NAM CALI - Đức cha Kevin Vann, giám mục giáo phận Orange đã chủ sự thánh lễ an táng ĐC Dominic Lương vào lúc 10:00g sáng ngày 14/12/2017 tại Holy Family Cathedral của giáo phận. Cùng với ngài có các Đức TGM Los Angeles, New Orleans, các Đức cha phụ tá, và 3 Đức Cha từ Việt Nam là ĐC Lôrensô Chu Văn Minh, ĐC Tôma Vũ Đình Hiệu và ĐC Giuse Trần Văn Toản cùng với trên 200 linh mục Việt Mỹ đồng tế. Có nhiều nam nữ tu sĩ và giáo dân hiệp dâng thánh lễ cầu cho đức cố giám mục Dominicô.

Hình ảnh thánh lễ an táng

Trước thánh lễ Đức cha Vann chào mừng tòan thể các giám mục, linh mục tu sĩ và cộng đồng dân Chúa, và tiếp đến giới thiệu Cha Trần văn Kiểm, giám đốc Trung tâm CGVN đọc điện văn của Đức Thánh Cha Phanxicô như sau:

The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the death of the Most Reverend Dominic Dinh Mai Luong, and he sends heartfelt condolences to you, the late Bishop's family, and the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese. With gratitude for Bishop Luong's dedicated ministry, and his particular solicitude for the Vietnamese community throughout the United States, His Holiness joins you in commending his soul to the merciful love of God our Father. To all who mourn Bishop Luong's passing, Pope Francis cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and consolation in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Signed by
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Được tin Đức Cha Đaminh Mai Thanh Lương qua đời, Đức Thánh Cha vô cùng thương tiếc và chân thành gửi lời phân ưu đến quý ông bà và anh chị em: tang quyến của Đức Cha Đaminh, các giám mục, linh mục, tu sĩ nam nữ và toàn thể giáo hữu trong giáo phận. Trong niềm tri ân tinh thần phục vụ tận tụy của Đức Cha Đaminh, đặc biệt là ngài đã ưu ái quan tâm đến cộng đồng Việt Nam trên khắp nước Mỹ, Đức Thánh Cha xin được cùng quý ông bà và anh chị em phó dâng linh hồn Đức Cha Đa Minh cho Thiên Chúa Cha chúng ta đầy lòng xót thương nhân ái. Và cho tất cả những ai đang thương khóc sự ra đi của Đức Cha Đaminh, Đức Giáo Hoàng Phanxicô ưu ái ban Phép Lành Tòa Thánh như bảo chứng của bình an và ơn an ủi trong Chúa Giêsu Kitô Chúa chúng ta.

Ký tên
Đức Hồng Y Pietro Parolin
Quốc Vụ Khanh của Tòa Thánh

Xem tiếp bài giảng do LM Kerry Beanlieu:
Homily for Bishop Dominic

Today we come together to pray for Bishop Dominic Mai Luong. We come with profound respect for this humble and loving bishop, priest, uncle, spiritual father, friend and brother in the Lord who has given his whole life to God. Today is a day of thanksgiving to God for the life and ministry God gave to Bishop Dominic and for the faithful and generous life he lived among us.

The words of Bishop Dominic’s Episcopal Motto “You are strangers or aliens no longer.” describe well both the mission and the impact of Bishop Dominic’s life and ministry as he spent his lifetime as a ‘bridge builder’ between the Church in Vietnam and the Church in the United States, between the Vietnamese culture and the American culture, between two peoples who knew very little about each other but who were destined to become neighbors and friends, even brothers and sisters in the household of faith.

Bishop Dominic’s own life bridged both Churches: one the Church of his birth and childhood in Vietnam, the other the Church of his adult life in the United States. He brought the two together in a ministry that he could never have foreseen. But today as we look back at Bishop Dominic’s full lifetime, it seems perfectly clear that God was preparing him for a unique ministry in the Catholic Church of this country as the first Vietnamese Bishop in the United States.

I had the privilege to live in the same rectory with Bishop Dominic for six years when he lived at Our Lady Queen of Angels. He was a great support to me personally during the building of our church and I grew very fond of him.

