Dear Pilgrims of the Asian Church Series to Vietnam,
Greetings of peace and joy to you in our Lord Jesus Christ!
I trust that you have been well since our return from this brief but utterly adventurous formation-based pilgrimage to Vietnam. It has been a month since we completed our sacred journey together. I am sure most of you, if not all, will remember this pilgrimage for a long time to come. I am certain that this trip, albeit being a short one, has quite radically changed the way you look at your faith. At life even.
This has recently become even more pertinent considering the times in which we currently live. Inasmuch as our political leaders are reluctant to admit it, the current experience with the pandemic has brought humanity to its knees. The secular world has come to realise the fragility of our political, economic, healthcare and social systems as we garner all our resources to fight the enemy that we cannot seem to overcome.
I personally believe that we stand at the brink of a reconfiguration of human civilisation. You and I may not live long enough to see the fullblown outcome of this epochal phenomenon, but our children and grandchildren will be alive to witness the eventuality of what has now begun. The post-pandemic world will not be the same again.
Our recent pilgrimage reminds us to always keep in mind that seasons come and go in the course of human history, but God and His Eternal Word remain the same. Always. As we prayerfully sanitise ourselves and obey the instructions of the health authorities, remember that ultimately our faith in Jesus Christ is what gives us the resilience to conquer the most difficult of times.
I'm sure many of you were emotionally moved throughout the journey. The words of Tertullian, our Early Church Father who said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, rang true throughout our trip as we witnessed how the sufferings and sacrifices of the first Vietnamese Catholics brought about the emergence of a vibrant and inspiring Church for her people.
This trip serves to remind us of our calling to martyrdom, to live our lives as authentic witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that this inspiration remains with you for a long time to come. My sincere hope and prayer for you is that our trip has strengthened you to carry your crosses, deepen your dependence on God’s strength, and heightened your resolve to joyfully bear all circumstances in life for the greater glory of God (and your own salvation!)
In this webpage are the group photographs we’ve taken, made available to you in high resolution as promised, and also the video footage for you to view and to share generously with all your loved ones and friends.
Our journey has not ended. We continue to pray for you each day, for all the intentions that you have submitted throughout the pilgrimage. Do keep in touch with us.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and always.
Yours most sincerely,
Deacon Sherman Kuek OFS
These photographs have been uploaded in high resolution. To download, please click on the selected photograph and it will open up in full size for saving.