Vietnamese Community of St. Rose in Chelsea Award day for Youth

June 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Asia, Director's Blog, Vietnam

With four Vietnamese Sisters of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross, I visited the Vietnamese Community of St. Rose in Chelsea. Please note that the sisters never stop smiling except for the moment when I took this picture. I think Sr. Anh is smiling. The names of the sisters from left to right are Sr. Hue, Sr. Truang, Sr. Mai and Sr. Anh. Fr. Canh is busy eating and did not look up for the picture :).

Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross

Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross

 

We picked a beautiful day! Not only was the weather great but the youth were planning an award ceremony. But first we were treated to a beautiful dance in the Church by the Children’s dance group. They wore costumes depicting Our Lady of La Vang…

Our Lady of La Vang

Our Lady of La Vang

 

and the children danced in honor of the Blessed Mother!

 

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Vietnamese Dance Group

The dance group is coordinated by Teresa Ngoc Nguyen. She is one of the hardest workers as she also sings in the choir and teaches Religious Education.

Teresa Ngoc Nguyen

Teresa Ngoc Nguyen

 

After the dance, the Mass began. Fr. Joseph Cao Canh celebrated a beautiful Mass.

 

Fr. Canh

After the Mass, we attended the award ceremony of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society.

“The Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society is a non-profit organization, under the leadership of the Catholic church. Its aim is to teach young people to be virtuous and good Christians. It also offers apostolate services for the youth. Throughout its 75 years of service, the Society has kept pace with social and cultural changes of the day in an attempt to reach out to the youth of all times.

Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society

The Eucharistic Youth Society was founded in Europe during World War I and was known as the Eucharistic Crusade. Its purpose at that time was to pray, especially to the Blessed Sacrament, for the conversion of hearts and the reconciliation among the disillusioned youth affected by the War. Although the Eucharistic Crusade was founded by a Jesuit, Pere Bessiere, S.J., it was brought to Hanoi, Vietnam, by the Sulpicians in 1929. By 1951, it had spread throughout the whole country and became an organized association in the early 1960’s.

In 1964, in keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the Vietnamese Eucharistic Crusade was transformed into the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society and was approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Government. This new transition integrated both prayer and apostolate services. From 1964 to 1975, the Society grew considerably in spirit and in number. In order to accommodate the growth of the Society, the first National Convention, “Promised-Land I”, was held in 1972. Over 2,000 coordinating-leaders attended it. By 1975, there were about 140,000 members, under the leadership of 3,800 coordinating-leaders serving in 650 parishes within 13 dioceses in South Vietnam.

In the United States, there are about 15,000 members in 70 Vietnamese Catholic communities and parishes under the direction of 1,300 coordinating-leaders and chaplains. In order to correspond to the growth and revival of the Society, “Promised-Land II” was convened in July 1992 at Dominguez Youth Retreat Center, Dominguez, California.

Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society

 

II. EDUCATIONAL GOALS

The goals of the Eucharistic Youth Society are:

To educate youths in both social and spiritual life and help them become better people and responsible Christians.

To organize and guide all youth and help them become more aware of the Church’s mission to the world by engaging in the spreading or Good News, and be involved in working for the good of society through apostolate services, in serving others.

III. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES The objectives of the Eucharistic Youth Society are:

To promote prayers for the Holy Father who is the Vicar of Christ on earth and to pray for the needs of the whole Church.

To promote constant devotion to the Eucharist, to give thanks to God for the living bread and in turn share it with others as Jesus did.

To honor Mary as a model for discipleship.

To support the missionary efforts of the Church through a life of prayer, sacraments, services, and sacrifices based on the discernment of God’s will.

IV. EDUCATIONAL METHODS In order to meet the above goals and purposes, the Eucharistic Youth Society uses suitable methods for the education of its members, both in social and spiritual life. The Society bases its education on two essential elements: the love of God in the Blessed Sacrament and God’s Living Word in the Bible.

The Blessed Sacrament is the center of the spiritual life, in which each individual starts his/her day with a morning prayer with a deep desire to be ready for Holy Communion and to make sacrifices with God in mind, through loving charitable activities and through apostolate services. The day ends with a little time of silence and a moment to record “A Bouquet of Spiritual Flowers” in thanking God. All activities during the day is called a “Eucharistic Day”. Every day of life shall be “Days of Eucharist”.

