From October 14, 2018 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
As some of you might have known, my mother had a stroke a month ago. She was bought to Providence as soon as my brother found out. But it was too late for the doctors to do anything useful. So for 24 hours we kept vigil with her. And during the whole time, I kept begging the Blessed Mother to ask her Son to be merciful to my poor mother. Meanwhile, countless Memorares were being poured out on her behalf. Miraculously, she began to improve in the morning - solely on the grace of God and on the Blessed Mother's intercessions! I could never say enough about the power and efficacy of the Memorare in times of desperate needs! I could never say enough about the attentiveness of our good God, who knows every detail of my life and who cares for me from moment to moment as nobody can. I could never say enough about the solidarity and the companionship of people like you as we were waiting by her bedside for many days. I remember once again that I don't pray because I have run out of options. Prayers come before all else. Then I can deal with anything - and anything is possible with God! Again, everything that God allows to happen to me is for my maturation. My poor mother still has a long way to go, but once again, I am reminded how my Faith is being verified right in front of me in my life now.
I am very grateful to the staff of St. Agatha - Karen and Suzy! I am grateful to all of you for praying for my mother!
May God reward you all abundantly!
From October 7, 2018 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
The month of October has been designated Respect Life Month by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Please reflect on the following statement by the USCCB and pray for the victory of the Culture of Life in this country and around the world.
"In 1531, when the indigenous peoples of Mexico were subjugated and the practice of human sacrifice was still a recent memory, the Mother of God appeared to St. Juan Diego as a pregnant native woman, now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. She sent him with miraculous flowers in his cloak to tell the bishop to build a church where people could receive her Son and her loving, tender care. When St. Juan Diego opened the cloak before the bishop, an image of Our Lady was revealed that remains to this day. The chapel was quickly built, millions embraced Christianity, and the Church increased its protection of the indigenous peoples. By embracing the mission entrusted to him, St. Juan Diego helped bring Christ’s transforming love to cultures gripped by oppression and death.
Today, we again see the dignity of human life disregarded. Unborn children are destroyed through abortion, and ill people are encouraged and assisted to take their own lives. How do we respond? The essence of our identity is that we are created in God’s image and likeness and loved by Him. Nothing can diminish the priceless worth of any human life. Every person is cherished. God creates every person for eternal union with Himself and continually invites us to embrace a loving relationship with Him. Every person is chosen. We are called to be messengers of God’s love, treating one another as cherished and chosen by Him. In doing so, we help build a culture that respects all human life. Every person is sent.
Like St. Juan Diego, let us embrace our daily mission to help others encounter God’s transforming, life-giving love."
From September 30, 2018 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
The barque of the Church is being battered in a terrible storm. We pray for the day to come when she will enter calmer waters! As for now, we pray and fast and do penance. The priests, many of us anyway, are seriously looking at our own lives and are examining our hearts and getting down on our knees for their flocks and for Holy Mother Church.
I am sensing a tremendous wind of renewal is sweeping the Church. For the time being, we are remaining hopeful and confident that God shall never leave us to our devices, but shall assist us on the way to a better future.
Please speak to me if you want to share your thoughts and feelings about the Church at large or our little church here in Sellwood. Yours truly in Christ! Fr. Luan Tran
From September 23, 2018 Bulletin: My Dear parishioners,
Prayers are the most powerful weapon against despair and hopelessness. We know we don’t change God’s mind when we pray. Instead, we are the ones that get changed. Prayers calm us down and help us realize the true nature of the situation, so that our perceptions become aligned with reality. And the reality is that everything that is happening to us happens for our maturation - by God’s design and out of His infinite affection for us. Prayers help us realize God is present and is aware of our total dependence on Him in the hour of need. We can then turn over everything to Him. We can then take a breather and make the next step. The following prayer is most amazing the “Memorare!”
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
God bless you! Fr. Luan Tran
September 16, 2018 Bulletin: My dear parishioners,
Every day the school is becoming more integrated into my life here at St. Agatha's. There is a growing sense within me that God has blessed me with a wonderful situation here! The work for me now is different from what I have been accustomed heretofore. But this work is something I know I have been asked to take on as a challenge and an opportunity to say “YES” again to Almighty God.
Life now means accepting my responsibility as a priest for the school children, their families, the teachers, and the staff. Life now means be available to them at a moment's notice and treat them as Christ Himself would treat them. Life now means taking on - little by little - the joys and the pains and the sufferings and the challenges and the difficulties they are faced with every day, and pray for them! Life now means I could only be happy and joyful if I would put their happiness and their joys ahead of mine!
Please pray for our school to the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and St. Agatha! Fr. Luan Tran
September 9, 2018 Bulletin: My dear people at St. Agatha,
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
When I see children at Mass, when I hear them crying or talking or making a fuss, my heart rejoices because Jesus loves to see children at His Holy Mass! And I love to have them close to Jesus who comes on the altar during Consecration! I imagine Jesus our Lord in the Host elevated aloft the altar and in the Precious Blood in the Chalice held suspended over the altar smiling at the little ones! Please don't keep the children away from the Holy Mass! They might not understand everything, but it does not matter, because, ultimately, the Holy Mass is a Mystery, and what do we adults really know about the Mass? But the innocence, and the sincerity, and the openness of the hearts of these children dispose them to receive the Divine Presence radiating from the altar unto the young souls! Please don't keep the children away from Jesus during Holy Mass! Fr. Luan Tran