him pleading. And Joseph cried the third time.

This is a story about a broken family that learned to forgive and love again. Joseph’s tears were prophetic. We don’t consider him a prophet but he is, because he dreams God’s dream. He is able to interpret God’s dream. Like Joseph the stepfather of Jesus, he is able to enter the pain and of God through his own tears. Although Scripture does not say it, Joseph the carpenter must have cried many tears, when he heard that Mary was pregnant not by him, when children were slaughtered as Jesus was born. Both Josephs, in the words of Fr. Nicolás’ address in Fatima, are prophetic, for they see with the Eyes of God; listen with the ears of God; feel with the Heart of God; and speak Word of God, “a word of mercy, of compassion for those who suffer… and a word of Conversion and Solidarity for those who can do something about that suffering.”

My dear friends, we will experience more prophetic tears as we move toward becoming a prophetic community. We must allow ourselves to cry tears. At times, these tears may not flow down our cheeks, but swell up in our throats and become heavy in our hearts, because they are so deep watery tears cannot contain and words cannot express. We will cry tears for our world, tears for one another, tears for our groups. Tears of sorrow that others in our own CLC groups may have caused, tears we may intentionally or unintentionally caused ourselves, perhaps through our inordinate attachments, through our fears of change, through being misunderstood, through complacency, or by pushing away the prophets among us further to the margins. (Remember that prophets often come from the margins). Like Joseph and his brothers, we will hurt one another, even if we don’t mean to.

I was moved to tears when Yvonne from Rwanda shared her deep pain that a group member who was raped and contracted HIV kept it secret until almost the end – while she made the Exercises. I cried because I have felt the pain of a number of our CLC groups in similar crucibles of trust and honesty. In the Đồng Hành family, there have been great movements toward growth. But some groups suffer “bloody” conflicts because some members want to move forward while others want to remain as is. Because we are moving toward where we have never been before, none of us really know how. So our passionate desires and deep fears clash. We may split, and we will cry. But if we embrace the pain of God through these tears, they will become prophetic tears. Recall the words of Jesus about spiritual growth: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24).

Prophetic Love:

Not all of Joseph’s tears are those of shame and sadness. Joseph spoke kindly to his brothers: "Have no fear … Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children." Beyond his tears is a love that reconciles.

The moving story of CLC Rawanda testifies to a prophetic love rooted in reconciliation. My eyes swelled with tears when hearing about how the CLC Rawanda community called back a member from Kenya after he fled, fearing being tried in court. Courageously they implored; humbly he returned. The tears of the Rwanda community were tears of solidarity and hope, tears of reconciling love. So much of their efforts has and still focuses on the long hard road toward reconciling love.

The “dangerous memory of suffering” does not only confront us with the history of the suffering victims. It also brings us deeper into the narrative of God’s saving, reconciling love in Jesus. This echoes Decree 3 of the 35th General Congregation of the Jesuits written last year, which grounds our prophetic love in the ministry of reconciliation: “This reconciliation calls us to build a new world of right relationships, a new Jubilee reaching across all divisions so that God might restore his justice for all.” We are called to “bridge the division of a fragmented world” by being united by a love of Christ and through personal bonds of friendship with one another.

I am reminded of the story of Blessed Andrew Phú Yên, the first martyr of Vietnam in the 17th Century. He was a 19 year-old catechist who refused to abandon his faith. When he was executed, Jesuit Father Alexandre de Rhodes wanted to put a new bamboo mat beneath him to honor the young man’s death. But young Andrew replied, “Thank you Father, but let my blood seep into the ground of my homeland.” Before he was beheaded, he said in Vietnamese: “Lấy tình yêu đáp trà tình yêu. Lấy mạng sống đáp trả mạng sống” which means in English “Love is repaid by love alone. Life is repaid by life alone.” Because Jesus has given his life for him, he wanted to make a similar return of his life. A moving martyrdom: his blood enlivened the soil of the Vietnamese faith. There are many stories like his. For isn’t true that the churches of Asia is build on the blood of the martyrs of Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, China?

Andrew Phú Yên’s radical attachment to the person of Jesus teaches us much about prophetic love which reconciles. Although many of us may not be called to a martyrdom of death, all of us are called to a life of witness – to live radically attached to Jesus and his reconciling love. Only then, can we love deeply, serve out of gratitude, and not just engage in political activism. Only then can we be Prophetic not in what we do, but in how we treat one another – for people will know that we are Jesus’ disciples if we love one another. Yes, we need to show a preferential love for the poor, but we are only credible if we love one another in our local and regional CLC’s.

Radical attachment to Jesus does not just mean working to change unjust structures outside of ourselves. It is not enough to denounce what is wrong in the world. We also need to build right relationships, to cultivate communities rooted in love and grounded in justice. We are not the only people striving to do this. Many are trying. Yet, in order to be true to our Ignatian calling, let us truly wed faith and justice. The world needs to see peoples and communities who embody an integration of social justice and contemplation. While we speak out against unjust structures, we also need to form just faith communities.

Fr. Nicolás urges us to do likewise: “Our greatest priority as CLC has to be the Formation of our members. This is the priority of priorities. But, mainly, the formation has to be in the Life of the Spirit, so that we all master the tools to become interiorly free, for real discernment of God’s will, for docile and joyful familiarity with the ways of the Spirit.” Fr Nicolás calls us to focus on formation, so that we are rooted in radical love of Jesus, reading the signs of the time, and responsive to the Spirit.

What if our CLC communities become schools of love, where we are committed to living out reconciling love? Our Rwanda brothers and sisters are taking a lead in this prophetic love which arises out of their prophetic tears.

