21 de octubre de 2017

RELIGION : Erigiran santuario a la Patrona de Vietnam


California.-  When Elysabeth Nguyen first visited the shrine of Our Lady of La Vang in Central Vietnam last year, she had recently been named chairwoman of a project to construct a similar shrine in Orange County. On Saturday, Oct. 21 the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, will bless the site for Orange County’s own Lady of La Vang Shrine, a $25 million project, on the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, marking the completion of the shrine’s design. “I’m second-generation Vietnamese American and although I was raised Catholic, I didn’t know anything about the Lady of La Vang,” Nguyen said. During that first trip to La Vang in July 2016, she found getting to the shrine was a pilgrimage in itself. She drove past tall gates and walked on stone-and-gravel pathways leading up to the shrine. “And then, there she was,” Nguyen said. 

 The statue of a young, radiant woman dressed in a traditional Vietnamese ao dai holding an infant is flanked by angels and surrounded by trees.The trees represent the forest of La Vang where the Marian apparition is first believed to have appeared in 1798 to assuage the pain of persecuted Catholics in Central Vietnam who were afflicted by poverty and disease. “I felt such a sense of peace and gratitude for being able to connect with her,” Nguyen said. “To me, she is a symbol of strength and resilience shown by Vietnamese people of all faiths, whether they continued to live there or moved to other parts of the world as immigrants.” 

 Vann announced the project initiated by the Vietnamese Catholic community in December. He said in a statement this week that the “energy and excitement within the Vietnamese community” to build this shrine has been heartwarming. “I’m pleased that the diligent efforts of the volunteers supporting this effort have reached this important milestone, the completion of the design phase for the shrine and the ceremonial blessing of the future site,” he said. Orange County is home to about 1.3 million Catholics, about 100,000 of whom are of Vietnamese descent.

On Oct. 6, the Vatican appointed Thanh Thai Nguyen as the diocese’s new auxiliary bishop — a move welcomed by the Vietnamese Catholic community that hopes he’ll take a leadership role in the Lady of La Vang project. The statue will be about 18 feet tall including the base. The first phase of the project comprising the statue will cost about $10 million for which funds will be raised entirely by the community — predominantly the 15 Vietnamese-speaking Catholic churches in the diocese, Nguyen said. 

The second phase, which will include a welcome center, library and other activity areas, will cost about $15 million and will be a collaborative effort between the community and the diocese, she said. The community has already raised $10 million in pledges and has about $2.6 million in hand. They’ll break ground when they have another $2.4 million in hand — a total of $5 million in cash, Nguyen said. Nguyen said she hopes Saturday’s blessing will e..............................................For more information about the Orange County shrine, visit lavangusa.org.