INAUGURAL ROSARY AND MASS
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange celebrated the first Rosary and Mass at the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The inaugural Rosary and Mass were the first of what will be a monthly occurrence at Christ Cathedral’s new shrine, which honors the Virgin Mary, serves as a testament to the Vietnamese American people and recognizes Orange County’s Vietnamese diaspora of more than 100,000 people.
The Mass and Rosary were said in Vietnamese. An estimated 1,000 people attended.
The main celebrant was Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen, who is currently the only Vietnamese bishop in the United States. The homilist was Fr. Christopher Pham. The religious event included a 120-person choir, as well as prayers for donors and their families. It was livestreamed for Catholics around the world on Christ Cathedral’s Facebook page and the Diocese of Orange’s YouTube account.
The Our Lady of La Vang Shrine was solemnly blessed on July 17, 2021, before a crowd of more than 8,000 supporters and others viewing the livestreamed event from around the world. The centerpiece of the $12.6-million shrine is an Italian white marble statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus. The Blessed Mother is depicted as she is believed to have appeared in 1798 in a remote rainforest in Vietnam before a group of persecuted Catholics.
That Marian apparition has since been named Our Lady of La Vang, and depictions of the Blessed Mother are considered a source of hope, faith and promise to Vietnamese Catholics around the world.
Although the shrine was blessed this past summer, a second phase of construction for it is pending. That will include rosary gardens, a basalt medallion and waterfall feature.
ANNUAL RED MASS CELEBRATED
Bishop Kevin Vann and the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County celebrated the 33rd annual Red Mass at Christ Cathedral on Monday, Oct. 4.
The special Mass — an annual event attended by judges, attorneys, law faculty and public officials — is celebrated at the opening of the judicial year in Orange County and throughout the world. Judges attending the Red Mass in Orange County traditionally don red robes in a renewal of an ancient tradition practiced for hundreds of years after the institution of the Red Mass in the 13th century.
The custom received its distinguished name from the brilliant scarlet vestments worn by the Mass celebrant and Lord High Justices in England.
THE BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
Parishes throughout our Diocese celebrated their beloved animals with the Blessing of the Animals, from Saturday, Oct. 2 through Monday, Oct. 4. The tradition dates to the 13th Century when St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, preached to the birds and praised all creatures calling them his brothers and sisters under God.