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A New Stat

刊登日期: 2011.09.16
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  


Hello again,

I have been asked to write this column with a new heading. I have chosen “Neither East Nor West” to more appropriately show where I am, personally. I finished Lower 6 at St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong and went to the US for university in 1970. So I am definitely East. I have been here since. 40 years! So, definitely West. Very confused.  

Since I last wrote I have been back from Taiwan and am now in a parish in the United States in the state called Nebraska.  Not many people have heard of it.  It is actually in the middle of the United States, approximately 500 miles west of Chicago, same distance north of Dallas and east of Denver.  It is hot (35) in the summer and cold (-30) in the winter.

The parish I am now assigned has a mixture of city and rural people.  Plattsmouth, the town I am in, has a population of 7,000 and is about 20 miles from the city of Omaha which has a population of about 500,000.  Many people live here and work at Omaha.  It also has farmers that grow corn, soy bean and sorghum.  The town is right on the bank of the Missouri.  It has beautiful bluffs and trees.  The parish has a Catholic grade school with children from kindergarten to 8th grade.  The students from grades 9 to 12 attend a Catholic high school in the next parish.  I came back from being a student to become a superintendent (head master or whatever you now call it in HK) again.  I will miss not having any responsibilities except to study.

A couple of weeks ago, over the first weekend of September, I went to visit my family in Canada.  I also attended a retreat with 200 Chinese Catholic young people.  Yes, 200.  They came from all over Eastern Canada.  I try to join them every chance I have.  They sang, played skits, listened to talks and participated in the Sacraments with gusto.  I get excited about our faith just being with them.  If you want to look them up, you can find them at ECCCLC.NET.  On their web page you will also find links to two other retreats, WCCCLC in Vancouver and CACCLC in California, a total of about 500 Chinese Catholics gathering together in one weekend growing in love with Jesus.  

With so many conflicting voices these days it is difficult enough to try to be good. It is even harder to try to be Christian, Catholic Christian. It takes a healthy dose of skepticism to ask questions about issues that are popularly accepted and a courageous faith to trust in Jesus showing us the way through the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is important to keep in mind that we are created by God who is good and true. That means that within each of us there is an insatiable need to find what is the ultimate good and true and that God is more interested in us achieving that goal than we are. It is like being in the classroom. Teachers love to give good grades. Teachers love to see students excited about learning their lessons to get the good grades. Jesus is our good Teacher. He wants us to know and to love what is His Truth.

In the upcoming columns I will try to share my faith with you however I may be moved by the Holy Spirit. Please feel free to contact me through this column and make suggestions to what you would like to read about.

Have a good school year.



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