Prophetic joy:

From tears. To love. To joy. This dynamism echoes the movement of the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises. For Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection reveals God’s self-giving and laboring love, which bridges tears and joy. Reconciling love turns tears into joy.

My tears these days have also been tears of joy. I have been so blessed to witness the growth of many people in CLC these past three years and more. People embracing God’s love for them as beloved sinners, people captivated by Christ, people impelled by the Spirit on mission. Without minimizing our struggles, I am seeing more committed communities that seek to empower growth in its members, helping one another discover and live out their personal vocations and common mission. Thanks to the Diversity and Organizing Committee, we are shifting to a focus on relationship. I am moved to tears when I catch glimpses of people becoming whole and integrated, to see them so excited and convinced that CLC is the best way of living out Ignatian spirituality among lay people. During these days, I have been moved to tears when I see young adults through the Cura Personalis Formation encountering God for the first time, when an older Jesuit shed tears of joy as he talked about the presence of Carmen and Angelique’s children, when young children stand up here and talk about being God’s masterpiece, when adults stretch beyond their cultural comfort zones. I especially tear up with joy when one of the longest Caucasian member of our community speak publicly that she is humbled by what she is learning about formation from newer ethnic communities.

Fr Nicolás observed that “this is the time for prophetic communities … and I feel that you are decidedly moving in this direction.” Yes, we are moving. Five years ago in Miami the face, age, age, and race of our Assembly is significantly different. And we are richer for it. It is the signs of the time in our CLC Community, the movement of the Spirit.

Yes, we need to move. Let me suggest a few ways.

Our unique and relevant contribution to the Church is the gift of the Exercises. Have you thought about making the Spiritual Exercises? If you have been in CLC for more than 3 years, would you consider doing so within 2-3 years? Have you gone through Lightworks or other prayer programs? Do you make the Awareness Examen everyday? So you can engage life through God’s eyes, ears, hearts, etc? So you can ask, “Lord, today, where is my heart, my eyes, my ears?

What might “moving” mean for those of us who are older? Can you model for those younger the beauty of aging gracefully? Would you be open to catch the contagious energy of the young?

What might “moving” mean for those of us who are younger? Would you listen to the wisdom of those older in order to better channel your energy? Later tonight at the “CLC by Night” event, can we sit with those who are more diverse in age and skin color? So we can enjoy one another more than just watch the entertainment?

Yes, where we are going, we have never gone before. And its horizon is even beyond our imagination.

But let us go forward with prophetic tears, prophetic love, and prophetic joy. Let us go with God!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Do not open it with your mind
that would only kill the seed
Sow it where the soil is rich
Sow it in your heart
and give it time

Anthony de Mello, sj

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sự chuyển mình của Đồng Hành

Cha Trí nói về những chuyển mình của Đồng Hành trong thời gian gần đây

It Is Never Enough, Until We Give It Away

Biblical Reflection for 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, JULY 22, 2009 ( Today's Old Testament reading from 2 Kings 4:42-44 is a fitting prelude to John's version of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (6:1-21). The author of Kings tells us about one of Elisha's servants who doubts that 20 loaves of barley is enough to feed 100 people. Elisha, however, trusts the promise of the Lord and overrules his servant. The miracle vindicates Elisha's trust. The numbers fed are modest in comparison with the feeding of the 5,000 in John's Gospel!

Bread is a symbol of the person and work of Jesus in John's great Eucharistic teaching in Chapter 6, and this Eucharistic theme continues over the next four weeks of Scripture readings. Today's Gospel is John's marvelous story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The various accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, two each in Mark and in Matthew and one each in Luke and in John, indicate the wide interest of the early Church in their Eucharistic gatherings (e.g., Mark 6:41; 8:6; 14:22); and recall also the sign of bread in Exodus 16; Deuteronomy 8:3-16; Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40; Wisdom 16:20-21. The miraculous event, recounted by the four evangelists, points forward to the idea of life in God's kingdom as a banquet at which the Messiah will preside.

Unique perspectives

Mark's readers saw this incident as an anticipation of the Last Supper (14:22) and the messianic banquet, both of which were celebrated in the community's Eucharists.

Matthew's addition of the number of people present and fed is significant, because the total figure could well have come to 20,000 or 30,000 people and the miracle is repeated again in 15:38. The sheer numbers of those fed give the feeding stories a distinct social character.

Luke links his feeding account with Jesus' prediction of his passion and his instructions about bearing one's cross daily (9:18-27). To celebrate the Eucharist in memory of Jesus (22:19) is to share not only his mission (9:1-6) but also his dedication and destiny, symbolized by the cross (9:18-27). The Eucharist is part of a journey in Luke's Gospel, nourishing and strengthening us for continuing faithfully in our way of life.

Johannine details

John's multiplication story is a central part of Jesus' important teaching on the Bread of Life (6:1-15). This story is immediately followed by Jesus' walking on water. John's multiplication story has been expanded in the introduction by the addition of 1) the vague chronological marker "after these things"; 2) the specification of the place, Lake of Tiberias. This is also the place of the appearance of the risen Lord in John 21:1; 3) the motivation for the crowd -- they have seen Jesus' healings (signs); 4) the reference to the impending "Passover of the Jews."

As in other Johannine miracle stories, the initiative for this miracle clearly lies with Jesus. Philip does not perceive that Jesus' question is an appeal to his faith and simply refers to the amount of money required. Jesus teases Philip to have bigger dreams and better hopes rather than to reduce them down to reality. In verses 14-15, the crowds respond correctly that Jesus is the messianic prophet, but misunderstand what they are really saying. The true nature of Jesus' kingship, which is not that of a national liberator, will only be revealed at his trial (18:33-37; 19:12-15).

