This past week Fr. John Tran received word that he has been awarded his own parish at the Kings Bay Naval base in south Georgia. Father Tran was requested to leave immediately and was not able to extend his heartfelt farewell to each of us individually, but wanted to say Goodbye so he has written his sentiments below. Please keep Father Tran in your prayers as his journey takes him away from Blessed Sacrament. Also, feel free to send him your wishes directly via EMAIL: FR. TRAN
GOOD LUCK FATHER TRAN!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!
Letter From: Fr. John Tran, Parochial Vicar
October 6, 2019
Dear Blessed Sacrament Parishioners,
It has been a great journey for me at Blessed Sacrament, and I have been so blessed to live among you as a Vietnamese-American, to be with you as a Christian, and to serve you as a Catholic Priest for the last 4 years. Bishop Gregory Hartmayer made a great decision sending me to Blessed Sacrament, where I was warmly welcomed, loved, fed, and taken good care of by all parishioners. Father Brett Brannen has always been kind and nice to me. He shared with me responsibilities, showed me great examples of service, and always encouraged me to grow. We have lived peacefully at the Rectory, enjoyed meals together, and certainly recognized in each other a spirit of reverence and respect.
I began my assignment at Blessed Sacrament on August 1st, 2015. I remember that on the first day of my arrival the old parish building was cleaned up, cleared out, and demolished. Then for the next two and half years, I saw the messy ground everywhere, and workers appeared here and there to complete their job. Last year, on the joyful day of the dedication of our Church’s new building, I realized that God sent me here to witness a physical change and spiritual growth. I am happy to have been a part of this beautiful campaign, and I am grateful that I was here assisting the Pastor in the most busy and muddy times. It’s now during this time of peace, that God sends me to a new mission; I am called to serve those who serve!
Several months ago, some military officers at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia called Bishop Hartmayer and asked him for help. Over the past two years, their parish community had not had a full-time priest, and they really need one. Bishop Hartmayer asked me to contact them to see if I could help. I visited their local church, celebrated Mass with them, and fell in love with the community called Saint Francis of Assisi. I love this parish not because it is bigger or better than Blessed Sacrament, but because it needs more help than Blessed Sacrament. For the last three months, I have been filling out forms and submitting documents. Finally, my assignment was approved, and I have been awarded a contract serving as a full-time Catholic Priest, starting October 1 in the Chapel of The Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.
After celebrating Sunday Masses last weekend, I received an email from the officer at Kings Bay confirming my assignment. I was asked to start immediately and I realized that I must pack up in hurry and move on to a new location; I had to go quickly and I had no time to say goodbye! This was my first kind of military training and experience! Sadly, I was not able to say goodbye to each of you personally, so I decided to write this letter to say “Thank You” and “Good-bye” to all of you.
First, I must give thanks to God for all things, and I am confident that God will continue to love you as much as He has blessed me on every journey. Secondly, I am grateful to God for your presence in my life. I know that I received so many good things from Blessed Sacrament, especially from your generosity and kindness. Third, I was blessed to work with a Pastor who is holy, humble, gentle, loving, committed, and dedicated. I was also blessed to work with staff members who are talented and have many special gifts to share. Fourth, I was happy to meet many families and children. I believe that we have a great school here, and I have really enjoyed being with the children. I love to hear their voices because for me it is the noise and the joy of heaven! I hope that they will always remember my balloons and candies, and I pray they will fondly remember my presence! Lastly, I am proud to have served in the ministries of caring that Blessed Sacrament offers, and my life has been strengthen by weekly visits to those in the hospital, and celebrating Mass for the homebound at nursing homes.
As I move to my new station at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, I would like to take this opportunity to say “Good-bye” and thank you for everything that you have done for me at Blessed Sacrament. Your generosity, deep faith, and prayers have given me comfort and spiritual strength. Also, your sincere love, goodness, and kindness have lifted me up and supported my vocation. I will keep you in prayer and remember you during my daily rosary. May the living God always protect you, give you good health, and lead you closer to His Love. May His Divine Son, Jesus Christ, bestow upon you and your family many special blessings. May the powerful God strengthen your faith, refresh your hope, and fill your mind with His divine peace.
Your Parochial Vicar,
Rev. John Reynolds Ha Tran