May Reflection

            Do you like the month of May? Why? I like it very much because I am from Houston and the weather is gorgeous preparing for the summer heat. Houston is the best city! Just kidding. No, I like the month of May because it’s the month for all mothers. I have great honor for them because they sacrifice so much for all of us to have life. There is just no way we can pay our mother back. It is also a month of Mary, our Mother. We cannot love her enough either. Every time I am down or making a transition in life, she is always there. I am going through a rough transitioning right now too and she is comforting me. 

            In the Old Testament there is a book called the Book of Esther. This book tells the story of Queen Esther and her help of rescuing her people from destruction. The story goes that Esther, who is a Jew, is married to Ahasuerus, a Persian king. This king does not take making decisions very seriously, and often makes decision for trivial reasons. His minister, Haman, does not have a good relationship with the Jewish people and is looking for ways to destroy them. At last, Haman tricks King Ahasuerus into believing that the Jews are a different people, and that they do not obey the king. As a result, King Ahasuerus gives power to Haman to destroy all the Jews who live in that land. Sensing the danger facing the Jews, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, comes to Esther to ask her to use her power and influence as queen to change the king’s mind, so that the Jews will not be destroyed. That is exactly what Esther does. After some days praying to God, Esther goes to King Ahasuerus, and using her influence, she successfully convinces the king to retract his decision, and so she is able to save the Jewish people from destruction. Not only that, she is able to have Haman punished for his crime against the Jews.

            When reading this Bible book, many people see an image of Mother Mary in Queen Esther. How so? Think about it. We have a parallel in the characters. The king represents God (but God is so much better than the king). Queen Esther represents Mother Mary. We are Mary’s people. And Haman stands for our enemy, the Devil. The Devil always has a problem with us because he does not like us. He tries to corrupt us and destroy us by tempting us to sin. (Stop for a second and think about how many times you were tempted to sin in the past few days.) In our temptations, we may feel weak, unworthy, or scared to come to God for help. Who, then, can we come for help? Mother Mary, of course! Many saints say that is the main reason why God makes Mary our Mother and Queen. As a Mother, she always loves us and cares for our wellbeing, and as a Queen, she has the power and influence to pray to God for us. What mother does not love her children, and what queen does not care for her people, right? A good mother always cares for her children and put their needs before her own. That is exactly how Mother Mary treats us. Up in Heaven, she constantly looks down on us to see if we need anything. Once she sees that we need something, she immediately prays to God for us and obtains it for us. It is in her nature to love us and to see that we are living our lives well. So never be afraid of Mary. Never avoid her. Come to her and talk to her. She is available to you at any time. 

            And as we often dedicate some days to honor someone, such as Memorial Day and Presidents’ Day, our Church dedicates the entire month of May to honor our Mother Mary. In Vietnamese, we also call the month of May Tháng Hoa, meaning the Month of Flowers. This name points to the many flowers we place in front of Mary to honor her, to the point that her altar may look like a garden of flowers. As we give her many flowers, let us keep in mind that Mother Mary is the most beautiful flower in the garden of God because of her perfect virtues. Let us follow her footstep in living virtuous lives so that with Mary, we can please God with the fragrant of our virtues in the garden of Heaven.

            Meanwhile, let us also honor Mother Mary with her most favorite flower, the Rosary.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. (You finish the rest.)

-Fr. Steven Tran

Agape “I Thirst”

Dear Young People! Are You THIRSTY? Jesus is Thirsty! We know that a lot of your retreat got cancelled this year. Join us this Wednesday 6pm-8pm CDT (7pm-9pm EDT). We can take advantage of this social distancing to make room for Jesus through this virtual Holy Week retreat.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/2874141737?pwd=Q1ZmSk5XWHVsZjBoblNrUjlUN25Gdz09

Meeting ID: 287 414 1737
Password: 811390

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Prayers to Tr. Thanh from Đoàn Đơn Bosco

Trưởng Kiệm, Đoàn Trưởng Đoàn Đơn Bosco, mới báo cho biết có một Huynh Trưởng ở đoàn của anh, Huynh Trưởng tên là Maria Nguyễn Thanh bị nhiễm COVID-19; hiện đang nằm trong ICU. Anh Kiệm nhờ báo tin này lên trang mạng và Facebook của Liên Đoàn Biển Đức. Xin quý Trưởng cầu nguyện cho Trưởng Thanh được mau bình phục!

