Dearest Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants, Youth Leaders, and youth members:
With the recent current events, many of us are heart broken, in disbelief or even outraged. While there are multiple opinions regarding the matter, we all can share one unified understanding, that discrimination and racism exist and are present within our reality.
As with the occurrence of any form of injustice or immoral treatment, we often come together in peaceful protests to make our voices heard. We are also empathetic of communities that are understandably angered at the atrocious act committed or outraged secondary to the historical hostility or prolonged exposure to systemic oppression.
With deep sympathy, we join our St. Joseph/Thánh Giuse, St. Tôma Thiện and St. Paul Tống Viết Bường Chapter there in Minnesota, Liên Đoàn John Paull II; the Minneapolis community; our 11 Leagues of Chapters and; our country in praying for the soul of Mr. George Floyd and all others who lost their lives through similar means.
We also pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives while upholding the law on the front line in recent days, as well as the victims of the rioting in cities across the country (Minneapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., Boston, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, San Jose, and others). Many of our VEYM members reside and work within these communities and we pray for their safety.
In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul reminded us “to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3). Similarly, we’re called to respect one another as brothers and sisters of the human race; accept each other as children of God, created by God in God's very own image; and know that we are incredibly loved by the Most High. In living our calling, we can collectively uproot the evil plaguing our community.
Inviting all VEYM members to join in and offer 3 Hail Mary daily during these times of conflict to pray for the respect of all lives and for peace in our world. Let us pray for openness to welcome and accept all people from all cultural backgrounds. We pray for wisdom to understand the plight of those who are oppressed and disenfranchised. We offer our prayers for those whose voices are voiceless, especially the unborn, and the voices of those unheard.
May the God of Love, through the intercession Mary and the Saints, renew our hearts and minds, so that we may embrace one another in love and peace. Amen.
In His Heart,
Tr. Đaminh Hoàng Công Thái Dương
President, National Executive Committee, VEYM-USA
Rev. Francis Xavier Nguyễn Thanh Bình, SVD
General Chaplain, VEYM-USA