Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.

A Word from the Pastor

On Voluntary Service

At the beginning of chapter eight of the Gospel of St. Luke we have this information: “Afterward He journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying Him were the twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources (1-3)”. From this passage several important facts stood out. Let us try to reflect on their meanings.

First, in addition to the Twelve whose names fortunately we all know, there were also Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna and ‘many others’ whose names we do not know. Second, they ‘accompanied him’ namely Jesus as the Twelve did. Third, some had been cured by Jesus from their infirmities and others had evil spirits driven out from them, with the particular mention of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and many other unnamed people. Fourth and last, ‘they provided for them out of their resources”.

We are told these were people from Galilee who ‘accompanied Jesus’ and ‘journeyed from one town and village to another’. Later we learn also that ‘they provided for them’, therefore also the Twelve were included among those for whom they provided. Since Herod was the king in Judea, therefore Joanna, the wife of the king’s steward Chuza, must also be from Judea. This makes us think that these kind and generous people must have formed a loose group that continuously provided help to the Master and the Apostles.

Later from the Acts we learn of the same spirit of the believers who generously put up everything they had for the need of the community of believers (2:42-47). Not only were they spontaneous and generous but also sincere and honest, with the terrifying example of Ananias and Sapphira (cfr. 5:1-11).

We can easily say that these are the first volunteers of the Church. It is obvious that without them and their generous help and service, the beginning of the Church would have been much more difficult. For almost two thousand years our Church has been relying on this kind of spontaneous service and financial assistance, so much so that the Apostle of the Gentiles was inspired to repeat what our Lord said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”(Acts 20:35).

Dear readers, even today every community relies on such spontaneous assistance and service in order to survive. God the Father of all gifts and blessings would certainly smile on those who without reservation but with wholehearted generosity are helping the Church in the context of their own local community. In fact all volunteers are collaborators who help God build up His kingdom on earth.