He was always kind and considerate, interested in parish life, always willing to help, humble and caring for people. He was generous to a fault. He had a calmness and serenity about him that people noticed and appreciated. In the midst of a noisy celebration he seemed to be centered and relaxed.

Sometimes he was homesick for his former parish, Mary Queen of Vietnam, that he founded in New Orleans and served as pastor for 20 years, and he was always homesick for the food New Orleans is famous for. He was visiting in New Orleans the weekend Hurricane Katrina arrived and was on the last plane to leave New Orleans Airport before the hurricane closed the airport down.

He was very generous with the Church in Vietnam which he loved so much. In his home village of Ninh Cuong he recently was able after many years of work to establish a Pilgrimage Center where his family’s home had once been and where many years earlier a bishop had been ordained in the barn on the property who later became a martyr and canonized saint.

In his last months with us he was able to see the beginning of the Shrine to Our Lady of La Vang at Christ Cathedral, a project he worked on with a group of Vietnamese business men with whom he met regularly.

Bishop Dominic was popular in our house because he loved to celebrate the early Mass during the week and the first Mass on Sunday. He made good friends in the parish and just last May he joined us for a birthday brunch for one of the parishioners. On Wednesdays after the 6:30 Mass he would join a group from the Mass and they would go out for coffee and breakfast and they solved all the Church’s problems. The name Bishop Dominic gave the group was Vatican III… He was always looking ahead! They loved him dearly and met with him as recently as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

To those who got to know him he became a friend and a fellow pilgrim. He was always a source of encouragement and support for new initiatives. Always raising funds for new initiatives.

Bishop Dominic was always a priest and this past Spring celebrated 51 years of ordination and fourteen years as a Bishop. As the first Vietnamese bishop to serve the Church in the United States he belonged not only to us here in the Diocese of Orange but to Vietnamese Catholics all across the country.

On Mondays he would appear in the rectory kitchen after having been to Texas or Kansas over the weekend to visit a Vietnamese Catholic community or to help dedicate a new church. He was a tireless sign of encouragement to newcomers adjusting to a new country and finding their place in the church. Beginning with his work for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as Director of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, then continuing in New Orleans and finally here in Orange he helped to re-settle thousands of people from Vietnam in new lives here in the US.

Bishop McFarland called his appointment as bishop a “happening of major historical significance” because Bishop Dominic’s appointment as bishop was a dramatic recognition of the tremendous positive impact Vietnamese Catholics have had on the Church in the United States in a relatively short period of time. At the time of his appointment as bishop in 2003 there were 400,000 Vietnamese Catholics in the US, some 600 priests and 500 religious.

Bishop Brown, our retired Diocesan bishop, deserves credit for recognizing the impact of Vietnamese Catholics on the Church in Orange, seeing the benefit a Vietnamese Auxiliary bishop would bring and then petitioning the Holy Father for just such an appointment.

Bishop Vann will be affirming the importance of Bishop Dominic’s work and the tremendous contribution the Vietnamese community makes to the Church in Orange next week when Bishop-elect Thomas Thai will be ordained the second Vietnamese-American bishop to serve in the Diocese of Orange.

Bishop Dominic was the right person at the right time and in the right place

Bishop Dominic lived out in his ministry before and after he became a bishop the episcopal motto he took from the letter to the Ephesians 2:19-22:

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

There are no strangers and aliens in the household of God-rather we are called to ‘truly welcome the stranger among us’ (Mat 25:35) and to “become fellow citizens with the holy ones …built into a dwelling place of God in the spirit” (Ephesians 2:19f).

That is exactly the vision Bishop Dominic spent his life working for: a household of God where there are no strangers and aliens but only fellow citizens…. built into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

As the Bishops’ document “Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope” declares: “In effect, the Church is increasingly called to be as Lumen Gentium declares, a “sign and instrument of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race.” In the church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere.”

While we may or may not be able to change human hearts or the laws or the politics as much or as quickly as we would like- to embrace the stranger, the immigrant or the vulnerable - at least in the household of God- there ought to be no strangers, no aliens, no one disposable or unworthy of human respect and dignity. For we have a different perspective: the intrinsic dignity and eternal destiny of every human being.

