Vietnamese Catholics celebrate Our Lady of La Vang

TAYLORS — For the third year, Vietnamese Catholics in the Diocese of Charleston gathered to celebrate Our Lady of La Vang with the traditions of their culture.

“A Tribute to Our Lady of La Vang” was held May 11 at Prince of Peace Church.

The program included the ancient traditions of a flower offering and a procession. In the early church scripture-based poems praised God through Mary.

Young Vietnamese maidens sang the poems along with ancient tunes. The poems were eventually replaced by sacred music and later combined with traditional and royal dances, which became the flower offering.

Bishop Robert J. Baker celebrated the Mass that was concelebrated by Franciscan Father Dac Tran, vicar for Vietnamese Ministry. In his homily, the bishop spoke of Jesus as shepherd and of the pope who “goes where his people are.”

“As your bishop and pastor, a representative of our Holy Father, who is the vicar of Christ, I come to you to tell you you are loved by your Lord the Good Shepherd,” he said. “He knows you by name. He cares for you so much that he laid down his life for you. He cares about your special needs, physical, emotional and especially your spiritual needs. If the Lord is your shepherd, you have in him everything you need.”