Popular Lakeshore Area Priest Resigns

Popular Lakeshore Area Priest Resigns

Posted in the Grand Rapids Forum

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Inquiring Minds

United States

#1 May 21, 2009
Father Phil Nguyen of Our lady of the Lakes Parish in Holland was well known for his annual Blessing of the Bikes, and for being a regualr Harely rider himself. He has now abruptly resigned his position as parish priest. No farewell homily, no going away dinner. Just gone! Who's got the inside skinny on what went down?
Allegan Redneck

United States

#2 May 21, 2009
I just asked my dad (he's a parishioner there) and it was news to him...I guess the plot thickens...

“Employed taxpayer”

Since: Nov 08

West Olive

#3 May 21, 2009
He was a political creature by nature--not a good fit with a tax exempt status.

Just an observation
Sad

Zeeland, MI

#4 May 21, 2009
There is no conspiracy surrounding his resignation. Anyone who knows him knows that. We are sad about his departure. He had a his reasons. I cry every time I read his farewell letter to the parish families. I will miss him sorely and can't imagine anyone doing a better job than he has done for the past eight years. I wish him well...
Straight Talk

Holland, MI

#5 May 21, 2009
Everyone on this blog is doing spin and counter spin and I want facts! He touched my family's heart and I want to know what happened so I can reach out! Please help....

Since: Dec 08

Ottawa County

#6 May 21, 2009
Where did you find out that he resigned?
Prayers

Holland, MI

#7 May 21, 2009
You are being too aggressive! Father Phil needs our prayers and love. It is not up to us to question. It is up to Him.
farewell

Ionia, MI

#8 May 21, 2009
i personally am glad to see him go. Now i can go back to church. when my husband and i went to him for counseling on infidelity he told my husband thats just how it is and gave no penance. And he told me i should not think about it. what kind of priest counsels that way. i think he is in love with that motorcyle of his.
sad loss

Holland, MI

#9 May 22, 2009
I am very sad to see him go, and I am disappointed that he did not address his parishioners directly, but instead sent a letter announcing his resignation which is effective immediately.
sad loss

Holland, MI

#10 May 22, 2009
1960brookwood wrote:
He was a political creature by nature--not a good fit with a tax exempt status.
Just an observation
What do exactly are you alleging/do you mean by that??

“Employed taxpayer”

Since: Nov 08

West Olive

#11 May 22, 2009
sad loss wrote:
<quoted text>
What do exactly are you alleging/do you mean by that??
"Most people are aware that a church or religious organization can lose their tax exempt status for engaging in partisan political activity, like endorsing a political candidate. What many aren't aware of, though, is that the same can happen for promoting or engaging in things contrary to government policy. Tax exemption is a privilege, not a right."

I know of several parishioners that have been put off by a strong stand on issues that they believed the church should not have been involved in.

Since: Apr 08

Grand Rapids MI

#12 May 22, 2009
Wow, first I heard of it too! I remember asking him a question about where Roman colars first came from. I think that's when he was still at the seminary.
Very Sad at OLL

Zeeland, MI

#13 May 28, 2009
Father would not have abandoned his church if there was not a good reason. I for one hope he finds peace with his personal struggles. Father Phil really did a great job growing the young families in the church, he really breathed new life into the church.
I don't believe for a second that he gave "farewell" that advice. They must have taken it out of context. I could see him saying if you want the marriage to survive you need to move on and forgive/forget, but I do not believe he would condone it and say that's how it is.

Since: Oct 08

Jackson, MI

#14 May 28, 2009
Priests don't just walk away from the Catholic gravy trough . . . the facts will eventually come out . . . just a matter of time . . and I am not inferring anything sinister, just his reason had to be a big one . . .
farewell

Ionia, MI

#15 May 29, 2009
well...."to very sad at oll" I really don't care what you believe. God knows that I don't lie and it was hard to take Fr. Phil's response the wrong way, he is a simple man.I also think that the fact that his legacy is being known for blessing of the bikes and being a harley rider speaks for itself. Is that what a priest wants to be known for? He is not the first Vietnamese refugee (family) to abandon the church. I don't wish him any bad but I think he should be in another vocation.
Tuesday

Comstock Park, MI

#16 May 29, 2009
farewell wrote:
i personally am glad to see him go. Now i can go back to church. when my husband and i went to him for counseling on infidelity he told my husband thats just how it is and gave no penance. And he told me i should not think about it. what kind of priest counsels that way. i think he is in love with that motorcyle of his.
Why would he have given your husband a penance? This was a counselling session, not confession. I think his advice for you to not think about, was meant as "forgive and forget" not let it fester, this is, it's not healthy for YOU. Look ahead, not back. Seems you brought your husband in not for counselling, but looking for punishment for him. I was married to a serial cheater, and the priest (not this one) simply told me, "leave him". I did...good practical advice. Saved me from more years of heartache and abuse.
farewell

Ionia, MI

#17 May 30, 2009
Actually it WAS at his confession and I saw father separately. I am not a liar. I was not looking for penance for him. He is the one who told me because he himself thought it was odd.I was not asking for anyone's opinion, I was merely saying Good Riddance to Father Phil!! Divorce is a lot easier than working on your marriage I guess. Good for you. I guess Father Phil took the easy road too. I am not judging you or Father Phil ...just saying GOOD BYE!!

Since: Oct 08

Jackson, MI

#18 May 30, 2009
farewell wrote:
Actually it WAS at his confession and I saw father separately. I am not a liar. I was not looking for penance for him. He is the one who told me because he himself thought it was odd.I was not asking for anyone's opinion, I was merely saying Good Riddance to Father Phil!! Divorce is a lot easier than working on your marriage I guess. Good for you. I guess Father Phil took the easy road too. I am not judging you or Father Phil ...just saying GOOD BYE!!
If the priest told you what your husband confided in a confessional, then that priest should have left the church a long time ago ...
jjj2000

Grand Rapids, MI

#19 May 30, 2009
Over 50 wrote:
<quoted text>
If the priest told you what your husband confided in a confessional, then that priest should have left the church a long time ago ...
Just for clarification, I think she was trying to say that her husband told her what Phil said--not that Phil told her what her husband said
middle wing nutjob

Grandville, MI

#20 May 30, 2009
if this guy is the same guy i heard about this week, you folks are in for a big surprise....

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