• 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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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 17:29

Fr Truc - "God did great things in me through the Thai people"

 

Fr-Truc---Photo-2---350Fr Truc Quoc Phan SVD is Brisbane-bound after spending more than six years in parish ministry in north-eastern Thailand – a time, which he says was “a blessing”, despite the many challenges it presented.

Fr Truc, who is Vietnamese, will take up the role of assistant priest at St Mark’s Parish, Inala and assistant priest to the Vietnamese community in Brisbane. It will be his second assignment as an SVD missionary after completing his formation in the AUS Province.

“It will be new learning for me,” he says. “I’m open to the needs of the people there and I look forward to getting to know them. And I look forward to learning more, as part of my ongoing formation.”

It is easy to see that Fr Truc’s first missionary assignment, to Thailand, has had a big impact on his life.

“My heart is still there,” he smiles.

His life in Thailand, a strongly Buddhist nation, was not without challenges, but Fr Truc says God helped him to meet them and to grow through them.

“It took me six and a half months to learn the language,” he says. “And then I was back and forth to Bangkok for nearly a year, still learning.”

Fr-Truc-and-friends---350After learning the language, Fr Truc moved to the North-East and on the very first day of his ministry, was put into one of the furthest parishes of Udon Diocese to replace some Spanish priests who had gone on leave.

He had responsibility for four churches, on his own.

“I was alone, looking after these churches in the remotest part of the diocese,” he says. “It was a very, very difficult three months.”

After handing back the parish to the Spanish priests, Fr Truc was given a new appointment within weeks, when he was asked to be the parish priest of three small parishes in the countryside, along the Mekong River, which had not had a resident priest for years.

“I struggling at first with the language,” he says. “I lived alone and at first had to do everything, including things like going out and teaching catechism.

“I also tried to grow pineapples and rubber trees to help ensure the long-term financial running of the parish. I cut hair for the kids, did handyman jobs and I can even fix electricity!”

Fr Truc says that as people got to know him and see his efforts, they began coming to church in greater numbers and helping him renovate churches and even build a new one.

“At first I was looking after three churches and then we built another one,” he says. “We renovated the other churches too and rebuilt a church to replace the existing wooden one, which was in very bad repair.”

He encouraged the parishioners to become involved in the life of the church community.

Fr-Truc---farewell---350“In every church, I tried to build parish councils,” he says. “I tried to help them become involved in things.”

After six years, Fr Truc says he looks back on his time in Thailand with gratitude.

“It was a blessing for me,” he says. “I love the culture, I love the people and the work, and I am loved by the people too. God has done great things in me, through the Thai people, much more than I ever expected.

“When I first set out, I didn’t expect that I could do anything like what I did there. God works through us. It’s incredible.”

Fr Truc is pictured (above right) receiving a farewell gift from Bishop Joseph of Udon Diocese.