New Regina priests answer God’s call even in challenging times
An estimated 1,200 faithful from across the Archdiocese of Regina and around the world gathered at Holy Rosary Cathedral to celebrate the ordinations of three deacons to the priesthood.
Deacons Anthony Tran, Chinh Vu, and Parker Love were ordained June 14.
It has been more than 30 years since the Archdiocese ordained as many as three men in a single celebration, and Archbishop Donald Bolen said the deacons are living in a challenging period.
“You are being ordained at a turbulent time,” Archbishop Bolen said. “The world is ever more polarized on key issues about the future … In the midst of all this, God calls. It is remarkable.”
For the new priests, this celebration has been the culmination of many years of discernment and study.
Rev. Parker Love recalled his own eight-year journey which began with his Baptism at the age of 23 after taking part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program at Regina’s Resurrection Parish.
Love said that experience opened the way for God to work at an even deeper level and began seven years of additional study and formation that led to his ordination with his friends.
“And that’s a very short time compared to the length of time that my brothers Anthony and Chinh Vu spent discerning and being formed in that call,” Love said.
“I’m still just a mama’s boy who comes home for dinner on Sunday, but Chinh and Anthony have made a real sacrifice to be here.”
For Fathers Tran and Father Vu, this journey into service to the people of the Archdiocese of Regina has been one of time and distance. Both men were born in Vietnam and realized a call to the priesthood early in life.
“One day, after Mass, (my parish priest) asked me if I wanted to become a priest. I said ‘yes’ immediately!” said Father Vu, who went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in French before formally entering into studies at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton.
It was the example of a parish priest that also led Father Tran to discover a call to the priesthood early.
The death of his father initially put Tran’s plans on hold as he cared for his family. However, later conversations with the late Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan led to the completion of his formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary and his ordination as a priest.
Each of the young men were invited to choose one of the readings for the celebration, and each provided some insight into why their particular passage was chosen.
For Father Love, the Pentecost reading from the Acts of the Apostles spoke “of the sharing of the Love of God in Jesus’ ministry…which I see as an important thing to do – always point back to Jesus and His paschal mystery.”
Father Tran chose St. Paul’s account of the Eucharistic meal in First Corinthians for the way it places the Eucharist at the center of the priest’s life.
For Father Vu, it was John’s Gospel account of Peter’s profession of love to Christ, and Christ’s response.
“A priest should never forget those two words that Jesus said to Peter: ‘Follow me’. Following Jesus is the first choice. Love for God and love for parishioners should go hand in hand,” Chinh said.
At the end of the ordination Mass, Archbishop Bolen spoke directly to the three new priests.
“Tonight the Lord says to you: Parker, Chinh, Anthony, ‘Do you Love me?’ And hearing your profession of love, and holding you in a bond of love so tight that it can never be undone, He says, ‘Then feed my lambs, tend my sheep, follow me’.”
The ordinations for the Archdiocese of Regina continue on July 12 with Chris Juchacz and Andrew Lindenbach as transitional deacons on their journey to the priesthood.
-Deacon Eric Gurash is the director of communications and evangelization for the Archdiocese of Regina.