Br. Joseph Thanh, SVD
On May 1, 2023, at the Fatima parish, Diocese of Macau, the Vietnamese Catholic Community in Macau organized a patronal feast and gratitude celebration for the 15-year anniversary of the community’s foundation, thanking God for His blessings. This was an opportunity for the community to pray together and thank God for the favors and blessings He has bestowed upon the community over the past 15 years.
The Vietnamese Catholic Community in Macau was established in 2007 by Father John Baptist Le Van Ba and Father James Ho Ngo Lu Vien, members of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Initially, the community had only a few dozen members, but, in a short time, the number of members increased significantly. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of community members ranged from 350 to 500 people. However, currently, the number of members is only about 200 people due to the impact of the pandemic and life’s difficulties.
The Vietnamese Catholic Community in Macau is a gathering of Vietnamese people living and working in this region. It is a community of unity, love, and mutual respect. Each person in the community has a deep faith in God and strives to serve Him through their actions and words.
At present, the community has only one priest and about 15 male and female religious. Although the number is not large, they are passionate and dedicated to their work in serving God and the people. The community holds daily Mass at 9.30 pm, to pray and honor God. Additionally, the community has the Sacred Heart of Jesus group where members pray together and share with one another in love and faith.
The patronal feast and 15-year gratitude celebration was also a chance for the community to strengthen unity, hoping for many happy and joyful years in serving God.
The ceremony began at 2.30 pm on Monday, May 1, 2023, at the Fatima parish, Diocese of Macau. The community members attended the ceremony in its entirety. Notably, among them were people who had previously been members of the community but had since moved to other locations to live and work.
During the ceremony, Father John Baptist Le Van Ba presided over the Mass and preached about the significance of the patronal feast and 15-year gratitude celebration. He emphasized that each person in the community has a responsibility to serve God, family and the people with true love, and that is why the community has been preserved and developed over the past 15 years.
Afterward, the community members prayed together and sang hymns to praise God. The atmosphere during the ceremony was solemn and sacred, creating a wonderful space for everyone in the community to find peace and tranquility in their souls.
Finally, the ceremony ended with a collective prayer and words of gratitude to God. The community members shared their feelings about the ceremony, and all agreed that it was a memorable event in each person’s life within the community.