Ordination To Diaconate Of Joseph Tran Thanh Giang
Celebrated by Archbishop Hart
at Sacred Heart Church, Oakleigh,
on Saturday, 1st December, 2001, at 6.00pm
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
Joseph Tran Thanh Giang comes forward in our presence tonight to receive the Order of Deacon. On this First Sunday of Advent the Gospel, which is the Deacon's special prerogative, emphasises that one who is chosen to be a Deacon and a Priest has to be alert to the call of God and through his Holy Word points out that message of life to God's people.
For many years Joseph has desired to be a priest and his love of the Mass, which we celebrate, has shone like a beacon in his life as he prepares for priesthood. We go with rejoicing to the house of the Lord to know his mercy and love, to receive the Lord's salvation as united with tonight's Mass, in the name of the Church, I ordain Joseph to the Order of Diaconate.
We are mindful of his family and friends, those who have made sacrifices for his vocation, as we begin this wonderful celebration.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With great rejoicing we come to ordain Joseph Tran Thanh Giang to the Order of Deacon. A Deacon above all is devoted to the Word of God, to preaching, to works of charity in the Church. By his life and his prayer he challenges us to stand ready for the favourable moment, the wonderful opportunity which God gives in our lives. Joseph's life does reflect very beautifully the ministry, which he is now to undertake.
He was born in 1970 and was only aged five when Saigon was captured. His father had been a prisoner of war and was not released until 1983. Later Joseph's father came first to Indonesia and then to Australia and the family was reunited here in Melbourne in 1990.
Prior to this Joseph had a wonderful experience of priesthood, being very much touched by the mystery of the Mass, by the kindness of a priest for the sick and his readiness to comfort those who suffered. Even at this stage the priesthood was considered. Right through high school, although seminary was impossible, the desire for priesthood never abated. Again, after 1990, Joseph came to Australia believing that ours is a land of opportunity and a very fortunate nation.
Joseph has worked hard studying English, receiving a Degree in the Bachelor of Computer Science and Mathematics and yet the call of the Lord has been constant. That is why he entered the Seminary joyfully in 1996. He would wish to share the words of Saint Teresa of Avila with us. They apply to him, they apply to you and me. "Remember, Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours, no feet but yours."
Jesus has chosen Giang to be his friend, to proclaim the Good News through service. As he prepares to be ordained a Deacon I publicly recognise that desire to serve and the open heart which Giang has presented to the Lord in the Church.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.