Thousands To Celebrate Vietnamese Heritage During August Marian Days
Carthage, MO is the site of Marian Days, an annual August event sponsored by a Vietnamese Catholic community: the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix. This year, from August 9-12, more than 50,000 Vietnamese Catholics are expected to set up tents throughout the town and participate in three days of prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When the first Marian Days started in 1977, with 1,700 faithful, the local townspeople were uncertain about extending a welcome to this group of Vietnamese Catholics. But over the years they were so impressed by their devotion, they have since declared the Friday of this religious gathering as Vietnamese Day, which has proven to be extremely successful, ecumenically and financially. "It was an inspiration to me to see such a thriving religious movement," said Fr. Anthony McGuire, Director, of USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. "It is no wonder that with so much fervent prayer and devotion so many Vietnamese enter our seminaries and novitiates."
Fr. Anthony McGuire may be reached at 202/541-3350.
Marriage and Family Symposium
Twenty years ago, in his landmark exhortation On the Family, Pope John Paul II issued a challenge: "Family, become what you are!" On August 15-18, in Arlington, Virginia, bishops, theologians, pro-life leaders and experts in marriage and family issues will explore how families have accepted this challenge to become communities of life and love. Entitled, "Marriage and Family Life: Enduring Truths, Changing Realities," the symposium is sponsored by the Bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family Life and the Committee for Pro-Life Activities. "The gathering celebrates an anniversary, but it also looks at contemporary challenges to marriage and family life and how Pope John Paul II's teaching speaks to them," says Sheila Garcia, assistant director of the Bishops' Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth.
Sheila Garcia may be reached at 202-541-3041.
Catholic, Presbyterian, and Methodist Universities Extend a Helping Hand to Northern Ireland Young Adults
This month over 150 young adults from Northern Ireland will begin moving into the dormitories of 90 religious affiliated universities for a year organizers believe will forever change the course of their lives. And those involved in the peace process and the economic development of Northern Ireland have committed the finances and staffing to make the dream of changing the world view of Northern Ireland collegians become a reality. The Business Education Initiative (BEI) oversees the selection of Northern Ireland students and the funding (flight, books, room and board and monthly stipend cost), while the religious affiliated US universities waive tuition costs. Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., the US Catholic bishops' advisor for higher education and campus ministry and a member of the implementation committee, said "the Catholic and Protestant tension and the economic infrastructure pf Northern Ireland may ultimately change because young adults experienced another way to develop business initiatives and coexist in a religiously free society."
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D. may be reached at 202/541-3115.