By Harry Winter, OMI, Photos by Joua Ly.
Kou Ly and his wife Joua Ly spent Oct. 27-29 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, Tewksbury, MA, visiting especially Fr. Luc Bouchard and Fr. John St. Cyr. Kou and Joua, who are leaders of the Hmong Oblate Associates group in St. Paul, MN., hosted Fr. Luc (and Frs. Tuan Pham and Harry Winter) in May, 2018 (click here for May 8 account of that visit). During this visit to Tewksbury, they shared their contact with Oblates in French Guiana with Fr. St. Cyr, who ministered there from 2000-2005.
Their visit to IHM coincided with the October Novena to Our Lady of Pontmain, which is held at IHM every year from October 23-31. Kou and Joua have visited Oblate Daniel Taillez in the Oblate retirement center at Pontmain twice, in 2017 and 2018. So Kou shared the homily with Fr. Winter during the novena Mass of Oct. 29, explaining his “deep sense of peace and tranquility in the beautiful church, as the light enters the beautiful stained glass windows, the church become radiant blue, so beautiful and unique that I could not really describe my feelings.”
Kou and Joua hosted the Sunday evening dinner on Oct. 28, and spoke to all the Oblates there about their gratitude as Hmong Catholics, for all the Oblates have done in Laos, and with Hmong Catholics especially in Minnesota. Their attendance at Mass on October 28 coincided with the Serra Club sponsored Priesthood Sunday, to honor priests in the USA, which was unknown to the Oblates at Tewksbury until Kou and Joua mentioned it.