WASHINGTON (May 22, 2000) -- The growing impact of Asians on the Church in the United States will be felt at Encuentro 2000: Many Faces in God's House through music, dramatization, film and speeches by people from Asian and Pacific Island nations, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Korea, China, Japan, Tonga, Samoa and India.
Key speakers at the multi-ethnic event include Archbishop Francois X. Nguyen Van Thuan, a Vietnamese bishop and president of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace.
Encuentro 2000, the key jubilee event for the Church in the United States, is slated for July 6-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It will include liturgies, workshops, an international food festival, music and dance by various ethnic groups and other celebrations to highlight the many faces of the Church.
The Asian experience also will be highlighted in an ethnic village created to pay tribute to the national backgrounds of people from several nations, including Indonesia, Korea, Samoa and Vietnam.
Various prayer spaces also will emphasize the multi-cultural nature of the event and will include shrines to honor Our Lady of Antipolo (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), an image of the Virgin revered in the Philippines; the Korean Martyrs; Our Lady of La Vang, an image of the Virgin revered in Vietnam; and Our Lady of Good Health, an image of the Virgin revered in India.
On Friday of the event, the Archdiocesan Filipino Choir and Dancers, from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, will celebrate Filipino Fiesta, a dramatization of a meal, leading into the Mass.
On Saturday, the Korean Community from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will lead the assembled in a Korean Chusuk rite, a celebration based on the traditional belief of reverence for one's ancestors. The Chusuk rite will be integrated into the Mass it precedes as a gathering rite with Scripture readings, recollection of the noble deeds of ancestors, songs and renewal of the participants' commitment to live by the teachings of the ancestors and to proclaim the Word of God.
The Asian experience also will be reflected by workshops speakers, including Veronica Leasiolagi Barber, Director, Asian Pacific American Affairs, Archdiocese of Seattle; Dominican Father Albino Barrera, Associate Professor, Providence College; Sister Soonae Isaiah Ok, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Korea; Bartholomew Woo Chul Chung, Director of Religious Education, St. Gregory Korean Parish, Los Angeles; Father Arturo Balagat, Director of Filipino Ministry, Diocese of San Bernardino; and Paulist Father Ricky Manalo, composer and author, Oregon Catholic Press.
Other speakers include Sister Lucia Tu, a member of the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart and Director of Ethnic Groups Ministry, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Teresita L. Nuval, Director, Asian American Ministry, Ethnic Ministries Office, Archdiocese of Chicago; Anthony Gnanarajah, Ph.D.; Associate Superintendent of Schools, Archdiocese of Seattle; Irma Isip, Consultant, Office of Religious Education for Multicultural Catechesis, Asian/Pacific Perspective, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Amalia R. Mamaed, Special Assistant for Intercultural Affairs, Encuentro 2000, National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs; and Father Romeo Seleccion, a LaSalette Missionary and Director of Asian Pacific Islander Ministry, Diocese of San Bernardino.
Other speakers include Ruth Narita Doyle, Ph.D., Director, Office of Pastoral Research and Planning, Archdiocese of New York; Father Vincent Nguyen An Ninh, President, Federation of Vietnamese Catholics in USA and Pastor, Our Lady of Grace Vietnamese Parish, Eastpointe, Michigan; Sister of St. Joseph Felicia Sarati, Director of the Ethnic Pastoral Centers, Diocese of Oakland, California; Noemi Castillo, Director, Office of Ethnic Ministries, Archdiocese of San Francisco; Maryknoll Missionary Sister Grace Lim, Vicar for Ethnic Ministries, Diocese of Honolulu; Lillibeth Navarro, Director, In-Home Support Services for Persons With Disabilities, Los Angeles; and Roy Hong, Executive Director, Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates (KIWA), Los Angeles.
A Sunday, July 9 wrap-around workshop will look at continuing the Encuentro 2000 process with and among Asian and Pacific Americans. During the workshop participants will
examine how Asian and Pacific Islanders and those who minister to them effectively dialogue and collaborate with each other, in light of past local and national struggles and victories. Participants will discuss insights from the gathering and ways to collaborate and affirm one another's contributions. Discussion also will include holding a national gathering for Asian and Pacific Islanders and a possible pastoral statement of the U.S. Bishops regarding more effective ministry to and among Asian and Pacific Americans, immigrants and refugees.
A film festival sponsored by the Catholic Communication Campaign and the City of the Angels Film Festival will include the movie Three Seasons, a lyrical drama that loosely weaves together four stories set in present-day Vietnam, where impoverished natives struggle to survive and make emotional connections and an ex-Marine returns to find his Amerasian daughter.
The Asian community is growing in the Church in the United States where Asians form 2.6 percent of Catholics in the United States and nine percent of the men to be ordained priests in the Year 2000.
Asian and Pacific Islander Catholics are found across the nation. Their largest concentration is in Honolulu, where they make up 44 percent of the Church. They also are present in large numbers in dioceses in California, New York, Texas, and Virginia.
Groups sponsoring Encuentro 2000 include the Federation of Vietnamese Catholics in USA and the National Korean Pastoral Center.
More information on Encuentro 2000 can be found at www.Encuentro2000.org or calling 202-541-3413.