Take 5 with Father: Faith, Community, Service
HE IS: Father Khoi Tran, parochial administrator of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Burkburnett, St. Paul Parish in Electra, and Christ the King Parish in Iowa Park.
GROWING UP: Because his father was a political prisoner, he lived in Vietnam with his grandparents, along with three cousins and an aunt. His grandparents taught him “to turn to God and to share what little we have. I learned how to be an intentional disciple by their living.” His extended family, including Dad, settled in Kansas when he was nine.
THE CALL: After high school, Fr. Tran entered the Redemptorist community, but after five years his novice master suggested he had the gifts of a diocesan priest. “My dream shattered, but then God worked. I was accepted to the Diocese of Fort Worth in a short time.”
ORDAINED: June 29, 2013 at Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Arlington.
THREE IN ONE: Fr. Tran said having three parishes is like having “three different childen, with different personalities, different styles, different blessings, different challenges. And sometimes they don’t like each other,” such as when high school teams compete.
OUT OF THE OFFICE: In addition to three parishes, Fr. Tran visits prisons, Midwestern State University, Notre Dame Catholic School, and community events. “I try not to be in my office a lot. I put a lot of miles on my car, to make myself available.”
THREE PILLARS: “Parishes are built on faith, community, and service. Our faith strengthens our community, which nourishes the community-at-large through service. Our faith needs to be lived in action.”
BEST PART OF BEING A PRIEST: “Celebrating the sacraments, especially offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, because to hear the words of Christ — ‘This is My body, this is My blood given up for you’ — that is heaven on earth.”
WISDOM OF AGES: His grandfather instilled in Fr. Tran a strong sense of duty and responsibility for his parishes, saying “your priesthood isn’t yours, it belongs to the people.”
GET SOCIAL: Fr. Tran’s active presence on social media and his blog is “like another parish. God works in a mysterious way. More and more people turn to the internet. If we don’t reach out to them outside of parish boundaries, we are missing a lot of the population that is searching for something higher, something more meaningful in life.”
TAKEAWAY: “You might not always agree with me, but I will always be there for you. In your time of need, the Church will never abandon you because Christ never abandoned us.”