Tr. Kiệm, President of Đơn Bosco chapter, has announced that a youth leader from his chapter, Tr. Nguyễn Thanh, has been tested positive for COVID-19; currently in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Tr. Kiệm wish to have this announcement on our St. Benedict League of Chapters website and Facebook. Please keep Tr. Thanh in your prayers and for a fast recovery.

YOUTH LEADER LEVEL III TRAINING CAMP, TIBERIA XV

Dearest Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants, Youth Leader Trainers, and Youth Leaders:

In accordance with the National Headquarters’ annual calendar of events and the needs of the Leagues of Chapters, the National Executive Committee hereby announce to all eligible members of the VEYM the following Youth Leader Trainer Level III and Specialty Training Camp (Topic: Holy Mass) in the year 2020:

A-YOUTH LEADER LEVEL III TRAINING CAMP, TIBERIA XV

1. Location: Corona, California (nearest airport code LAX, ONT or SNA)
2. Date & Time: From 02:00 PM Wednesday the 12th to 02:00 PM Sunday the 16th of August 2020
3. Registration Fee: $200.00
4. Deadline: Apply before the 12th of May 2020 (late applications will not be accepted)
5. Registration Requirements: (1) 21 years or older; (2) Copy of government issued photo ID; (3) Certified as a Youth Leader Level II for at least six months; (4) Currently active within the VEYM; (5) Endorsement from the affiliated Executive Committee and Chaplain; (6) Endorsement from the League of Chapters Executive Committee and Chaplain and; (7) Chapter registered under is compliant with annual membership dues.

B-SPECIALITY TRAINING CAMP: TOPIC, HOLY MASS
1. Location: Sabillasville, Maryland (airport code BWI, DCA or IAD)
2. Date & Time: From 05:00 PM Friday the 22nd to 10:00 AM Monday the 25th of May 2020
3. Registration Fee: $50.00
4. Deadline: Apply before the 12th of May 2020 (late applications will not be accepted)
5. Registration Requirements: (1) Certified as a Youth Leader/Chaplain Assistant; (2) Currently active within the VEYM; (3) Endorsement from the affiliated Executive Committee and Chaplain; (4) Chapter registered under is compliant with annual membership dues. Note: Recommend each Chapter send/sponsor one member from their chapter to attend.

TRAINING CAMP REGISTRATION GUIDE
1. Go to https://camps.veym.net/
2. Click on the desired training camp to register
3. Fill out the requested information
4. Complete the respective training camp application form and waiver form attached
5. Upload all required documentation
6. Click “add to cart”
7. Proceed to checkout and pay with a credit card
8. A confirmation email will be provided for record

CANCELLATION POLICY Cancellation must be notified to headquarters@veym.net one month before camp start date to receive a full refund minus $10 for the servicing fee.

For all questions, please contact the National Executive Committee via headquarters@veym.net or Tr. Joseph Đào Văn Đức at duc.dao@veym.net. The National Executive Committee will review and will inform applicants of their status as well as other logistic information to prepare for the training camp following the deadline.

For the future of the VEYM, the National Executive Committee invites Chaplains and Chapter Executive Committees to motivate, encourage and create opportunities for Youth Leaders to participate, and to always pray for the success of the training camp.

May Christ in the Eucharist through the intercession of Mary bless you and the amazing work that you are doing for His glory. God bless!

