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If you hope to progress in prayer, you must learn to wait … all your life must be a continuous waiting, like that of Anna and Simeon.
- Emmanuel d'Alzon

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An Assumptionist bishop in northeast Brazil PDF Print E-mail

An Assumptionist bishop in northeast BrazilThe Diocese of Juazeiro is situated on the edge of the San Francisco River in the heart of the “polígono de la sequía” ("drought sector"). It covers approximately 23,000 square miles, with a population of more than 500,000. Currently it is divided into 14 parishes. There 23 priests (several of whom are quite old and infirm), 15 full-time lay pastoral assistants, many part-time assistants, and 2,000 catechists.

From its establishment, some 50 years ago, the Diocese has fostered the full and harmonious development of the human person, giving priority to the neediest, seeking to educate, organize, and support all men and women, whether in the country or in town. Thus it is that various social ministries (Ministry of the Land, Ministry of Fishermen, Ministry for Marginalized Women, Ministry for the Aged, Prison Ministry, ....) arose to address the needs and urgent demands of our society.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 December 2010 09:21
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter VI PDF Print E-mail

 Lac Duong countrysideMy Sunday began with my return to Lac Duong to serve as a deacon. I rode a motor scooter at 5:15 a.m. and arrived at 5:40 a.m. It was nice to see all the people praying in the Lat language. I tried to pray along with them; but my mind wasn’t there. People were very surprised at my appearance.

The pastor “reintroduced” me to the congregation and we began the first Sunday of Advent. During the mass, I tried to focus on the mass and to recall my knowledge of the Lat language. It has been 9 years since I have spoken it. After the mass, I greeted people and chatted with them. My Lat language came back slowly. I was happy that I could speak it again.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:20
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter V PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Dennis Gallagher, AA, regional Superior, USAEntry for November 29, 2010

Less than an hour away from departing Dalat, the second leg of our Asian journey.  It's been a most enjoyable and instructive time.  The enjoyable part begins with the climate which, on account of its elevation, is much cooler than Saigon.  It's a city built along the slopes of a mountain - before 1975 in a manner that respected the natural beauty of its setting, after 1975 in a more careless and haphazard way.   A heavy dose of sadness has been a companion these days, especially in viewing what was done to Dinh's family home here, but overall in the culture-destroying depredations of the regime. Call it the "shabbification" of a lovely city.   I recall the rhetoric in the mid-seventies in the US along the lines of "our long nightmare being over".     For the South Vietnamese it was just beginning, and the consequences for the Church and for the society at large have been devastating.   Since the early 1990's, ideology has given way to maintaining power and riches, and to that end there has been a loosening of the reins.  University students still spend at least half of the first two years studying the history of communism and other fascinating anacronisms, but the standard joke is that Ho Chi Minh is mostly known as the face of the currency.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:20
2010 d'Alzon Pilgrimage Participants Reflect on Unforgettable Experience PDF Print E-mail

The year 2010 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption, who sponsor Assumption College.

In order to commemorate this anniversary, Assumption College recently sponsored a pilgrimage to the various sites associated with the life and work of Father d’Alzon.  Walking “In the Footsteps of d’Alzon,” the 24 pilgrims, including alumni, trustees, students, former faculty and friends of the College, made their way to Paris, Nimes and Rome, not as tourists, but as pilgrims with hearts open to discovering who this man was who inspired so many men and women in his day, and continues to do so, through the apostolates sponsored by the  Assumptionists throughout the world and the extended Assumptionist family.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:13
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter IV PDF Print E-mail

Minority peopleSunday has  come and gone and these lines will let you know what went on...

