Parish Marian celebrations highlight diverse faith, devotions
May 23, 2023
Auxiliary Bishop Italo Dell’Oro, CRS, incenses a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary during a Mass for Legion of Mary Senatus May Crowning at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston on May 7. Dozens of Legion of Mary groups from parishes around the Archdiocese attended the annual event that concluded with a special presentation of flowers to the Blessed Mother. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)
HOUSTON — The alluring scent of roses, orchids and other fresh flowers seemed to be just as noticeable as the flourishing bouquets of greenery and petals that towered over hundreds of Vietnamese Catholics at Our Lady of Lavang Church in northwest Houston.
Gathered for a massive Marian festival that featured special prayers, youth events and speakers on May 5 through May 7, hundreds attended outdoor Masses and prayed the Rosary while joining a long Marian procession to honor Mary, Queen of Peace.
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A bright statue of the Blessed Mother surrounded by flowers followed the procession, with other floats covered with flowers honoring the Holy Family, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Image of Divine Mercy, as well as a mobile reliquary with relics of the Vietnamese Martyrs.
Auxiliary Bishop Italo Dell’Oro, CRS, who is a member of the U.S. Bishops Conference’s subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs on the committee on cultural diversity in the Church, presided over the bilingual Mass on May 7.
Despite rain showers, hundreds still attended the Mass, which was concelebrated by visiting Vietnamese Bishop Joseph Đang Đuc Ngân of Da Nang, Vietnam.
Bishop Ngân presided over a Mass on Saturday, May 6, following the lengthy Marian procession, which was joined by the Vietnamese Dominican priests and Dominican Sisters of the Mary Immaculate Province.
In his homily, Bishop Dell’Oro encouraged the attendees to “bridge all the gaps” so that “no widows, no orphans and no strangers” are left unattended or not cared for in the Archdiocese. He said to cross barriers of language and culture and bring the gift of charity and mercy.
He said to turn to Mary, who molded the human heart of Jesus to become compassionate, merciful and gentle, so that the Blessed Virgin Mary might mold our hearts just like Jesus’.
He told a similar message to the Legion of Mary Senatus gathering on May 7 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, drawn together for their annual May Crowning.
There, he incensed a statue of Our Lady of Fatima that he also crowned. He encouraged the hundreds of women and their families, attending from parishes all over the Archdiocese, to turn to the Blessed Mother in faith and in prayer.
Three ordained to the transitional diaconate
Bishop Dell’Oro set three men onto their next step toward the priesthood when he ordained seminarians Luis Armas, Viet Nguyen and David Ramirez as transitional deacons on May 13.
In his homily, Bishop Dell’Oro reminded the congregation to be filled with joy, just as the three new deacons were filled with joy because of their relationship with Jesus.
“As we recognize Jesus who calls us first, we also acknowledge that, in our very life, choosing good means to make sure that ... we live a life of charity,” he said.