One unique Johannine touch is the role of the young boy in this miracle story. What human reason did not dare to hope became a reality with Jesus thanks to a young boy's generous heart.

Living bread

The multiplication of the loaves is an enduring image of the Eucharist. Jesus wanted to use this humble gift of a few loaves and fishes to feed a multitude, and more (12 baskets were left!). Logic and human reason often say to us, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish." But Jesus asks that even such meager provisions as these, together with the trust and generosity of disciples of every age, be stretched to their limits. "Let's see. It will never be enough until we start to give it away."

For the believer, Jesus is much more than a miracle worker; he himself is heavenly food. The believer will never again experience hunger or thirst. As bread sustains life, Jesus will sustain all who approach him in faith. To acknowledge Jesus as the living bread is the ultimate expression of God's love in Christ's death and glorification.

Prolonging the miracle

Whenever I read the miracle stories of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, I recall these stirring words from Pope John Paul II's 1998 Apostolic Letter "dies Domini" -- On Keeping the Lord's Day (No. 71). These words illustrate what lies at the heart of today's miracle of the loaves and fishes and challenge each of us about our duties to truly put the Eucharist into practice in daily life: "The teachings of the Apostles struck a sympathetic chord from the earliest centuries, and evoked strong echoes in the preaching of the Fathers of the Church.

"St. Ambrose addressed words of fire to the rich who presumed to fulfill their religious obligations by attending church without sharing their goods with the poor, and who perhaps even exploited them: 'You who are rich, do you hear what the Lord God says? Yet you come into church not to give to the poor but to take instead.'

"St. John Chrysostom is no less demanding: 'Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk only then to neglect him outside where he suffers cold and nakedness. He who said: 'This is my body' is the same One who said: 'You saw me hungry and you gave me no food,' and 'Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me' ... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices, when he is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger, and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.'

"These words effectively remind the Christian community of the duty to make the Eucharist the place where fraternity becomes practical solidarity, where the last are the first in the minds and attentions of the brethren, where Christ himself -- through the generous gifts from the rich to the very poor -- may somehow prolong in time the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves."

Questions for reflection

What does Jesus' Eucharistic presence mean for us? Does our participation in the weekly and daily celebrations of the Lord's meal transform us into people of gratitude, loving kindness, justice and charity? In what ways does the Eucharist symbolize the life we are living and our life symbolize the Eucharist? How do we express gratitude? Is the Eucharist giving direction to our life?

Do we not often wonder where we shall get the means to accomplish what seems good and necessary? Today's miracle reveals the extraordinary resources of life within each of us. In order to sustain our hopes, we must believe in miracles. We must feast on the Body and Blood of the Lord for our real energy and life.

[The readings for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time B are 2 Kings 4:42-44; Ephesians 4:1-6; and John 6:1-15]

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Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He can be reached at:

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Original text:

Meet Lois Campbell at the National Assembly - Part 4

Friday, July 17, 2009

S.E.E.D. Đông Bắc - Aug. 28-30

Donation for SEED

Chào các anh chị,
Yep, it's official and finally... SEED is coming to Dong Bac!!! Retreat weekend for children 8-13!

Mary Immaculate Center
300 Cherryville Road
Northampton, PA 18067

4pm Fri. Aug. 28 to 2pm Sun. Aug. 30, 2009

Sau nhiều năm tháng ao ước và nhận định với nhau, thăm hỏi kinh nghiệm của các anh chị đi trước, lắng nghe những nhu cầu và lòng ao ước được dấn thân phục vụ trong lãnh vực này từ một số các em retreat leaders, SEED Đông Bắc is no longer a dream but a reality !!

Như một số các anh chị được biết, khóa SEED được bắt đầu từ vài năm qua bên vùng Tây Nam, phát xuất từ Nhóm Gia Đình Nazareth, trong đó các em Hạt Cải đóng vai trò retreat leaders. Khóa SEED này đã được công nhận là đã mang lại kết qủa ngoài dự tích của các bậc che mẹ, một môi trường lành mạnh vui tươi cho các con em, một weekend getaway, một buổi học hỏi lẫn nhau trong việc giáo dục con cái, cùng lúc đã xác định và trả lời cho sự nhận định của lời mời gọi dấn thân của các em retreat leaders.

Một trong những trục trặc trong lúc chuẩn bị, như một số các anh chị được biết, trung tâm Mary Immaculate Center (MIC) đã dự định đóng cửa trong những ngày tháng tới vì vấn đề tài chánh, chắc chắn những khóa tĩnh tâm và khóa SEED sẽ phải kiếm một địa điểm khác. Khi nhận được tin này cách đây 2 tháng, SEED team chỉ nhìn nhau mà “cười trừ”, không biết đâu là Thánh ý Chúa!! Thế rồi, cách đây một vài tuần, sau khi đã thử nhiều cách khác nhau để có thể kiếm một địa điểm khác trong vòng thời gian ngắn nhưng không có kết qủa, thì lại được tin trung tâm MIC sẽ tiếp tục cho những bookings trong năm nay được tiếp tục diễn ra như dự định (và cũng có thể là năm cuối cùng tại MIC!). Có phải đây là Thánh ý Chúa không các anh chị, YES, this is our confirmation, answer of a discernment !!

Registration link đã được activate trên, xin các anh chị tiếp tục giúp chuyển đến các nhóm lời mời gọi này và xin cầu nguyện cho SEED để tất cả được diễn ra trong Thánh Ý Chúa. Thanks to all retreat leaders to come this far through discernment D.S.S.E. process, prayer to bring this event, a reality !!

