On the Solemn Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25th, 2014), The Most Reverend Dominic Nguyen Chu Trinh, Bishop of Xuan Loc Diocese proclaimed the Decree of the canonical erection of the Dominican Monastery in Xuan Loc Diocese and presided at the Thanksgiving Mass. All took place at Ngu Phuc church, Ho Nai 3 at 9:00 a.m. Together with Bishop Dominic were the Most Reverend Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, OP, Bishop of Vinh Diocese, Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, OP, Prior Provincial of Dominicans in Vietnam, Cistercian and Benedictine Abbots and Abbesses, and approximately 50 priests concelebrated at the Mass. Sr. Mary Thomas, O.P., and Sr. Mary Pauline, O.P. representing Sr. Mary Peter, OP, Prioress of the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Farmington Hills, MI, USA, which sponsored the new foundation, were also present, along with many Sisters from the Federation of the Dominican Congregations in Vietnam. Superiors and clergy belonging to the Diocesan Congregations and others along with our Lay Dominicans, relatives, benefactors and guests of the Monastery.

Mass began with the procession of the seventeen sisters of the Monastery followed by all the priests, and two Bishops who proceeded to the altar. Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, OP., formally proclaimed the Decree of the Holy See with regard to the approval of the canonical erection of our Dominican Monastery. This was followed by the proclamation of the Decree of canonical erection in his diocese granted by the Bishop of Xuan Loc Diocese. Subsequently, Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, OP, Prior Provincial of Dominicans in Vietnam and Vicar of Master General of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, proclaimed the appointment of the first new Prioress of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Dominican Monastery.

Sister Anne-Jeanne Nguyen Thi Hao, OP came forward prostrating on the floor to show her obedience in accepting the responsibility of being Prioress, in accordance to Dominican traditional rite. She will begin her office starting from the date of canonical erection with a 3-year term. As a sign of obedience to their new Prioress, the professed and novitiate sisters bowed their heads; the Prioress, in turn, embraced each of them as a sign of peace and joy.

In his homily, Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, OP (Bishop Dominic was not in a very good health to preach), talked about the revolution of information, new technologies, internet all over the world nowadays and the consequences it brings. Dating back to more than two thousand years, at the beginning of Christianity, a miraculous and unique event occurred when the angel Gabriel announced the Incarnation of the Son of God so that human beings could be called children of God. With her “Behold, I am the handmaid of God, be it done unto me according to your word”, the Son of God was made man. As soon as the angel departed, the Virgin Mary set out to bring Good News of salvation to her cousin Elizabeth and to the whole world.

This year the Feast of Annunciation is also an outburst of joy for the Dominican family, in particular, and God’s people in general, because Bishop Dominic granted the canonical erection of Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit at this beloved Ngu Phuc parish within his Diocese. Indeed, the Dominican Family has been preparing for this event to be proclaimed for many years. “In former times Dominican Monasteries came to existence first, followed by the foundation of the Friars of The Order of Preachers and then the other members of the Dominican family: today in Vietnam, due to the historical circumstances, this Monastery becomes the youngest child in her big family”.

After Communion, Bishop Dominic Nguyen Chu Trinh offered a beautiful bouquet of flowers to the new Prioress and gave his teaching in the spirit of a shepherd for the monastic nuns and the whole community. He said, “I’d like to express the great joy of the Xuan Loc Diocese, the Dominican Province in Vietnam, the clergy and honorable guests. Yes, it is a joy to have the presence of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit as a valuable treasure which has been buried in the ground for 12 years of their devoted lives.

Sr. Jeanne Hao, OP., the new Prioress, expressed her gratitude to the Bishops, priests, clergy and the faithful. The aspirants of the Monastery then offered fresh bouquets of flowers to the Bishops and Superiors as a sign of gratitude.

The Mass ended with the proclamation of the Pontifical Blessing of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Thanks be to God for all the wonderful things He has accomplished for us!


(03 April 2014)