A new Parish house was blessed in Vietnam, in the Parish of Plơi R’Ngôl – Ama Drung, Ia Pa District, Gia Lai Province on Sunday, October 2, 2023, at 8:30 AM. Fr. Bart. Nguyễn Đức Thịnh, superior of the Redemptorist Cheoreo community presided over the Mass. Also present were Fr. Gioan Baotixita Mai Minh Mạnh, the parish priest, the priests and brothers in the community, and the entire parish.
After the blessing ceremony, everyone prepared themselves to celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass at the chapel at 9:30 AM. The presiding priest, Fr. Bartoloméo, offered the intentions of the Mass: to thank God and the parish for the new parish house, to celebrate the feast day of the parish patron saint, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and to pray for the Provincial Assembly of the Vietnamese Redemptorist Province, which will open on October 3.
In the homily, Fr. Gioan Baotixita Mai Minh Mạnh preached on the life of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who loved Jesus and opened the way to spiritual childhood in the heart of the Church. He also quoted Jesus’ words from the Gospel: “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3).
After the Mass, everyone congratulated the parish priest for the parish’s hard work in the past to complete the project. The parish priest, Fr. Gioan Baotixita, also asked everyone to continue to pray for the construction of the new church in the future to be pleasing to God.
It was learned that before the blessing ceremony of the Parish house, the Jrai people had organized a “blessing of the new Church” ceremony, with Fr. Gioan Baotixita as the specific homeowner. The ceremony included blessings from elderly people; the “lyh” ritual of placing the homeowner’s foot on the blade of an axe, with the wish: may the feet be as strong as an axe, and as light as cotton. This is a traditional ceremony in the culture of the Jrai people when celebrating a new house.
Alfonso Tran Ngoc Huong, C.SS.R.