Xin được kết thúc email này bằng một vài tư tưởng dưới đây mà ít nhiều chúng ta đã được nghe qua:

Điều gì bạn ước mơ riêng một mình thì sẽ chỉ là một ước mơ.
Điều gì bạn ước mơ với bạn bè thì có thể trở nên thật.
Điều gì bạn mơ ước với Chúa thì sẽ trở nên thật
Khi bạn mơ ước chính ước mơ của Chúa thì đó là thật.

What you dream alone remains a dream
What you dream with others can become a reality
What you dream with God will become a reality
When you dream God’s dream it is reality

Thay mặt ban SEED ĐB team and all retreat leaders

Lê Minh Đức

• • •

What is S.E.E.D.?

by Frank Vuong

Search. There are many instances in life in which we actively search for meaning, a purpose given only by God. This search for truth is not limited to any age group nor is it limited to any location or time. About one month ago, six young adults who normally would be studying for college exams, went out on a journey to lead a retreat for children of all ages. Six young adults who were inexperienced in leading any sort of spiritual retreat, left Southern California to reach out to another group in Arizona. This retreat team, consisting of Anthony Pham, Mark Pham, Steven Nguyen, Thu Nguyen, Vinh Tran and Frank Vuong, answered God’s calling to support and be supported by a community of fellow Christians, nhóm Nazaret. The search to see God in a new light in our lives had only begun.

Embark. This retreat for children was truly a journey, and God was definitely the guide. It all started with an invitation sent to nhóm Hạt Cải, asking if leading a retreat for children would be of interest. Upon receiving this invitation, the retreat team soon was established after discerning whether or not it was God’s calling for the individuals who desired to take up this opportunity. We had countless meetings and numerous late nights when the retreat team would go over every single detail of the retreat. To be honest, we had no idea what we were getting into. None of us had ever led a full retreat in our lives. Yet, we found trust, hope, faith and guidance through God as we kept reminding ourselves that we were doing this for Him. Every disagreement we had in our planning process was settled through the thought of the smiles on each child’s face and we hadn’t even met them yet.

The planning process of retreat took us almost two months. We had to find time in our busy schedules that consisted of school, exams, studying and work. The planning and preparation never ceased until the minutes leading up to the retreatant’s arrival time. Although the planning seemed stressful, we had so much fun bonding with each other and getting each other more excited as we thought about the children. I remember at one point we had started counting down the days, minutes, and seconds left until the start of the retreat. Through love, faith, and putting it all into action, we embarked on this journey to allow the children of nhóm Nazaret to embrace and encounter God in a whole other way.

Experience. After a long drive from Southern California to the retreat site in Flagstaff, Arizona, we found ourselves anxious and excited. I remember how the retreat team and I were preparing the meeting room before the retreat officially started. Each one of the retreat leaders was soon ambushed by remarkably energetic little people, the children. We were stormed by children who had met us for only the first time, yet began to hug and embrace us as older brothers and a sister in Christ. We were hoping to give the parents and children a warm welcome, yet ironically we were the ones who were even more warmly welcomed.

At that moment, I saw God in the smiles on each child’s face. I saw their eagerness to spend time with the Lord through praise, worship, community time and faith-sharing. I saw God also in the parents as they placed their entire trust and faith in the retreat leaders. I had never experienced so much support from people I hardly knew. We all were experiencing God’s graces this retreat. We were witnessing mountains being moved with prayer.

Develop. Throughout the retreat we focused on introducing God to the children through different aspects. We helped reconnect the retreatants with God through experiencing one another as friends and ultimately as a family in Christ. We played activities that would help the children see God in nature and in other people. One specific activity we had was painting a scene of nature. Each child would look around at the beautiful pine trees that surrounded us and appreciate God’s work of art through making his/her own work of art in the form of paintings. Another activity was the scavenger hunt. All the retreatants were separated into random groups in which they would work as a team to find clues that would lead them to a retreat leader. Each retreat leader dressed up as a saint for this game. The retreatants had an awesome time finding the retreat leaders dressed as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bernadette, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Peter, hiding around in the forest as they waited to tell their stories of their wonderful journeys of faith. We also had discussions and presentations on various topics. We explored what The Sign of the Cross meant and why we do it. The children found Who God is to them as the Heavenly Father. We discussed with the children the Catholic belief of the Holy Trinity. Last but not least, we helped them to find their place of comfort in a community, and they actually built real communities—out of cardboard! This retreat was jam-packed full of activities, games, and presentations that were all centered around God in a way that would help develop the children’s spirituality.

S.E.E.D. Looking back now, I can see how it was only through God’s grace that this retreat experience happened. Through the unsurpassed support from the parents, the incomparable participation and enthusiasm of the children, and the deep passion of the retreat leaders, this retreat was a dream come true for all of us. Never had I thought I would be privileged enough to lead a retreat like this at my age. This certainly was a true community experience that allowed me to not only bond with children but the adults as well. The S.E.E.D. Retreat 2006 was definitely an irreplaceable experience that bridged the gaps between generations, age groups and spiritual lifestyles. I am honored to say that during those three days of searching, embarking, experiencing and developing our relationship with Jesus, I know that this truly was an act of building God’s community.

Lord, You are the planter, and I am the seed. Amen.

An Introduction to Mustard Seeds CLC

by Kim-Anh Vu

Mustard Seeds (Hat Cai in Vietnamese) is a Dong Hanh CLC group that has been formed since 1985 within the campus grounds of the University of California, Irvine. The idea of having a Dong-Hanh group within a university originated with a few students attending a weekend retreat that was adapted from The Spiritual Exercises by Fr. Julian Elizalde, S.J., who was a Spanish Jesuit who could speak Vietnamese fluently. For more than twenty years, this group continues to have an active presence within the Catholic community of the university. Embracing the Ignatian spirit, they meet weekly to pray and to live community life, as well as to help each other integrate different aspects of their busy student lives. They participate in service projects in Tijuana, Mexico, and music ministry on campus, as well as Dong-Hanh activities.

