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PAPA is Thankful for God's Servant - Lm.Guise(Joseph) Chau Xuan Bau, C.Ss.R.

Father Joseph Bau is a quiet, humble, and joyful Redemptorist priest. When we see him he always smiles, opens his arms and says, "PAPA!"

Father has been a Redemptorist priest since 1962. He was ordained in Dala, South Vietnam on January 6, 1962. This past January Father celebrated his 60th Ordination Anniversary.

Who is Lm. Guise (Joseph) Chau Xuan Bau? Father was the youngest of six children born to his parents on November 24, 1931. He has 3 sisters and 2 brothers. His family lived in North Vietnam. In his early years, he received his religious education from his parents.

Since 1925 the French occupied Vietnam and during that time the French Canadian Redemptorists sent missionaries to Vietnam. The Redemptorists are missionaries, preachers, and teachers. At age 12, Father went to join the Redemptorists. While he was in minor seminary the Superior felt that the political climate deteriorated so in 1950 they moved the seminarians and the theologians down to South Vietnam.

Some of the Redemptorist priests continued to serve the people in Hanoi until 1954. Father Joseph's family were among the Catholics living there. Then in early November 1954 the Treaty of Genève was signed dividing North and South Vietnam. Father Joseph completed seminary and deaconate in 1962 and was ordained a priest. On April 30, 1975, Saigon was invaded by the North Vietnamese.

The first 13 years of Fr. Joseph's priesthood were served in Vietnam, before the fall of the city. The Redemptorists were preparing for evacuating the seminarians and priests since 1973. When Saigon fell in 1975 the superiors asked for volunteers to go to the United States to serve the Vietnamese Catholic refugees. Father Joseph and a few of his confreres offered to go. They fled the city on a fishing boat and then transferred to a military ship with 9,000 people destined for the U.S. protectorate Island of Guam.

It took a month to wait in Guam for a sponsor's invitation letter allowing entry into the United States.

The Redemptorists in Chicago agreed to sponsor them. It took five days to get to the final destination. Father Joseph arrived on June 29, 1975. He worked at the Monastery and learned English from the American, Father Edmund Langton, C.Ss.R. Fr. Langton could speak French. He taught Fr. Joseph some English and sent him to college to continue to learn English. It Iook him 14 months to learn English.

Father Joseph was assigned to Wisconsin to serve 3 parishes. He was assigned Green Bay, Madison, and LaCrosse. Father traveled from one parish to the other each weekend to say Mass and bring the Sacraments to the parishioners. Three Bishops gave permission to the Redemptorists to serve 18 Viet communities Sunday Mass and during a few weekdays. Father Joseph was asked to help serve his people which he did for almost 1 and a 1/2 years from August 26, 1976, to November 20, 1977.

The hardest part for a missionary priest is to travel from his country, Vietnam, and leave his family behind. He had to overcome his "nostalgia" for his home and family. In 1977 he finally made contact with his family.

In December 1977 Father was sent to Long Beach, California, and served the Vietnamese community there until 1993.

Father then went to Dallas and then to Houston. Fr. Joseph served as Vice-Provincial for 3 terms. He served the Redemptorists from 1986-1989; 1989-1992; 1992 - 2005. During his term the Vietnamese Redemptorists built a seminary in Dallas, Texas and Houston, Texas.

Now, Father Joseph is retired but has no outside community. He serves his religious community by supporting St. Clement's Monastery in Houston whenever needed.

We asked Father if he had any advice for PAPA. He asks us to continue to pray for him and all priests and to stay committed to our apostolate work. He is thankful for us and our prayers as he will always remember to pray for us.

Father said that he wants his legacy to be a reminder to his younger confreres "to build our family life spirit stronger and stronger every day. Be strong in our choice as a priest and religious because without family we can not bear our life. Be like the Holy Family.

We have to pray for the Church. We must live in the world. The world is our adversary. We must combat the World and pray for our Church."

PAPA thanks Lm. Guise (Joseph) Chau Xuan Bau, C.Ss.R. for his dedication to his order, The Most Holy Redeemer, and his service to the people he shepherds.

May the Lord bless you abundantly, Lm Guise (Joseph) Chau Xuan Bau, C.Ss.R.

PAPA Family, in thanksgiving for Fr. Joseph's service as a priest and to celebrate his Birthday, please pray the PAPA Prayer for Priests , a rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet.


PAPA Foundation
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