b Deep Emotions Felt at Fr. Tran's Ordination -b

Father Augustine Minh-Hai Tran fulfilled one of his dreams last Saturday ? to become a priest. He is the first Vietnamese priest ordained in the Arlington diocese Father Tran, 29, spent eight years in seminary and 19 years have passed since he thought for the first time about a consecrated life. Father Tran has been assigned to St. Leo the Great in Fairfax, but before he joins his new parish he will spend a month in his native country, according to his family that resides in Springfield. "I feel overwhelmed. This is one of the happiest days in my life," said Father Tran after he was ordained by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. The Ordination Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Peter Tran Dinh Tu, uncle of Father Tran and Bishop of Phu Chong of Vietnam, diocesan priests and friends of the ordained. Fathers Paul deLadurantaye, John F. Heisler Richard Mullins and Brother David Eddy were masters of ceremonies. In addition to the Cathedral Choir and Brass Ensemble, the Vietnamese Choir of Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Church in Arlington participated in the Mass with songs in Vietnamese. Numerous ladies from Vietnam wore traditional dresses, and relatives of Father Tran were identified by a red rose, among them his parents Puch Q. Trant and Hien T. Nguyen. Some attendees arrived from Canada, Norway and states like New York. "I knew Tran many years ago. He will be a very good priest," said Father Vicente D?Auriol from the Archdiocese of New York. There were many touching moments during the Mass. For Hanh Tam Tran, sister of Father Tran, "the most emotional moment was when he was laying on hands. I cried. I wanted to see this moment for a long time." Hai Tran, brother of Father Tran, said that the investiture with stole and chasuble and the hug by Bishop Loverde were special moments that made many parishioners cry. But that happened after Father Brian Bashista, director of vocations, asked the candidate to come forward to be presented to the bishop. Immediately after, Father Bashista asked the bishop to ordain "Augustine, our brother, for the responsibility of the priesthood." Following the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Loverde replied: "Do you judge him to be worthy?" "After inquiry among the Christian people and upon recommendations of those responsible, I testify that he has been found worthy," said Father Bashista. Moments later Bishop Loverde confirmed that the man was entering the priesthood in the presbyteral order. Father Tran responded to the acceptance by prostrating himself in the ancient posture of supplication on the floor in front of the altar. After the Mass there was a reception at the cathedral?s Burke Hall. The new priest blessed several hundred relatives, friends and parishioners, and received gifts and letters of congratulations.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2004