Recently, the members of Mustard Seeds were invited to prepare a retreat for young children ranging in age from six to fifteen, by the parents of the Dong-Hanh Christian Life Community®. It was an invitation that followed —CLC, Our Way of Proceeding. Five members were missioned from the group to carry out the retreat with the full support from the group as well as from the Southwest Dong-Hanh Region.

It was a collaborative effort of the parents and the students to bring the S.E.E.D. Retreat to thechildren. This came from the many months and years of the parents asking the questions: “How do we begin introducing the Spiritual Exercises to our young children as they are also considered members of our family community? How do we introduce to our children a personal God Who loves and cares for us unconditionally?”

Many were the questions that led us to the first S.E.E.D. retreat on September 20-22, 2006, in Flagstaff, Arizona, amidst the pines and ponderosa trees. There were twenty-two children and five retreat leaders, with the support of all the parents and one priest.

Those were wonderful days of blessings. Beginning with orientation, the children were led into the retreat with the dynamics of different activities: the treasure hunt; interviewing the saints; learning about God, each other and self in nature, morning prayer with music and songs, evening Examen with some quiet moments for gratefulness; and entertainment night where the parents, children and retreat leaders put together their talents in skits, dance and music. The parents marveled at the children’s ability to translate biblical messages into today’s circumstances. The children laughed at their parents’ silliness. We all enjoyed God’s presence among us. Truly, we were living the Ignatian CLC Way of Life –spirituality, community and mission.

Upon reflection, the Lord has blessed the Mustard Seeds with so much during the last twenty years. We were given a spirituality that has brought us close to God and to each other. We found ‘home,’ where we truly belong. In service to each other and the community at large, we understood more deeply the meaning of our lives. I was once a Mustard Seed, when it started in 1985. How the Lord labors to form and guide the group! How He has journeyed with us thus far to provide all of our needs and more!

“Take, Lord, receive…
You have given all to me, now I return it.”

When I graduated and it was time to leave the Mustard Seeds, I prayed this prayer. I did not know then that twenty years later, it would be the Mustard Seeds’ members who would be giving a retreat for our very own children. Indeed, in receiving what I was giving back to Him, the Lord gave back to me even more than I could imagine. His love and grace continue to overflow into the lives of our children, gifting them and blessing them. Yes, He has given back to us so much more than what we have offered to Him. Indeed, ‘our cups were overflowed” when we witnessed the joy and peace in the smiles of our children. We thank God deeply for sowing seeds of love in their hearts. May He continue to receive them and give them back to the world with hearts anew more and more each day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CLC-NA Tâm sự của cha Trí

Một chút tâm tình của cha Trí trong buổi tối thứ sáu July 10, khi Đồng Hành có buổi gặp nhau riêng.

Con yêu ...

Con yêu Nhà Thờ vì nơi đó
Mỗi ngày con viếng Đức Giêsu,
Con thương Linh Mục, người Dâng Lễ
Chức Thánh người mang mãi thiên thu .

Con yêu cây xanh và bàn đá
góp phần mình tô điểm nhà Cha,
Cây không nói, không than mình khô lá,
Đá không buồn dù đá cô đơn .

Như đá, như cây,
con sống Tính yêu ấy,
no đủ cho con dọc tháng ngày .
Con nhớ trong tim đường đi Lễ,
Con mang trên ngực sách Kinh cầu .
Giờ Kinh Phụng Vụ, con ngây ngất
như thưỡ ban đầu trông thấy nhau …

Con yêu nắng đổ xế chiều
Vì Cha Dâng Lễ triều thiên giờ nầy.
Thánh Lể ! trời ơi ! rất nhiệm mầu,
Làm sao diễn tả hết cao sâu ?

Vàng bạc châu báu thế gian ơi !
Lấp lánh vàng thau giữa cõi đời,
Có biết đâu rằng Chân Hạnh phúc
chỉ ở trong tay Đức Chúa Trới ?

Rước Mình Thánh Chúa, Thầy ơi !
Là Ơn cao trọng, là Tình chúa chan,
Gập mình, bái lạy Thiên Nhan
Ngẫng đầu Hiệp Lễ, lệ tràn ướt mi …

Thánh Linh ôi ! diệu kỳ Thần Khí !
Mắt say đắm mắt,
Lòng say đắm long …

Đông Khê

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Chương trình được khai mạc từ ngày thứ Bẩy, cuối hạ tuần tháng 6. Vợ chồng chúng tôi đến nơi trưa ngày Chúa Nhật. Ngay giây phút đầu tiên bước chân đến giáo xứ Chúa Ba Ngôi, Giáo Phận San Jose, California. Địa điểm tổ chức khóa Family Ministry Summit của Ban Gia Đình thuộc Cộng Đoàn Đồng Hành CLC-USA.

Như một món quà đầy yêu thương, chúng tôi đón nhận trong xúc động. Khi “ Tim” vồn vã ôm chầm cả hai với những lời thăm hỏi chân tình. Vợ chồng nhìn nhau thầm chung một ý nguyện, biết ơn và cảm tạ Tình Chúa qua tình bằng hữu. Khóa đang trong phần Affirming Gifts và Sharing. Có xúc động và nước mắt, có niềm vui và nụ cười từ những tâm tình của từng cá nhân chia sẻ. Cùng nói với Chúa về nhau.