I went to bed very late; actually it was very early in the  morning after what I described in my last diary entry concerning the very special tour of my SWEET HOME here at the seminary. It took place in the darkness of the tropical night. The tour in which I was the tourist guide and the only one who registered for the tour. It began a few hours after a conversation we had during a late supper and ended before just before dawn. I woke up “very early in the morning of the same day” and realized that my eyes had been closed for only an hour and 23 minutes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:19


Here in the early 21st century we’re still a good deal more inclined to think in terms of “Progress” rather than in terms of “Advent.”  Despite the terrible experiences of the 20th century that ought to have sobered us up a bit, we still want to see ourselves as engaged in the great civilizational project of making the world “better”… by which we mean making ourselves more secure and comfortable as we build, restlessly, the vast social and technological systems we rely on now for just about everything.  John Locke, the English political thinker said it a long time ago:  our goal would be “comfortable self-preservation.”  It’s a low goal but one about which most people can agree and make “progress” toward it more or less, on into the future…so long as we don’t pause to think too much about it.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 2010 15:41
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter III PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Dennis Gallagher, AA, regional Superior, USAI heard that the temperature dropped to 27 degrees in New Hampshire on Thanksgiving Day. I guess that it wasn't much warmer on 'Black Friday' when some went shopping or continued to spend time with their loved ones. Even if it had been warmer, I wish we would have had that kind of "warm” here in Saigon. The rain early Thursday made the morning somewhat cooler. It was around 70 degrees in the morning, but it changed quickly and rose to 80 when the sun appeared  before anyone made it to their office at 7:30 AM.

I wanted to be with the community at the first moment of the day as they gather for mediation. Later, Dennis and I took a walk through the neighborhood. As we walked along the road, because Dennis could not hide who he is compared to me or other Vietnamese: short, slim, dark hair, etc., so people said hello to us when they saw us walking and we immediately became the topic for their conversation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:19
Assumption College President's Newsletter PDF Print E-mail

President Francesco CesareoOctober marked the end of a yearlong, worldwide commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption. The College has joined the Assumptionists in celebrating this important anniversary in a variety of ways – liturgical celebrations, an academic conference, the publication of two volumes focusing on d’Alzon’s view of education and a pilgrimage, “In the Footsteps of Fr. d’Alzon,” to Paris, Nimes and Rome last May. Each of these events has given us an opportunity to come to a better appreciation of the man whose vision continues to inspire the mission of the College. The founding of Assumption College in 1904 realized Fr. d’Alzon’s dream of establishing a Catholic university that would be known for its excellence. For Fr. d’Alzon, education was a mission with one goal – to bring Christ into the lives and hearts of students, hence the motto of Assumption College, “…until Christ be formed in you.”

Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 2010 00:58
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter II PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Pierre-Jean Le Viet Thang, A.A.Here in Saigon the members of the scholastic community begin their day together in the chapel at 5:15 AM. That means that you have to take responsibility yourself to wake up. I told Dennis when we went to bed the first night here in Vietnam (VN) that he should not feel that he had to be there.

It was very hard to sleep the first night ---maybe because·I had been away for nine years and so much was going through my mind and heart. I went to bed around 3:30 AM hoping that I could sleep a little and I did. I woke up around 5. At that time,·one of the·priests, Fr. Peter Thang who·was going·out to celebrate Mass for another community, was very surprised when I greeted him in the morning. He kept say how sorry they were·for not picking us up at the airport.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:18
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter I PDF Print E-mail

Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon by night Brother Dinh Vo Tran Gia, A.A.,  a Vietnamese Assumptionist who is a member of the Region of the United States, left for Vietnam on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 together with the regional superior, Father Dennis Gallagher, A.A. Bro Dinh had not been back to Vietnam since 2001. The Assumptionists founded the first community in Saigon in 2006 and now have three houses in Vietnam: a house of studies, a novitiate, and an orphanage. Fr. Dennis and Bro Dinh's trip had three goals: (1) to spend time in the three Assumptionist communities and to discuss potential educational ventures with Assumption College in Worcester, MA; (2) to visit the bishop of Dalat to thank him for his "gift" of Dinh to the Assumptionists; (3) to allow Dinh to see members of his family still living in Vietnam, especially his 96-year grandmother.

Dennis picked me up around 3:15 AM and we drove to Brighton where Br. Ron was waiting for us. We checked in around 4:30 smoothly in term of paper work. Dennis had a good seat from Boston to Los Angeles. However, from LA to Hong Kong and from Hong Kong to Vietnam, he had the same seat on the aisle. I think he did not have enough room, but it was okay.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 10:23
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