Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Thursday, 15 August 2019 22:58
HIS LETTER, UNCLE BOB BACK IN VIETNAM
Greetings to you from Saigon again. Pardon the intrusion, but I thought it time for me to drop you a line, to fill you in a bit about this extraordinary place, and the MSC presence here.
Visitor from the NT, Pat Mara MSC.
This would have to be my 15th or 16th time here, and it never ceases to amaze me. Of course, many things have changed over those years, but some stay the same.
The changes include massive development: I am now staying in an apartment, about one block from where I was last year, but now surrounded by 5/6 new apartment blocks...the place is like Meriton on steroids! Is a nice new apartment looking out over a large park, which is filled with hundreds and hundreds of exercisers, every morning and evening, ably assisted by a loud mouth on a loudspeaker,..if not raining, ...all traveling in an anti clockwise direction! You can watch the planes land, without hearing them, and the street below is much quieter than the one last time. The building has a pool, which has been closed for quite a while, as it leaks on the rooms below....doesn't worry me, as doctors won't let me swim.There was a fire drill in the next door building during the week. The water from the hoses reached the 9th floor, I noticed. I am on the 10th!
The dreaded barber ( who could clean out your ears for a small extra charge) is too far away so I have found one nearby, a rather attractive woman, who took my photo before and after the haircut ($4..expensive), but don't panic, we were watched by her large dog, which stared at me the whole time, with some distrust. Not sure if the photo makes me a criminal or film star. Maybe next time my hair style will be on the wall!
Special photo sent by Bob in case there was need to show the tough life. (But, the postulants are good cooks!)
Captain Hornblower is still driving the 35 Oz cent bus trip to town. Traffic seems to have got worse with a lot more cars and delivery trucks which are not as flexible as the bikes, hence crossing roads has taken on a new, more dangerous, dimension. Even the locals have changed their methods.
The weather is great....minimum 26, maximum about 31, and often there is a nice breeze.
BUT, of course I am not a tourist on holidays. Thought I had better get that in, to avoid contrary suggestions!
The MSC are doing fine. Most of the senior students are away working in parishes all over the country, as this is their long break from seminary studies. The new academic year begins in the second half of the calendar year. However, the postulants (5 +1 extra...aged 22-29) are here and come to class, normally for about 4 hours, every second day. So it has been a gentle start, for this septuagenarian, which suits me fine.
Yesterday, in the Philippines, Danh was ordained priest and Chung a deacon. Danh will soon go to Oz to experience working with aboriginal people. He is already learning Tiwi. Many of us will go to Bao Loc on Saturday for Danh's mass of thanksgiving. Bao Loc is home of quite a number of MSC, including Thoi Tran...will be a long day..leave here at 3.30am. Last month quite a number renewed their vows as MSC and two took them for life.......So it all moves on, and it is my privilege to be part of it, watching the next generations take on all the responsibilities for running the ministry here. Does one's heart good!
Enough. Be well everyone. I am fine, considering two years ago, so not allowed to complain. Take care and God bless you, and those you love. Spare us/me a prayer when you can.
Lots of love. Uncle Bob