Kế đến, các Linh Mục linh hướng, thầy Phó Tế và các anh chị trong BGĐ thứ tự trình bầy những đề tài liên hệ. Những nhận định khác biệt về mọi khía cạnh của Core Team Formation hay Support System trong các ban : Nội Dung, Cố Vấn, Phụng Vụ, và Ẩm Thực , Tài Chánh v..v… lần lượt được trao đổi. Mọi người đều quan tâm chú trọng đến tầm mức quan trọng của những skills. Cách chia sẻ đề tài, dàn bài. Cách trình bầy và điều hành công việc , thái độ công tác , làm việc của “ Tim ”. Nét đặc biệt ghi nhận được nêu ra là quyết định lại về phương thức điều hành, tổ chức khóa . Chia trách nhiệm chung cho các Vùng trực thuộc. Khóa thăm dò đầu tiên sẽ do các anh chị em tại Dallas – Vùng Trung Tây thực hiện . Được dự trù tổ chức ba ngày cuối thượng tuần tháng 11/2009.

Tối đến, cả “ Tim ” lũ lượt kéo nhau lên núi. Đây là tư gia của một anh chị trong ban tổ chức điạ phương. Buổi sinh hoạt đặc biệt điều hợp bởi Linh Mục Robert A. Ruhnke C.S.S.R và cuốn video Preparation for For Better and For Ever. Thành tâm thú thật, vợ chồng chúng tôi mệt nhoài, vì thức giậy từ sáng sớm để ra phi trường. Đến nơi thì đi thẳng vào phòng sinh hoạt. Vì thế tối hôm đó, ngồi trong khoảnh khắc. Hình ảnh video mờ dần trước mắt và những lời dẫn giải từ từ xa vắng…Vào đến phòng ngủ đã quá nửa đêm. Sáng hôm sau, sau khi đọc kinh sáng và dùng điểm tâm. Mọi người trở lại phòng sinh hoạt. Đề tài đã được giới thiệu đêm hôm trước. Phần chi tiết , nội dung được trình bầy cặn kẽ, mạch lạc bởi Cha Ruhnke. Sau gần ba tiếng đồng hồ theo dõi, lắng nghe. Vợ chồng chúng tôi, cả hai đều đồng ý. Đây là những hoa trái hiếm quý. Chúa ban thật đúng lúc, đúng nơi chốn. Những khao khát, ước ao của “ Tim ” đã được nhậm lời.

Cha Ruhnke và hằng ngàn cặp vợ chồng khắp nơi. Từ Hoa Kỳ, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico v…v…Đã cùng hiệp nhất yểm trợ, giúp đỡ trên mọi phương diện. Vật chất , tinh thần, và hơn nữa đã mở lòng bẻ tấm bánh cuộc đời để chia sẻ với cộng đoàn KiTô trên toàn thế giới. Món quà gồm 21 đề mục với 212 trang sách . Mang tựa đề For Better and For Ever, “Cho Tốt Hơn Và Mãi Mãi” đã khai triển trung thực về những quan hệ nam nữ trong đời sống hôn nhân Công Giáo. Cẩm nang không những chỉ áp dụng, cho các cặp dự bị hôn nhân mà còn tác dụng cho các cặp vợ chồng trong chương trình Hậu CTĐSHN cùng với những đôi vợ chồng trong “ Tim ” của chúng tôi sẽ trở thành cặp bảo trợ họ. Một điều thú vị chúng tôi cảm nhận, giả như Chúa dùng For Better and For Ever Book như một mũi tên tình yêu. Cách thiêng liêng nào đó, đã bắn trúng cả bốn trái tim hồng.

“Hãy đến cùng tôi, tôi sẽ cho nghỉ ngơi bồi dưỡng…” Mt 11: 28

Đề tài quan trọng cuối cùng là Self Care. Nhìn vào biểu đồ trắc nghiệm, về mọi sinh hoạt thường xuyên trong đời sống, do cá nhân chúng tôi vẽ lên tờ giấy trắng. Không thấy được một sự cân bằng tối thiểu nào. Sau khi nghe giải thích, vợ chồng tôi hứa với nhau sẽ C.P. bản thân mình, với mức độ tương đồng như, chăm sóc thân nhân và tha nhân. Tuy vậy, phải giới hạn self care chứ không sẽ trở nên selfish.

Thánh lễ Được Sai Đi đã cử hành trong sự tôn kính, để lại nhiều xúc động, quyến luyến từ đáy lòng vợ chồng tôi và tất cả mọi người. “Tim” như một cộng đoàn tông đồ ra đi với sứ mệnh CTĐSHN. Hành trang chúng tôi mang theo có thêm những gắn bó quí mến lẫn nhau hơn… Khoá bế mạc, “Tim” chia tay sau bữa cơm chiều do LM Phó Xứ kiêm Quản Nhiệm Cộng Đoàn Việt Nam của giáo xứ Chúa Ba Ngôi khoản đãi.

Thay cho đoạn kết, như thức ăn hằng ngày gởi đến “Tim”. Trích đọan tài liệu The Church in the Modern World từ Cộng Đồng Vatican II của Đức Giáo Hoàng Paul VI:

“ Married love is holy. It is a reflection of God’s own love for us. ”

Cảm ơn quí Linh Mục linh hướng và Thầy Phó Tế.
Cảm ơn các anh chị trong “Tim”.
Sau cùng nhưng trên hết mọi sự. Cảm tạ Chúa. Ngàn đời trọn tình thương cho chúng con.