The prophet Habakkuk tells us: “The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint…” (Habakkuk 2:3)

My favorite story about Bishop Dominic is one that he told me himself. As many of you know Bishop Dominic left Vietnam at the age of 16 to continue his studies for the priesthood in the United States. He had returned once in 1969 after his ordination.

It was now 1975 and the conditions in Saigon were worsening. Bishop Dominic, then Father Dominic, flew to Saigon from the U.S. to visit his family in Vietnam to see how they were doing and to see if he could help them.

But his plane was turned away and not allowed to land because the evacuation from Saigon was underway.

The plane was diverted to the island of Guam where refugees from Vietnam were being taken. At this time Bishop Dominic had no idea what was happening to his family back in Saigon. Of course, he was worried. He had begun to hear reports that the city was being overrun by the enemy. What would become of his family?

Once he landed at Guam, then Fr. Dominic was invited to concelebrate Mass by a bishop who was celebrating Mass for the refugees in the camp.

At some point during Mass the clouds moved and the sunlight fell on a section of the congregation. One face in the crowd drew Bishop Dominic’s attention and he instantly knew who it was. He recognized his mother in the crowd. He quickly excused himself to the presiding bishop. He said, “I think I see my mother. I have to go” and he rushed into the crowd to embrace his mother. The Mass stopped while mother and son embraced.

That unexpected reunion with his mother was one of the most joyful moments in his life.

St. Paul tells us “our Citizenship is in heaven.” In the household of God we recognize each other’s faces not as those of strangers and aliens but as the faces of mother and father, sister and brother - built together into a dwelling place of God.

Jesus says “I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you also may be.”

Isaiah says: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples…The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces. And it will be said: Behold Our God to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

After welcoming so many people to this land may Bishop Dominic be welcomed by the saints and angels of God and arrive safely in that place the Savior has prepared for him where there will be no strangers, no aliens but only the family of God’s sons and daughters, in the household of God.

Eternal life grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Lời chia sẻ sau Thánh lễ của Đức ông Phạm Văn Tuấn:

Of this very unassuming man, it would not be uncommon to hear someone say, "Oh, I didn't know there was a Vietnamese bishop". But to those of us who knew him, this quiet and gentle soul impacted our lives in a way that made us think that somehow, we had come into the presence of the Lord.

What comes to mind is the Christ's own invitation in Mt 11:29, "Come to me…for I am meek and humble of heart". People were drawn to him, precisely because of his unassuming nature. And they came to love him.

Though of Vietnamese birth, he was not previously known by those he came to serve in California, but quickly after arriving, became a great supporter of the growing Vietnamese community in the Diocese of Orange. His episcopal motto, taken from St Paul to the Ephesians (2:19),

You Are Strangers And Aliens No Longer,

itself was a testimony to Dominic's own conviction that the Vietnamese Catholic community, having wandered and suffered for so many years in the desert of persecution, was welcome in the church of the United States. That community, offering the riches of its own spiritual heritage to the American church -- in particular, to the Diocese of Orange -- was integrated according to the model established by Bishop Brown, and came to be accepted, valued and loved in such a way, that it now felt secure in its new home and in the "household of God".

The English speaking and Spanish speaking communities, also, eventually came to be touched by the kindness of Dominic's outreach to all, and for them, this translated into their perception of the Christ-like holiness of the soul of this unassuming priest.

He always had a moment to stop and chat and offer a word of encouragement to anyone and everyone, and today, as we bid farewell to God's humble servant, we offer a loving word back to him:

Well done, good and faithful servant.
Enter into the joy of the Master.
Pray to God for us, Bishop Dominic,
from your lofty place in Heaven!

Đức Cha Lương … một cái tên quen thuộc đối với người Việt Công Giáo Hải Ngọai bởi vì Ngài là vị Giám Mục Việt Nam đầu tiên ở Hải Ngọai. Có nhiều người thắc mắc … không hiểu sao biết bao nhiêu người Công Giáo mà sao lại chọn một người Lương để làm Giám Mục Công Giáo.

