(Re-posted with permission)
(Editor’s Note: Mr. Kou Ly and his wife, Jou Yang Ly have been leaders of the Hmong Community of Oblate Associates for several years. They also have close friendships with Oblates in Tewksbury, MA as well as Minneapolis-St. Paul.
We were delighted to see this article in the Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis- St. Paul, The Catholic Spirit, profiling Mr. Ly as he becomes a permanent Deacon. We ask blessings on this couple as they expand their ministry to the Church. If you would like to read more about Mr. and Mrs. Ly, you may see an article about a Hmong Community celebration at St. Patrick’s from a few years ago here.)
Name: Kou Ly
Spouse: Joua Yang Ly
Home parish: St. Patrick in St. Paul
Residence: Lake Elmo
Profession: Database administrator for the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
Children: Martin (30); Arthur (28), Curtis (20), Francis (14), Adela (12)
Birthplace: Long Cheng, Laos
Q) What inspired you to pursue the diaconate?
A) I am fascinated by the mysteries of God. I want to use my life to bring glory to God and to encourage others to do the same. I want to be a light in the darkness and show people that Jesus is the only way.
Q) What made you certain this was your call?
A) I am greatly gratified and feel accomplished when I am able to serve the Church and those in need. It is a great pleasure and a great honor for me to serve the Church and to follow the faith. I believe that serving God and his Church is one of life’s greatest privileges.- Advertisement –
Q) What aspect of diaconate ministry are you most looking forward to?
A) I look forward to using my talents to bring people closer to God and to help them grow in their relationship with God. I want to be an example of faith and an inspiration to others and to serve those who are most in need. I want to build a strong and vibrant community of faith.
Q) What areas of ministry are you especially interested in?
A) I have a deep appreciation for the liturgy of the Church and serving at the altar. I enjoyed ministering to those with a language barrier. My nursing home ministry experience made me realize the importance of providing spiritual care to those in need.
Q) What role will your family play in your new ministry?
A) I am grateful for all the support I have received, and I am confident that I will be able to continue my ministry with dedication and passion. My family always encouraged me, and they have made the necessary sacrifices in order for me to pursue my ministry. Before I entered the diaconate formation, my wife, Joua, always assisted me in all areas of ministry that I was involved in, and she took care of all the background work behind the scenes. My children understand the importance of our faith and the call to discipleship.
Q) Where do you see the greatest needs in the local Church?
A) There is a need to evangelize the culture through more interactive programs, such as small group discussions, or by creating a safe space for parishioners to express their own beliefs. Additionally, it would be beneficial to create initiatives that foster a sense of community and connection between the parish and its members. The Church needs to be more welcoming.
Q) What part of your formation has been the most rewarding?
A) I enjoyed all the retreats during my formation, especially when incorporating silence in them. It is a great time to retreat from the world, to unplug from the busyness of life, to spend time in prayer, to enter deeper into the mystery of Christ and in relationship with the living God. I also enjoyed all the classes offered in formation.
Q) Who has been a model for your ministry?
A) The model for my ministry is St. Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. I am fascinated by his faith, his love for the Eucharist and his love for the poor. In his pastoral letters to the Oblates, he emphasizes that all are called to salvation and holiness. He said that: “We must strive first of all to lead people to act like human beings, and then like Christians, and finally, we must help them to become saints.”