• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Monday, 31 July 2017 11:54

Fr Vincent takes up new post in Katherine, NT

 

Vincent in Alice 350Fr Vincent Mai SVD was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and since being assigned to the SVD AUS Province, has ministered in Alice Springs, Santa Teresa, and now Katherine, in the Northern Territory. Here Vincent shares his story, along with his hopes for his new parish assignment in the Top End.

My name is Vincent, I was born in Vietnam, in the southern city of Saigon, where, as the oldest of two boys, I grew up and went to school. After finishing my formal education with a Bachelor of Foreign Languages, I felt a call to religious life and joined the SVD in 2003 at Nha Trang, where our mother house is located. In August 2012, after finishing my formation studies, I was ordained to the priesthood and came to Australia.

After finishing language studies for a year, I went to the parish of Alice Springs where I was involved in the Indigenous ministry with the Aboriginal people. From there, I was sent to stay in the Santa Teresa community (also known as Ltyentye Aprute, located about 85 km south east of Jim Knight and Vincent Mai 350Alice Springs) at the beginning of last year. I recognised that Santa Teresa is a strong faith community. It is also a place of art-painting with the dots, signs and symbols in the paintings. The dot is the symbol of the star which plays a major role in the painting of the local Aboriginal people.
Furthermore, the artists draw the painting following their dreams. Hence, it is difficult for the buyers to possess the painting without asking the meaning from the author.

The stars, the sky and the wild animals are familiar with the community people in their daily living. Also, having a good and close relationship with Mother Earth is the grace that has been given for them. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, if you stay in the community, you can feel the “atmosphere of the silence”. It looks like the whole environment of the community is praying.(1)(2)

At the end of May, I received news of my new assignment, with the sad news that Father Mark, the former parish priest of Katherine had passed away. That news came with the message that I would move to Katherine and stay with Fr Jim Knight SVD to help him to look after the parish. Staying Vincent Katherine first holy communion 350with Jim, I reckon is also a chance for me to know more about his life experiences and ministry experiences as well.

Katherine is a tourist town, not far from Darwin. Some Aboriginal people I have met and chatted with in Katherine have given me the feeling that they are quite open-minded on things. It might be that Katherine is more near the Top End and not as remote, so that the people are more influenced by the Western culture.

The number of church-goers at weekend Masses (Vigil Saturday and Sunday morning) numbers about 300 people, which is roughly the same as at Alice Springs. Other than Australians of European descent, there are two major communities based in town: Indian and Filipino. It’s a Vincent with Katherine schoolkids 350smaller place than Alice Springs, which, with a population of nearly 28,000 people is four times bigger than Katherine. But I’m sure the ministry experiences I had in Alice Springs will help me a lot in the my new ministry here.

My hopes for ministry in Katherine are that, in my role as priest, I can share and proclaim the Good News for my sisters and brothers here as much as possible.

One of the things I love is to attend the Monday morning prayers at St Joseph’s Catholic School with the students. I want to get to know them more and be a visible presence of God’s love to them. Last but not least, I hope that I can encourage more of the students to come along to church and grow in their love for God. (5)

 

PHOTOS

Top Left: Fr Vincent with his Santa Teresa "mob" at the Barunga Festival 2017

Middle Right: Fr Jim Knight SVD with Fr Vincent at Katherine Museum

Middle Left: Celebrating First Holy Communions at St Joseph's Church, Katherine

Bottom Right: Fr Vincent with students at St Joseph's Catholic school, Katherine