Tag: Dai Hoi Thanh Mau

40 Years of Tribulation & Grace

40 Years of Tribulation & Grace

IMG_9626

Marian Days can be considered the largest Roman Catholic gathering event in the North American continent, honoring the virgin Mary. This annual event welcomes Vietnamese Roman Catholics from around the world to the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, located in Carthage, Missouri. This year, more than 100,000 participants attended the 4-day event.

IMG_9876IMG_9726

IMG_9728IMG_9812

2015 is a special year. Not only does it mark the 38th annual Marian Days, but it also marks the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. Many people (such as my parents) left Vietnam as refugees and settled elsewhere such as the United States, Australia, and countries in Europe to escape from the war. Now, after 40 years, the new generations of families have flourished.

IMG_9527IMG_9438

During Marian Days, elaborate pontifical masses are held (one in the morning and one at night) with a full orchestra and hundreds of con-celebrating priests. During the daytime, there are a variety of things to do on-site- attend lectures/talks, sample exotic and dynamic Vietnamese food, see cultural performances, and visit the monuments of the Stations of the Cross in a beautiful botanic garden. All of these places are within walking distance which is very convenient.

IMG_9466IMG_9467

IMG_9518IMG_9746

How do you cram 100,000 Vietnamese into the adorable 15,000 person-populated city? Magic. Expect road blockage, miles of tents and parked cars, and Asian love.

tudao_41tudao_61

I have been to every Marian Days since 2010. This year marks my 6th year. I keep going back to this event because I want to learn more about my Vietnamese culture (through food, language, and music), I want to be closer to God, and I love the sense of community and togetherness. I never get tired of going to Marian Days because each year is different. You get to meet new people and go on adventures.

IMG_9801IMG_9879

40 years have passed and it is remarkable to see the first and second generation Vietnamese families blossom. They have found success, happiness, and grace. These people experience a time like no other, where new beginnings meet the modern era of unprecedented forms of technology and advancements. More people pursue a higher education, representing the Vietnamese population well in prestigousĀ fields such as medicine, law, arts, and science.

Marian Days is an unforgettable event where Vietnamese Catholics come together to eat, praise, and love. People’s faith are strengthened and VietnameseĀ culture takes over the little city of Carthage, Missouri for 4 days.

IMG_9769IMG_9864