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Archbishop of Portland In Oregon John G. Vlazny's Homily

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Family of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in Vietnam

Thanksgiving Mass Acknowledging The Family of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus as a Private Association of the Faithful

10:00 AM Saturday, March 6, 2010

OUR LADY OF SORROWS PARISH

5221 SE Knight Portland, OR 97206 503 775 6731

               Main Celebrant: Archbishop of Portland in Oregon John G. Vlazny

 

March 6, 2010 - Thanksgiving Mass

To celebrate the official recognition of the Family of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

as a private association of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

 

            A dream that had played in the mind of a Vietnamese re-education camp survivor for more than two decades came true on Saturday, March 6, 2010.  The dream was to establish a private association of the faithful dedicated to studying the “Little Way” of Saint Therese of Lisieux.  The dreamer?  Deacon An Thanh Vu, of Our Lady of Sorrows parish in SE Portland.

            Fifteen local aspirants were blessed by Archbishop John G. Vlazny and became candidates for membership.  Eleven more aspirants from California, Texas and Washington D.C. were blessed by the Archbishop, who explained that they would become official candidates too, once the association is recognized in their local archdiocese.

            The names of the fifteen local candidates are: Donna Blando-Montanez; Helen Bolin; Rosemary Cornely; Rudy DelRosario; Luisa DelRosario; Elisio Ganaban; Melba Ganaban; Marina Logue; Rosalina Marker; Kathleese Mastroieni; Laura Patton; Marie Stobie; Theresa Stroud and Marivic Tupaz.

Đng, Pauline Bình,Đoàn, Ngc Sương,Đoàn, Ngọc Vân Anh, Đỗ, Công Bằng, Đỗ, Thị Huệ, Hoàng, Thị Mừng, Nguyễn, Mary, Nguyễn, Theresa Liên, Nguyễn, Thị Tuyết Mai, Nguyễn, Thị Xuân, Phạm Thị Thuận, Trần, Kim Hoàn, Trần, Thị Nhung Trần Thuỷ, Vũ, Kim Oanh.

 

 

            The candidates and the aspirants then each brought a long stem red rose up to the altar in reverence of the words of Saint Therese, who promised to send a shower of roses from Heaven. 

            Mary Jo Tully, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland, read the decree, which was signed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2009.

            Archbishop Vlazny gave a beautiful homily, describing our beloved Saint Therese with such familiarity, it seemed as if he was describing a member of his own family. 

            The highlight of the Mass was the “Little Sisters,” six delightful young Vietnamese girls who wore nun costumes and danced with bright yellow flower bouquets.  In spite of their young age, they performed a series of complicated moves, including having to twirl and go up or down the altar stairs at the same time. They performed again later, at the reception in the gym, and were absolutely charming.

            Archbishop Vlazny ended the Mass by blessing those in attendance with a relic of Saint Therese.  As people exited the church and headed over to the gym for the reception, many took a long stem red rose as a memento of the occasion.

            Even though the gym had been set up to seat 300 guests, volunteers scrambled to find additional tables, chairs and place settings for the overflowing crowd.  Deacon Vu blessed the wonderful lunch which was prepared by members of Portland’s Vietnamese community.  As the guests settled down to enjoy their meal, Deacon Vu started the entertainment program by singing his original song, “Hello Teresa.”  Then the Portland band, “Phoenix” performed, taking a brief break to allow the “Little Sisters” the chance to give an encore presentation.

            Everyone who was part of this glorious celebration felt the presence of Saint Therese and the Holy Spirit. Marina Logue, amateur photographer and candidate for membership to the Family of Saint Therese noted that “orbs” appeared in most of the photos she took throughout the day.  She believes these orbs represent heavenly spirits who bring an additional layer of mystery and spirituality to sacred events.

            The Thanksgiving Mass was just the beginning – Deacon Vu extends a warm invitation to all to join the Family of Saint Therese. The group meets monthly for prayer, reading the Gospel, and studying the “Little Way” of Saint Therese.  For information about the next meeting time and location, please call Deacon Vu at 503-821-9848 or email him at: vuthanhan@yahoo.com.