I go by “Father Khoi” because we call each other by our first name in Vietnamese.
I was born in the Southeast Asian country of Viet Nam.
I was baptized and given Saint Francis Xavier as my patron saint. My confirmation’s saint is Saint John the Baptist. When I entered the Redemptorist novitiate, I took on the name of the Blessed Mother, Mary, as a part of my Christian name.
My family and I lived in Saigon until 1994. We had very little as the result of the Viet Nam War, especially under the strict and oppressive post-war Communist rule. By the (unimaginable) grace of God, we were given the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. We settled in Kansas where most of my father’s side of the family resided at the time. I grew up and went to elementary, middle, and high schools in Wichita. I graduated from Wichita West High School and moved to Texas to begin my priestly formation.
I first began with the Vietnamese Redemptorists (Extra Patriam Vice-Province of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) until I discerned, under the guidance of my Novice Master, to transition from the religious life to diocesan seminary formation.
I was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 2013, for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. I currently serve as the Parochial Administrator of three parishes: Saint Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Burkburnett, Christ the King Catholic Church in Iowa Park, and Saint Paul Catholic Church in Electra, Texas since July 1st of 2015.
I love being a priest. Is it easy? The answer is no, but the journey is filled with many blessings. I am in love with Christ. I embrace my vocation because He has called me to care, shepherd, and give my life to serve the Church. I pray for the grace of perseverance every day, that He keeps me safe and faithful to the mission given at my ordination.
I try to write as a way to pray with a reflection blog. I also podcast my homilies for former parishioners, family, and friends who are living far away. Both of them are named “I Thirst” (John 19:28) after Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata‘s own motto. And as you can tell by now, I have a great devotion to the “saint of the slums.” I love her simple and heartfelt charism, which is founded on the love of Christ in the Eucharist and service of the poorest of the poor.
I try to share what I preached and wrote not as a way to garner attention to myself but to make known the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Lord sees and knows the deepest desires of our hearts so we have to be honest and genuine with Him. And, if we truly love Him, we have to share what He has done for us and how He is speaking to us so that others can come to know and love Him as well.
I hope what I have written or talked about might help you in some small ways for your faith journey. Please pray for me as I am for you. I truly believe that prayer is the greatest gift that we can give to one another.
God bless you.