Attested,

Rev. FX Nguyễn Thanh Bình, SVD
General Chaplain

Tr. Dominic Hoàng Công Thái Dương
President, National Executive Committee

Lent in Reverse 40-Day Spiritual Journey

Kính gửi quý Cha Tuyên Uý, quý Trợ Uý, quý Trợ Tá, quý BCH Liên Đoàn, quý BCH Đoàn, quý HT, cùng các em Đoàn Sinh các cấp, 

Cùng với quý Cha Tuyên Uý, các ban ngành cấp Trung Ương, BCHTU chúng con xin gửi lời chào bình an và ơn lành của Chúa Thánh Thể đến với toàn thể quý thành viên.  

Để chuẩn bị cho mùa Chay Thánh năm nay, thay mặt BCHTU, con xin gửi thư thông báo và tài liệu hướng dẫn quý thành viên chuẩn bị và sống Hành Trình Thiêng Liêng 40 Ngày Chay Thánh một cách sống động và thiết thực hơn. 

Kính mong quý Cha Tuyên Uý cùng quý thành viên tham gia, hưởng ứng, và quảng bá chiến dịch Mùa Chay đến với tất cả các thành viên tại đia phương. 

Cầu chúc quý Cha Tuyên Uý cùng quý thành viên một Mùa Chay Thánh đầy ân sủng Chúa.  

In Christ,

Teresa Ngô Ngọc Hiếu
Tổng Thư Ký

February Reflection

The Holy Family

When we say a holy family, we think of a family whose members are holy people. Makes sense, right? Holy members make up holy family; a holy family is where holy people live. This is certainly true for the Holy Family, of which Jesus is the Son of God the Father, Mary is the Immaculate, and Joseph is a holy and righteous man. They were good people—not ordinary good, but “holy good.” They are perfect! They lived their normal lives in such extraordinary ways that they became the role model (the super star, if you like) for our families. But if you were to ask one of them, say, Joseph (because he was the head of the family), if their lives were always easy, what do you think he would say? “No way, Jose!” (Get it?) In all seriousness, life for the Holy Family wasn’t all that smooth as we might think. They had their love and joy, but they also faced misunderstanding and misery, as we see in the narratives of the Gospels. In this article we will see a couple of challenges Jesus, Mary, and Joseph faced as a family and how they pulled through them.

The first incident which almost split the family was when Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy. Right in the beginnning, there was miscommunication and thoughts of infidelity. But Joseph didn’t know it was the Holy Spirit miraculously overshadowed Mary. On Mary’s part, she could’ve been stoned to death if Joseph publicized her pregnancy, and we wouldn’t have Jesus as our Savior. He continued to care for the family until the day he accomplished his mission and God called him home to Himself.

The second incident which drove the Holy Family to despair was King Herod searching for Baby Jesus to kill him. Again, neither Joseph nor Mary knew anything about this. Their journey wasn’t easy because they have to flee overnight, run for their lives, not comfortable as we travel today. Thank Goodness, they were able to slip away into Egypt to save Baby Jesus from his premature death.

These are two examples of the struggles the Holy Family went through. They have many more like the lost of Jesus in the Temple for three days, the death of Joseph, and the Passion of Jesus. February is the month for us to reflect on our family. Even with the Son of God being in their midst, Mary and Joseph couldn’t avoid the struggles that came to them. They made it through because they did it with Jesus and for Him with love. Next time when you find a hardship coming your way, look to the example of the Holy Family, pray to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to help you overcome that hardship. Invite them to be a part of our family and ask them to teach you to love one another as they did. Remember that everyone has a role in a family! Each of us is a gift with a mission in our family. What is that mission: it is to be em Ấu Nhi ngoan biết vâng lời người lớn, em Thiếu Nhi biết hy sinh giúp đỡ cha mẹ, em Nghĩa Sĩ chinh phục chính mình và gia đình làm người con cái Chúa tốt, em Hiệp Sĩ hăng say dấn thân, và Huynh Trưởng phụng sự mọi người within your family. Do that and our family will be a holier family!

O Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, come and be a part of my family. Teach us to love one another as you did. Amen.

-Fr. Steven Tran