Hình ảnh khóa "Summit"

YaYA Tay Nam Summer Service Series

Chao Cac Anh Chi Em Than Men & Friends of Dong Hanh Tay Nam,

I would like to introduce the Summer Service Series, organized by DH YaYA Ministries Tay Nam and run by all the wonderful volunteers who will be attending (this might include you!). If you participated in the previous Lenten Volunteer Series, you've already had a "taste" of what is soon to come. :) Please look out for the following events, and let us know if you'd like to help! [ Space may be limited, so sign up quickly! ]

SSS I :: Hunger & Homelessness @ L.A. Food Bank
Saturday, July 18, 8:45am - 12:00pm
[ Package, sort, and assemble food containers that feed needy individuals, families, seniors, and children in the L.A. community. ]
Contact Mister Martin Ngo / 714-890-2158 / martinhngo@yahoo. com
Sign up by Wednesday, July 15th at the latest!

SSS II :: Environmental Awareness @ Huntington Beach
Saturday, August 1, All Day
[ Make gifts for the Elderly Care service and bond with other volunteers. ]
Contact Miss Thi Tam Ton / 310-878-7800 / thitamton@yahoo. com
Sign up by Wednesday, July 29th at the latest!

SSS III :: Elderly Care @ Garden Grove Convalescent Home
Sunday, August 30, 9:30am - 11:00am
[ Accompany the elderly with games, activities, and entertainment. ]
Contact Miss Bao-Chau Nguyen / 714-683-3867 / nguyencsuf@yahoo. com
Sign up by Thursday, August 27th at the latest!

SSS IV :: Youth Interaction @ L.A. Family Housing
Saturday, September 12, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
[ Assist in carrying out activities with children ages 2 to 5, including a main project and some free time to play games, read stories, etc. ]
Contact Miss Annie Dang / 908-812-8399 / annie_dang@hotmail. com
Sign up by Wednesday, September 9th at the latest!

SSS V :: Community Involvement @ O.C. Red Cross Blood Drive
Details TBA
[ Donate blood to the American Red Cross to help those in need. ]

We would like to invite anyone and everyone in the Tay Nam (Western) Region to participate in these opportunities. May God continue to guide & bless us all in our ongoing service to bring others closer to Him.

In His Love,
Miss Quynh (Phi) Ngo :)
[ on behalf of Dong Hanh YaYA Ministries Tay Nam ]

P.S. Please feel free to forward this message to your group/friends/ family and help spread the word!

Friday, July 10, 2009



Thú thật là có nhiều lúc Hồng đã nghĩ đến việc hủy bỏ chuyến đi San Jose và không tham dự Family Ministry Summit kỳ này. Phần thì quá nhiều công việc bận bịu, phần thì cũng muốn để dành ngày nghỉ cho Khoá Canh Tân Đời Sống Hôn Nhân 9 sẽ tổ chức tại Dallas vào đầu tháng 11 sắp tới.

Gần đến ngày tổ chức Khoá thì nhận được email của Hưng và Kim Anh thông báo về các chi tiết trong chương trình khoá Summit. Thấy có tên mình trong phần huấn luyện về vấn đề tài chánh chi thu cho các khoá nên cuối cùng thôi cũng đành ... nhắm mắt đưa chân ... phó mặc theo ý Chúa.

Nhưng sau khi máy bay đáp xuống phi trường San Jose thì Hồng đã cảm nhận được ngay tấm lòng ưu ái thân thương của các anh chị địa phương tại San Jose đã vất vả hy sinh, lo lắng thật nhiều cho Khoá. Các anh chị Tuấn-KiềuVân, Diễn-Hồng, Hoàng-Chi, Hoàng-Bích và các anh chị khác ở địa phương đã lo lắng rất chu đáo từ nơi ăn chỗ ở, đến cả việc đưa mọi người đi chơi du ngoạn thắng cảnh San Francisco trước khi vào Khoá.

Hồng thấy hơi ái ngại khi nhìn anh Tuấn lăng xăng lo tìm áo lạnh cho mọi người. Buổi trưa ở San Francisco tuy là mùa Hè mà gió lạnh xuống đến gần 50 độ. Mặc áo lạnh vào rồi mới thấy thật ấm lòng, không phải vì bây giờ đã có áo ấm mà vì nhìn thấy Tuấn vẫn phong phanh chỉ mặc một áo thung mỏng trên người. Anh đã mang gần chục cái áo khoác có sẵn trong xe ra chia hết cho mọi người, nhất là cho đám dân từ vùng Houston nóng cháy của tụi này.

Hồng hỏi "Bộ Tuấn không thấy lạnh hả", Tuấn chỉ nhoẻn miệng cười duyên thật dễ thương: "Không sao đâu chị!" Đúng là nụ cười Đồng Hành, nụ cười luôn chan chứa tình thân thương ....

Những quảng đại, hy sinh đầy ân tình này, cộng thêm với những nụ cười và tâm tình rộng mở của các Cha và anh chị em đã làm cho Hồng quên hẳn những lo âu của công việc hàng ngày. Bất chợt, Hồng thầm cảm nghiệm được một cách rõ ràng lời mời gọi của Chuá đang thôi thúc trong mình. Sự thôi thúc này sau cùng đã khiến Hồng tự hứa là mình sẽ cố gắng hết sức để có thể tiếp tục dấn thân trong mục vụ gia đình cho thật trọn vẹn với các Cha và các anh chị em.

Vào Summit, chúng tôi được gặp lại những khuôn mặt thân quen từ những khoá Canh Tân Đời Sống Hôn Nhân trước cũng như một vài khuôn mặt mới gặp tại địa phương. Mọi người quấn quít huyên thuyên chào hỏi lẫn nhau. Những nụ cười và ánh mắt ân cần, những bắt tay và vòng ôm trìu mến được liên tiếp trao nhau khiến Hồng có cảm tưởng như mình là kẻ đi xa mới về thăm nhà. Bữa ăn trưa đầu tiên với món canh chua cá kho đặc thù Việt Nam thật ngon miệng do các anh chị Lộc-Loan và Lộc-Linh khoản đãi đã làm chúng tôi và các anh chị địa phương được dịp đến gần nhau hơn.

