Message of wisdom, preparedness focus of annual Asian Mass

October 25, 2011

HOUSTON — The annual Asian Mass celebrates the diversity of Asian Catholics in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Six Asian cultures – Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Korean and Vietnamese – will gather together to worship and give thanks to God for the blessing of faith.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate the Mass on Nov. 6, 2011 at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 6550 Fairbanks N. Houston Rd. in Houston. 

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Be Wise and Be Prepared,” taken from that Sunday’s Gospel reading about the 10 bridesmaids awaiting the bridegroom in Matthew 25:1-13. 

In its 16th year, the Mass reflects the languages of the many Asian cultures in the Archdiocese, with participants encouraged to wear their traditional garb for the festivities. A reception featuring samples of Asian food along with performances of traditional music and dance will follow. 

Bishop Curtis Guillory originally proposed the annual Asian Mass to express unity in Christ by Asian Catholics in the Archdiocese, Fr. Louis Zee, the Chinese pastor of the Ascension Chinese Mission in Alief, told the Herald in an interview. 

“It was to have the whole Asian community get to know one another and let the non-Asian community know how the Asian community is professing their faith,” he said.

Fr. Zee said about 1,000 people participate in the annual Mass, portions of which are celebrated in six languages. 

While Asian nationalities are vastly different from one another in language, history and culture, they are all grateful for the European missionaries who ventured eastward to preach the Gospel, sow the seed of faith and help the Church take root, bringing millions to the Catholic faith, Fr. Zee wrote in an article about the Mass. 

“Thus the Asian Mass in Houston, Texas bears witness to the efforts and the success of the Church’s missionary activities in Asia,” Fr. Zee wrote.

The annual Mass reflects the collaboration of the Asian community, with a different nationality leading the organization each year in a different aspect of the celebration.

Fr. Zee warmly invited everyone in the Archdiocese to attend the Mass as a demonstration of the universality of the faith. †