Sai Gon/Ha Noi, 09-17-13 (English Gateway)—The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15 is honored in a very special fashion as the Feast Day of the Dominican Province in Viet Nam the Patroness of which is nobody other than the Queen of Martyrs.
Though separated by a rather long distance of more than 2,000 kilometers, the brothers from either ends of the country found way to simultaneously celebrate their beloved Patroness Day.
As already scheduled, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Priory in Go Vap was the venue for the brothers working in the South, from Hue to Ca Mau, to gather and solemnize the Feast, whereas Saint Vincent House in Cat Dam, Thai Binh, turned the relatively convenient place for the celebration by the brothers assigned to the North, including faraway missions in the borderland.
In Go Vap, a big assembly of brothers—priests, students, novices and postulants—occupied almost all the chairs of the main auditorium of the Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum (Latin for Dominican Center for Studies). The opening prayer having said, the first part for reports and information sharing began with an interesting account on the Trogir General Chapter by Brother Joseph Mai Van Tuyen, O.P., who had just returned from Croatia. The audience got updated by Fr. Joseph Nguyen Tat Trung, O.P., with everything which the whole Order was doing in preparation for the coming 800th Establishment Anniversary.
The head of Mai Khoi Priory, Fr. Joseph Pham Hung Thinh, O.P., brought in the good news on the official recognition by the Province of the Dominiart Group, a gathering of artists working together to promote humanistic and religious values.
To his turn, Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, O.P., Prior Provincial, gave a brief report on the state of the Province. In terms of numbers, the Province as the second largest entity in the Order with 360 brothers is flanked by Poland as the Number 1, and Spain as Number 3. The Order, through constant concerns and encouragement by the Masters, wants the Province’s closer cooperation in carrying out our preaching mission in all over the world. The brothers in preparation for both the 800th Jubilee of the Order, and the 50th Jubilee of the Province, can see the bright future of Saint Dominic’s children. Put it in other way, we can see how faithful Our Blessed Founder is in keeping his promises as we pray to him “Imple, Pater, quod dixisti—Fulfill, Father, what you have promised.”
Dominican mission among the intellectual—through the Faith and Culture Group, and the Archbishop Paul Nguyen Van Binh Club—was introduced by Fr. Joseph Nguyen Trong Vien, O.P.
Young brothers who participated in the recent Common Studies in India also shared their thoughts and dreams. According to the speaker, Brother Joseph Le Quoc Quang, O.P., more efforts need to be done in lifting up the barriers of which the first would be that of foreign languages in order for them to take a role in the international playground.
The community’s joy was added with the celebrations of the elder brothers’ silver, golden and diamond jubilees for priestly ordination: Fr. Dominic Hoang Binh Thuan, O.P., (70th), Fr. Peter Nguyen Quang Hien, O.P., (65th), Fr. Vincent Bui Duc Sinh, O.P., (60th), Fr. Ignatius Nguyen Ngoc Rao, O.P., (55th), Fr. Joseph Dinh Chau Tran, O.P., former Prior Provincial, (50th), and Fr. Dominic Pham Ngoc Dien, O.P., (25th).
The first part of the Patroness Day celebration would be incomplete without mentioning the publications of books by student brothers such as the Vietnamese translation of Vitae Fratrum (Latin for Lives of Friars), Saint Jacintus of Poland…
But the summit of the Day was the second part with the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr. Joseph Ngo Si Dinh, O.P., Prior Provincial. Urging the brothers to look up to the Blessed Virgin Mother, to Whom Saint Dominic’s children owe the vow of obedience, Fr. Joseph reminded them of all that the title Regina Martyrum (Latin for Queen of Martyrs) might imply.
“Post Missam Mensa” — after the Holy Mass, follows the table. The brothers happily shared with one another the family meal. In the late afternoon, while the elders had tea in the living room, the young ones engaged one another in a soccer tournament which would close the Patroness Day in fraternal understanding, love and care.
By that time in Cat Dam, Fr. Vincent Pham Xuan Hung, O.P., Assistant to the Prior Provincial, and Fr. Francis Xavier Dao Trung Hieu. O.P., Representative of the Prior Provincial in the North, led the Patroness Day with the brothers and the lay Dominicans from surrounding parishes.