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Missouri Marian Festival Reconnects Vietnamese Pilgrims to Faith and Culture

Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of Springfield Cape Girardeau Parish celebrate the festival's opening mass on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri.  (Peter Tran)

Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of Springfield Cape Girardeau Parish celebrate the festive opening mass on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri. Settled in Missouri in the 1970s, Vietnam began in 1978. –Peter Tran

Carthage, Missouri — Pham Thi Sang gleefully returned to the Mother’s Day celebrations in this south-central Missouri town after being put on hold for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her 91-year-old Sang from Houston says she has made the pilgrimage more than 20 times. “When I am here, I ask God for wisdom to live my faith and learn to love Him.”

Sang said after her husband died at the age of 34 and left 10 children, she thanked God and Our Lady for the many blessings in her life.

Not far from the main stage of the Outdoor Mass, a group of giasi (high school students) were walking, playing and laughing under the shade of a maple tree. They are members of TNTT — Thieu Nhi Thanh The, or Vietnam’s Eucharistic Youth Movement. In an interview with Global Sisters Report, they said they were happy to come back this year to “hang out”, attend witness meetings, and participate in praise and worship sessions. could be identified as members of the same organization by the “yellow scarf”.

Dominican Republic Peace Sisters Senior Ana Gonzales fanned herself with a paper fan in humidity over 90 degrees and said: It is such a religious and cultural enlightenment. Someone told me that this is the coolest thing to do because it is the closest experience you can have to being in Vietnam. I have to come here. ”

Several women's religious groups had booths at the Marian Days Festival in Carthage, Missouri. This is the Queen Mary's Society booth.  (Peter Tran)

Several women’s religious groups had booths at the Marian Days Festival in Carthage, Missouri. This is the Queen Mary’s Society booth. (Peter Tran)

Vietnamese sisters from various congregations, including the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Los Angeles, the Congregation of Mary Queen, and the Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, spoke and made their presence felt with young people and adults. Janine Van Tran, Senior, Society of Our Lady, is a workshop speaker for teenagers and young people, and while vocational work is challenging, being with young people is very important. I said yes.

The Congregation of the Mother of Corcovado, a Vietnamese male congregation that settled in Missouri in the 1970s, held its festival every year except in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. At the Mass of the Opening Ceremony on August 4th, Father. The Templar’s provincial Paul Tuan Tran began to say, “Welcome back! Did you miss us?” The crowd roared back, saying yes. Tran replied, “We missed you too. We are delighted to be back for the 43rd Anniversary of Our Lady’s Day celebration.” Bishop Rice was invited to officially open the event.

Father. Another member of the Order, Timothy Tan Tran, said the event began in 1978, several years after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Initially, the congregation wanted to organize this pilgrimage for evangelism. They expected only a few hundred, but were “pleasantly” surprised to see more than 1,500 Vietnamese turn up. We organized it as a big event, and then it became something bigger.”

  • The event was attended by several women's religious groups. This is a religious gift shop for lovers of the Holy Cross.  (Peter Tran)

    The event was attended by several women’s religious groups. This is a religious gift shop for lovers of the Holy Cross. (Peter Tran)

  • Pham This Sang, 91, and her sister Pham This Menh, 81, were resting in an air-conditioned saloon for seniors. Small beds were set up for people to rest.  (Peter Tran)

    Pham This Sang, 91, and her sister Pham This Menh, 81, were resting in an air-conditioned saloon for seniors. Small beds were set up for people to rest. (Peter Tran)

  • Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield Cape Girardeau celebrate the opening mass of the festival on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri.

    Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield Cape Girardeau celebrate the opening mass of the festival on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri.

  • Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield Cape Girardeau celebrate the opening mass of the festival on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri.

    Marian Days attendees watch Bishop Edward Rice of the Diocese of Springfield Cape Girardeau celebrate the opening mass of the festival on August 4 in Carthage, Missouri.

  • Father. Timothy Tan Tran of Mother of the Savior stands at the Youth Rally. He is the spokesperson for the congregation's organizing committee.  (Peter Tran)

    Father. Timothy Tan Tran of Mother of the Savior stands at the Youth Rally. He is the spokesperson for the congregation’s organizing committee. (Peter Tran)

  • Vietnamese and American booths catered to the hungry crowd.  (Peter Tran)

    Vietnamese and American booths catered to the hungry crowd. (Peter Tran)

  • Vietnamese and American booths catered to the hungry crowd.  (Peter Tran)

    Vietnamese and American booths catered to the hungry crowd. (Peter Tran)

  • Shops selling traditional 'ao dai' dresses were popular.  (Peter Tran)

    Shops selling traditional ‘ao dai’ dresses were popular. (Peter Tran)

  • A group of Gui Si or high school students from the Vietnam Eucharistic Youth Movement from Kansas City, Lincoln, and Austin hang out on Our Lady's Day.  (Peter Tran)

    A group of Gui Si or high school students from the Vietnam Eucharistic Youth Movement from Kansas City, Lincoln, and Austin hang out on Our Lady’s Day. From left: Thien Anh Vu, Marian Pham, Sophia Doan, Xuan Nguyen, Elaine Ho, Anna Nguyen, Noah Cao, and Vinh Lee. (Peter Tran)

  • At least 30,000 people gathered in Carthage, Missouri, for the first Marian Days festival since 2019 due to the COVID pandemic. The event is organized by the Mother of the Redeemer Congregation.

    At least 30,000 people gathered in Carthage, Missouri, for the first Marian Days festival since 2019 due to the COVID pandemic. The event is organized by the Mothers of Corcovado, a Vietnamese male congregation that settled in Missouri in the 1970s. Marian Days began in 1978. (Peter Tran)

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Before the pandemic, attendance was over 70,000 most years. This year’s festival drew at least 30,000 people, but he said attendance was cut due to COVID fears and soaring food and gas prices, pointing out that the program does not have a registration system. .

“Maria’s procession is the highlight,” he said. “People still come here because they want to connect with their roots, faith and culture.”

The congregation covers more than 50 acres and quickly filled with large tents used by parishes from all over the country for their attendees, as well as other sections for shops and food booths. Event spokesperson Thang arranged for tents, stalls, gift and religious arts and crafts shops, booths for religious groups, catechism and workshop venues for youth and adults, and confessional stalls. I’m helping He is also the point of contact with the Carthaginian city authorities and the police. “The Carthaginian people are very kind and understanding,” he said.

The Midwest location helps “people come from the East and West Coasts,” he said. “It’s a way for people to come together, especially when they fled in 1975. It’s a place they’ve been able to reunite with family and friends after being scattered or resettled across the county. There’s a family aspect to it. In the 1980s.” Crowds of tens of thousands began to appear.” First appeared in 1991 while still in high school.

Yen Tran, from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, said her appeal is when family and friends come together to thank God and Our Lady for their intercession. She believes that her husband has recovered from her recent heart surgery through the intercession of her Mary.

Nguyen Duc Hien and his wife Quy said it was their first time attending the event. They were from Allentown, Pennsylvania where he drove over 20 hours.

“I’ve been Catholic all my life. I grew up Catholic, then joined the Navy, left the country after the war and came here to start a new life,” he said. “I was busy with work and didn’t have time for my faith.” Hien, 69, said it’s not too late to find ways to rekindle her faith life. “This pilgrimage is the first step in developing my faith.”

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