Van's final farewell

Van Tuong Nguyen's final thoughts before he went to the gallows in Singapore were shared at his packed funeral service in Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral yesterday.

CLICK HEREThe Catholic Leader reports that more than 2000 people attended the funeral for the executed drug trafficker.

Fr Peter Hansen, who is parish priest of Craigieburn outside Melbourne, and a close friend of Van Nguyen's mother, Kim, celebrated the funeral.

Fr Hansen said the family had requested Van's funeral service be a celebration of his life instead of a political statement about the death sentence.

Van had asked that, at the end of the Mass, mourners hug one another as a sign of unity and of Jesus' love for others.

Fr Hansen said the Gospel reading chosen for the funeral was that of the repentant thief.

Earlier, St Ignatius, Richmond parish priest, Jesuit Father Peter Norden, where Van had attended primary school, prayed for an end to the death penalty in a Mass less than an hour before the execution.

In his homily at the 2 December mass, Fr Norden said that during the last two weeks many parishioners had found a place to pray before the replica of Michaelangelo's Pieta in the church which portrayed the mother of Jesus holding the body of her dead son in her arms.

Van's final farewell (Catholic Leader 11/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Parish of St Ignatius, Richmond (includes text of Fr Peter Norden 2 December homily)

Politicians consider Nguyen funeral attendance (CathNews 7/12/05)
Priest expects 1000 at Van Nguyen funeral (CathNews 6/12/05)
Pell says abolishing death penalty won't be easy (CathNews 5/12/05)
Van Nguyen's faith-filled last moments (CathNews 2/11/05)
Cathedral requiem for Van Nguyen (CathNews 2/12/05)
Churches, mosques echo with prayers (CathNews 1/12/05)
Prayer vigils for Van Nguyen (CathNews 30/11/05)
Priest says Australia 'galvanised' against death penalty (CathNews 29/11/05)
Statement from bishops urges compassion for Nguyen (CathNews 28/11/05)
Rome group set to mobilise world against death penalty (CathNews 25/11/05)
Commission urges Catholics act on death penalty (CathNews 23/11/05)
Pell gives details on papal plea for Nguyen (CathNews 21/11/05)
Catholic Students unite to help death row Aussie (CathNews 18/11/05)
Catholics and Buddhists pray to cheat hangman (CathNews 7/11/05)
Centacare Melbourne urges Govt to save Nguyen (CathNews 28/10/05)
Papal intervention for death row drug trafficker (CathNews 25/10/05)

Fr Peter Dillon: Great evil of drugs is to blame (Catholic Leader 11/12/05 - temporary url)
Tears for a brother (Daily Telegraph 8/12/05)
Maryland inmate executed despite cardinal's pleas for mercy (Catholic News Service 7/12/05)
Thousands at hanged drug trafficker's funeral (Herald-Sun 8/12/05)
Nguyen twin lets tears flow (news.com.au/Australian Associated Press 7/12/05)
No martyr, but Nguyen touched the lives of many (Sydney Morning Herald 8/12/05)
Finally, the tears flow from Nguyen's brother (The Advertiser 8/12/05)
A symbol is laid to rest (The Age 8/12/05)
Emotions overflow at mass for Nguyen (The Courier Mail 8/12/05)
Challenging capital punishment (Online Catholics 7/12/05)

8 Dec 2005