Meeting people for the first time, renewing friendships from previous Marian Days, and participating in the liturgy celebrations honoring the Vietnamese martyrs, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are at the heart of Marian Days, the Vietnamese Catholic celebration held each year in Carthage Missouri since 1978. Associate Xuan Lan Ho, OPA, and Dominican Sisters of Peace Pat Dual, OP, Mai-Dung Nguyen, OP, and I traveled from Akron, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky, to participate and to invite women to find out more about becoming a Sister, Associate, or volunteer with us.
Family tradition in the Vietnamese culture promotes a strong commitment to the Church, to the sacraments, and to encouraging their children to pray about the possibility of serving the Church in religious life or the priesthood. We witnessed this many times as entire families would approach our vocation booth and both parents and children would ask us questions about our lives.
Memories from Marian Days 2012, which stand out include meeting Sr. Marcellino Nguyen’s sisters, hearing the approximately 40 young people from a California parish who played drums with great precision and energy; interacting with the children who came to see us at the booth and who enjoyed answering the Bible, Catholic, and Dominican trivia questions for fun and for prizes; meeting the women who asked questions and let us know that they are praying about their vocations; experiencing the extreme heat (106 degrees) and then the wonderful thunderstorm which hit the drought-stricken area just prior to the liturgy on Saturday evening.
Take a look at some of our photos, and if you would ever like a total immersion into the Vietnamese culture without traveling to Vietnam, consider going to Marian Days held the first week of August each year in Carthage Missouri.