Suốt ba ngày Summit, các Cha tuyên uý và mọi người đã hăng say chia sẻ và rút tỉa những kinh nghiệm làm việc chung trong các Khoá trước đây. Các nhu cầu và đề nghị mới cũng được mang ra cho mọi người cùng "cưa sẻ" và chuẩn bị cho tương lai. Chúng tôi còn được hân hạnh đón tiếp và thụ huấn với Cha Rob Ruhnke, một linh mục Dòng Chúa Cứu Thế với trên 30 năm kinh nghiệm trong vấn đề hôn nhân gia đình. Ngài cũng là tác giả tập sách For Better For Ever, một cẩm nang quí báu cho những ai muốn dấn thân trong việc nâng đỡ tinh thần cho các cặp đang dự bị hôn nhân.

Điểm đáng chú ý là Summit giúp chúng tôi có nhiều thời gian sinh hoạt chung và bàn thảo với nhau nhiều hơn, không giống như khi tổ chức các Khoá CTDSHN ở mọi nơi mà mục tiêu chính luôn được dành cho các khoá sinh tham dự. Các buổi sinh hoạt văn nghệ, chụp hình, ăn uống, vui đùa tại tư gia anh chị Diễn Hồng cũng đã mang lại cho mọi người nhiều nụ cười và sự thoải mái ít khi xảy ra trong các Khoá.

Lần đầu tiên nghe cha Thanh và cha Hùng hát "Hai Mùa Mưa", rồi lại nghe các cha diễn tả sự cám dỗ của "tình và tiền" trong những tháng ngày đầu tiên sau khi đặt chân đến Hoa Kỳ.... nghe anh Long "one-man-band" đàn và hát nhạc tếu, Hưng và Kim Anh song ca thánh nhạc, nghe anh Diễn kể chuyện tiếu lâm, chị Vân và anh Huy Ngọc thay phiên nhau hát nhạc tình mùi mẫn... Đây đúng là những giây phút ... xả hơi thoải mái thật cần thiết cho mọi người, nhất là sau khi nghe phần trình bày của Kim Anh về tầm quan trọng của việc Self Care mà nhiều khi trong đời sống phục vụ chúng ta khó giữ được sự quân bình ....

Ba ngày summit trôi qua thật nhanh, hình như nhanh hơn cả những khoá CTDSHN mà Hồng và anh Sơn đã từng tham dự trước đây. Trở lại Houston, Hồng vẫn nhớ hoài ổ bánh mì của các anh chị San Jose, món xôi đậu xanh của anh chị Tuấn-KiềuVân, ổ bánh khoai mì của anh chị Thiện-Trang, nem chua của anh chị Dũng-Hương, và nhất là nồi phở khổng lồ của anh chị Diễn-Hồng... Đây là những món ăn tuy không xa lạ gì với Houston, là nơi có rất đông người Việt sinh sống, nhưng sao hương vị đậm đà và tuyệt vời, hình như không nơi nào có thể sánh được!

Có lẽ sẽ có người hỏi tại sao Hồng chỉ nhớ đến những món ăn ngon, bộ không còn gì khác để nhớ nữa hay sao? Hồng sẽ trả lời rằng: "Ô, tôi nhớ lắm chứ. Nhớ từng khuôn mặt ánh mắt, từng câu hát tiếng cười, và còn biết bao nhiêu thứ khác nữa... Tất cả những điều này hầu như lúc nào cũng đang tiếp tục diễn ra trong trí óc và tâm tư tôi. Ngay cả khi đang ngủ, tôi cũng nằm mơ thấy mình đang sánh vai với các Cha và mọi người trên con đường dấn thân vào mục vụ gia đình ..."

Thế thì: "Làm sao mà quên được, ánh mắt với nụ cười ...."

Viết từ Houston,
Nguyễn Phạm Hồng

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

National Assembly via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

Can’t attend the National Assembly?
Want the latest updates on the Assembly in Real-Time?
Thanks to members of Dong Hanh CLC, we can find quick reads on what’s happening and even find photos and videos! Oh, the wonders of these new communications!

Here’s how:

This provides quick, short blurbs on what’s happening in real time.
Look for our account: clcusaassembly
If you do not have your own account on Twitter and would like to open one, go to: Signing up for our account allows you to receive messages about our assembly on-line and/or on your cell phone.
Or, you can go just view postings at:
Martin Ngo and Quyen Ngo will twitter to the followers of the NA at home. They will also provide chu Long with info to post to the Dong Hanh website.

Christian Life Community-USA is now a group on Facebook.
Here you can post/view messages, photos, and even videos!

You need a Facebook account to view postings, including those on the Assembly.
To join Facebook, go to:
Search for Christian Life Community – USA and join this group.

Khanh Dao will capture the National Assembly in still photos and will post them to our Facebook group for people at home. Khanh also will collaborate with chu Long to post the link to DH Website.

Martin Ngo will capture the National Assembly in short video clips and upload them to YouTube as often as possible during the assembly so people can follow the events from home. There maybe interviews too. Martin will also collaborate with chu Long to get the links to the DH website. (We might need to introduce Martin during the welcoming as the official CLC-USA reporter so people will not run away when Martin approaches them. J) Or, periodically check and search for CLC.

Blessings to all,
Liem and Ann Marie