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Gathering for Marian festival

Posted By September 12, 2013 | 11:00 am | Featured Article #4
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For the first time this year, Vietnamese from the Worcester Diocese were the organizers of an annual regional pilgrimage, according to their pastor.
Father Peter Tam M. Bui, pastor of Our Lady of Vilna Parish in Worcester, said he and his pastoral council put together the 33rd consecutive pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of La Vang and the Vietnamese martyrs, which drew thousands of Vietnamese Catholics and others to La Salette Shrine in Attleboro July 27.
Father Bui said 14 Vietnamese Catholic communities in the Northeast take turns planning the pilgrimage, which recalls Marian apparitions in Vietnam in 1798, under persecution. The other communities helped the Worcester community with the work, he said.
Special this year was the fact that the celebration was held during the Year of Faith and the 25th anniversary of the canonization of 117 Vietnamese martyrs, Father Bui said.
And for the first time a Vietnamese bishop – Bishop Vincent Nguyen of the Archdiocese of Toronto – presided at Mass there and preached, he said.
“Because this is the special Year of Faith, I chose the theme, ‘Following Mary, most faithful example, we live our faith,’” Father Bui said. He said they believe Our Lady of La Vang has blessed their country, the Church there and her children living outside of Vietnam.
Members of Our Lady of Vilna Parish brought to the celebration their banners and their statue of Our Lady of La Vang, which Bishop Rueger blessed two years ago, Father Bui said. Their young people, adorned in native dress, did sacred dance.
He said they had Mass, confessions and a procession and enjoyed the music of Khanh Ly, a popular singer from California.
Father Bui said there is no official feast day for Our Lady of La Vang yet, so at the apparition site in Vietnam she is celebrated on Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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