The Living Word of God in the Bible is used as the Source of Inspiration. Images and stages of the life of Jesus along with the sites in the Bible, related to the different groups of youth are also used to serve the natural methods in educating all age groups (Seeding: 7-9, Search: 10-13, and Companion: 14-17). The gradual development proceeds from easy-to-difficult. The realistic and workable activities such as group meetings, training camps, seminars, public games, folk songs and dances, studying and sharing God’s Words, Annual Spiritual Retreat, etc… are carried out with the educational goals of meditating and interpreting God’s Words.

V. THREE STAGES OF a EUCHARISTIC YOUTH’S LIFE The Eucharistic Youth Society stages are classified into three main groups in order to meet the needs of the different ages of its members.

Stage 1: SEEDLING

Seeding is a group consisted of fledging members between the ages of seven to nine years old. Generally, the boys and girls at these ages are active, inquisitive, and fond of nature. The members wear green scarfs, the verdant color of young wheatlings, to symbolize their innocence and youthfulness. Like the wheats in the field blowing with the wind, the youth members are easily adaptable to new situations and receptive to new ideas. The group’s model is the youth and obedient Jesus to his parents. The members learn and practice obedience to God’s will through the daily responsibilities: praising God for many blessings, obeying their parents and teachers, helping and loving others.

Stage 2: SEARCH

Search is a group consisted of pre-adolescent youths between the ages of ten and thirteen. Generally, the members during these ages are becoming more aware of their physical and emotional changes. During this transitional period into young adults, they are confused and ambivalent to set rules imposed by authority figures. They are searching for their own identities and the rationality of their existences. Consequently, this nameless quest affects their spiritual beings as well. The members wear navy blue scarfs which symbolizes their unfathomed uniqueness and identity with a great hope of life and society. The scriptural model for the group is based on Jesus’ hidden and evangelical life. Like Jesus, who was patiently praying for a deeper knowledge of his mission, they must find who they are in the solitude of prayers. Imitating Jesus, who was willing to fulfill the Father’s wills, they will learn to accept who they are with gratitude. The members’ natural inclination to reasons and questions abstracts thoughts and concepts is now integrated into their development through concrete apostolate works.

Stage 3: COMPANION

Companion is a group consisted of adolescents between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. The adolescents at these ages begin to consolidate their emerging values and beliefs. They start to formalize their own identities and group dynamic. The basic needs to love and be loved, to understand and be understood become the beginning for friendship and cooperation among the members. Thus, the cannery yellow scarfs worn by the members symbolize the sunrise of the youths before coming into their adult ages, and the manifestation of the heart, the opening of one’s life to others. While the evangelized Jesus is still the primary spiritual mode, Saint Paul is adopted by the members as their inspiring patron figure. Like Saint Paul, who became Christ’s zealous disciple after his spiritual lightning-conversion on the way to Damascus, the members constantly seek for God’s will and conversion of hearts. In addition, the members are encouraged to familiarize with communal apostolates and to live out the spirit of charity and generosity (Corinthian 13: 1-13).

VI. LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

Coordinating-Leaders:

The Coordinating-Leaders are those individuals who went through the formation of the Society from the Seeding to Companion group. They know the charism and spirituality of the Society. After specialized periods of training, they are initiated to become leaders of the three former groups. They wear red, yellow-striped scarfs which symbolizes love, service, sacrifice, and responsibility.

Chaplains & Assistant Chaplains:

Priests who are responsible for the spiritual characteristics of the Society are appointed to be Chaplains. They shall invite seminarians and religious members to be their Assistants. Chaplains wear white, red-striped scarfs; and Assistant Chaplains wear the red, white-striped scarfs which symbolizes the dedication to follow Christ.

The Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Societies are usually managed and directed by the National Council of Chaplains and Coordinating-Leaders, who are representatives of the Society.

 

 Leaders

ietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society

If you would like to see more great pictures of today’s event click here

Later in the day, we joined the Vietnamese Community of Sacred Hearts in Malden. In a few days, I will post those pictures.

Until our next post, Have a Jesus Filled Day and God Bless you!

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