On 21 April 2020, Fr Henry Huu Duc Tran, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills, celebrated 25 years since his ordination to the priesthood.
Fr Henry was ordained to the priesthood on 21 April 1995 as a priest of the Diocese of Parramatta by then-Bishop Bede Heather.
Due to restrictions on gatherings and the celebration of Mass, Fr Henry celebrated his silver anniversary with a Mass that was livestreamed to his parish community and beyond.
Below is Fr Henry’s homily from his Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving.
Homily for 25th Anniversary Mass – Tuesday 21 April 2020
Just like everybody else, I often said, ‘God’s way is beyond our way, and God’s though is beyond our thought.’ I knew it, I said it again and again so many times, but this time above all, is the one I truly experience the truth and the weight of it.
About this time last year, I started thinking about this anniversary, about Masses I am going to have, about invitation cards to send out, about activities to make the occasion special, a big time of celebration, not just for me but for the community as well. I surely underestimated God’s way, I didn’t anticipate his intervention to help me understand the truth of what we often said, ‘God’s way is beyond our way’, and we have no way but to give way to him, to humbly say ‘YES LORD’ to him, and to eagerly try our best to let his way shone and glorified.
Despite this setback, I don’t feel discouraged or bad at all, on the other hand I feel strengthened and much encouraged to discover his mysterious hand working in our history, in our world. I feel particularly inspired and comforted by these words that Austen Ivereigh put together in his book Wounded Shepherd, my companion in the last few weeks, ‘No disciple…. could follow Christ without some share in his suffering and failure.’ I feel honoured to have the opportunity to include a bit of my own inconvenience into his suffering, but can’t help to let loosen of my tongue and shoot back, ‘Hey, I beat you in a way, because you even couldn’t afford to go to your fourth anniversary, and I have not just four, but 25 years to celebrate. However, just thank you anyway.’
Thank you, Lord for sticking with me in the peace time of my ministry, and in war times as well when I needed you most.
Thank you for putting up with me, despite my limits, weaknesses and failures.
Thank you for looking after my mother, my brothers and sister, nephews and nieces for me.
Thank you for all the good friends you sent to bring counsel, help and support.
Thank you for enriching me with life-nourishing encounters with so many outstanding people in parishes I spent time with.
Thank you for keeping me alive, active, and ever excited with this supportive parish community, and the two Vietnamese communities I have helped to serve.
Thank you for the community of many, who are joining me in this Thanksgiving Mass from here and beyond.
Please pray with me and for me today, that I will continue to have the zeal, the enthusiasm, the energy, the generosity and the willingness to humbly serve God and his people in the most humble way to win the weak for the Lord.
Lord, bless me and fill me with your grace today, and the days ahead of my ministry, and help me fulfil my call to share the Good News of the One, who was lifted up, died and resurrected from the dead.
WATCH: Fr Henry’s celebration of his silver jubilee Mass below