In March 1985, I was transferred to Bataan to study English and American culture. By chance I saw him celebrate mass at Bataan church and I met him the second time at his residence. Time has passed and many events have intervened in between, but his memory did not fail. He still remembered me well and treated me fondly. I was so moved by his kindness.
I became a kind of personal secretary for him thereafter until he was called back to Canada. I was cooking, eating, staying overnight some times with him. The whole time I was to write letters to many, many people who wrote to him. There was always a thick stack of letters, most in Vietnamese, some in English, all asking for help. I did not understand the situation of each of the people who wrote the letter, so he would patiently explain to me, in Vietnamese, because Vietnamese was what he wanted to write with, and I would write the reply. Some very short, some very long, but always ended with love and well wishes. I would see his face brighten, his smile broaden every time I finished a letter and read aloud for him to hear.
Father André left for Canada one day in April 1985, barely one month into my transit in Bataan.
I felt sad and lonely again
But life flows on. Time passes and many events go by. My memory does not fail, I believe his does not either.
Until I hear he departed once more, for the last time, in 2010.
Please keep us in memory, Father, watch upon and pray for each of us, as you replied to each of those who wrote to you.
|With Father André Lamothe in Bataan PRPC- 4/1985|
From left: Hùng (refugee from Taiwan), Vân, Hòang, Óanh, Father André Lamothe, Hưng, Thanh-Hương