Thursday, March 3, 2016

MAS Celebrates Lunar New Year

story by Phillip J. Shifflet; photos by Ace Tui

On Saturday, Feb. 13, the Vietnamese community at Mount Angel Seminary hosted a celebration of the Lunar New Year. This year, Huong Dinh, a seminarian for the Diocese of Oakland, serves as the President of the Vietnamese community.

The festivities began with a Mass in the Abbey Church at 10 o’clock that morning. The Reverend Bartholomew Dat Pham, SDD, the Pastor of Our Lady of LaVang Parish in Portland, celebrated the Mass. The seminary community was joined by other seminarians, priests, religious and lay people from the Vietnamese community in the Salem and Portland areas.

“Tết [Lunar New Year] is one of our most important events for the Vietnamese people,” Fr. Pham said in his homily. “Actually, in Vietnam, we normally take three months to celebrate the New Year.”

The Mass was followed by a reception in the Damian Center. The Masters of Ceremonies were Br. John Vianney Le, OSB, a monk of the Abbey, and Chi-Nhan Vo, a first-year seminarian from the Archdiocese of Portland. The reception included traditional Vietnamese food, music, and dance.

Guests of the hilltop perform a traditional dance associated with Tết.

Members of the Vietnamese community perform during the reception.

Mount Angel Seminary began forming men for the priesthood in 1889 and is now the oldest and largest seminary in the western United States, and the only seminary in the West that offers both a college and a graduate school of theology.  Since its inception 127 years ago, MAS has educated and formed thousands of priests, and many qualified religious and lay men and women as well, for service to the people of God in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities across the country and around the world.

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