Đức Cha Lương thân yêu của Giáo Phận Orange hôm nay đã ra đi trở về với Chúa, sau một cuộc hành trình khá dài với tuổi đời là 80.

Ngài đi không để lại di chúc bằng văn tự … nhưng cả cuộc sống của Ngài chính là một di chúc qúy giá.

Nhiều người trong chúng ta đây đã có dịp tiếp xúc với Ngài, đều nhận thấy rằng Ngài rất giản dị, và bình dân. Bình dân hơn khi ngài nói tiếng anh có pha một chút gốc bùi chu thì thật là khôi hài.

Sự giản dị và bình dân của Ngài đến độ nhiều người cho rằng Ngài đã quên mình là một vị GIÁM MỤC. Ngài thường ăn mặc cũng rất giản dị, một quần kaki cũ, một chiếc áo ấm lôi thôi … có những lúc luộm thuộm, quên cổ trắng, quên mũ Giám Mục, chỉ có Thánh gía treo vào túi.

Ngài ăn nói rất khiêm nhường, hòa nhã … không bao giờ xưng là cha với ai.. Ngài thường xưng là “mình” một ngôn ngữ “rất bắc kỳ” nhưng rất gần gũi, quen thuộc với mọi người.

Đức Cha Lương rất thương người, nhất là những người kém may mắn, vô gia cư. Khi còn làm giám đốc ở TTCG, Ngài thường mua thức ăn sáng ở McDonald cho homeless, những người vô gia cư. Ngài cũng không bao giờ từ chối tham gia phân phát quần áo, tặng qùa cho người nghèo trong khu vực Civic Center hay trên Los Angeles.

Cuộc sống đầy bác ái, yêu thương đó phát xuất từ đời sống thiêng liêng, đạo đức của Đức Cha.

Ngài đặc biệt tôn sùng Thánh Thể … và Ngài cũng muốn mọi người yêu mến Thánh Thể nên đã dầy công, sọan bộ sách chầu Thánh Thể – mà hiện nay nhiều giáo dân trong nhiều cộng đòan còn đang xử dụng …

Theo gương thánh Quan thầy Đaminh, Ngài rất yêu mến Đức Mẹ … mỗi lần vào phòng cấp cứu, Ngài luôn nhắc mang tràng hạt cho Ngài. … Bài hát sau cùng mà Đức Cha hát trước khi giã từ cõi thế là bài hát “Mẹ ơi, con yêu Mẹ, yêu từ thời thơ bé, yeu mãi đến tuổi già, yêu tha thiết bao la.” Ngài đã trút hơi thở với câu kết của bài hát “chết trong tình yêu Mẹ.”

Thày Sáu Bình, con tinh thần của Đức Cha, luôn sát cánh bên Ngài kể lại một kỷ niệm khó quên – khi về thăm quê quán tại Ninh Cường … Ngài cùng với qúy cha gốc Bùi Chu, chuẩn bị dâng Lễ tại Nghĩa Trang gần đó … mây kéo đến cả bầu trời, cơn mưa như đang chuẩn bị đổ xuống.

Đức Cha vẫn cương quyết cầu nguyện cùng Đức Mẹ và tiếp tục dâng Lễ … trong suốt Thanh Lễ không một hạt mưa rơi xuống … ngay khi Thánh Lễ kết thúc, mưa đổ xuống nhu thác lũ.

Sự ra đi của Đức Cha Đaminh Mai Thanh Lương là một phần thưởng mà Chúa dành cho “người đầy tớ trung tín” của Chúa trong 50 Năm Linh Mục và 14 Năm Giám Mục.

Di chúc của Đức Cha không gì khác hơn là chính đời sống gương mẫu của Ngài. Di Chúc đó được ghi khắc trong Khẩu hiệu Giám Mục của Ngài, “chúng ta không còn là kẻ xa lạ” với nhau, nhưng cùng là anh em trong một nhà. Vì thế, chúng ta, những người Công Giáo Việt Nam, hãy bắt chước Ngài, sống giản dị, khiêm tốn, và cư xử tử tế với nhau...