Farewell Letter From Father Vinh Quang Nguyen

(June 2, 1997)

Dear holy people of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish,

When I came to Our Lady of Sorrows I was nervous. I had just left the Refugee Camp in the Philippines and did not know what to expect when I arrived here. But confidence was the word given me from all of you who have opened your arms to welcome me into the community as a priest as well as a brother in faith.

Before leaving for a new ministry I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of you, pastors, parochial vicars, people of different ministries and to all of you who are and will remain forever a part of my life.

First of all, I thank you for allowing me to work with you and for you. Thank you for showing patience to my shortcomings which I might not be aware of. Thank you for trying to understand me and my English which has improved a lot because you were willing to teach me. Thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you the different stages of life in this parish, from the beautiful baptismal celebrations to the heartbreaking yet moving funeral liturgies, from the sunny first communions to the solemn confirmations. . I want to thank the staff, teachers and students at our school. Keep up the good work you are doing. Thank you for praying with me. And also thank you for laughing with me.

Secondly I would like to take this opportunity (I hope it's not too late!) to ask you to forgive me for all the times that I might have wronged you in one way or another. Forgive me for having failed to serve. Forgive me for not trying to listen to your sorrows and failures, to share with you all your joys and hopes. Forgive my attitudes that might be seen as arrogant, un-Christian, un-priestly.

Thank all of you, from the tiny babies baptized here to the beloved brothers and sisters departed into eternity.

You have taught me a lot in faith and helped me grow in humanness and ministry. I am leaving, carrying a part of OLS and its holy people with me as companions on my journey of life as well as my journey of priesthood.

Please keep praying for me as I promise to do so for you. Until we see one another again, may God bless all of us.

Father Vinh