May Crowning has been my first memory as a Catholic. When I was six years old, I joined the May Crowning dance group because I love to dance. I looked forward to rehearsal each week and was very proud to lead my group to different positions. There was so much excitement in me while waiting for the day to perform the dance in Church. On that day, I would wear white “áo dài” with pink flowers. There are usually five different colors of flowers: red, blue, purple, white, and yellow. Each color symbolizes the virtues of Mother Mary. Each of us held in our hands a bouquet of plumeria. At the end of the dance, we would place each bouquet at Mother Mary’s feet. So many beautiful flowers covering the feet of Mother Mary. My heart was full of love and joy. Never would I have known that my love of dancing brought me to Mother Mary, and that she has brought me closer to God.
1. How many years have you danced for Mother Mary in May?
-This is my second year.
2. What motivated you to dance?
-I love to dance with my friends; I dance for the love of Mother Mary to honor her in the month of May.
3. Do you face any difficulties while practice dancing?
-Yes, I do. Sometimes things messed up when the little ones do not remember the movements. I try to be patient and consistently do the right dance movements so that they can easily memorize and follow.
4. Do you want to dance for the next few years?
-If I get a chance, I am happy to do it.
5. Mother Mary is the best way to get closer to Jesus. Have you ever thought that she is the bridge to lead you to the religious life, becoming a sister?
-I think so, but I don’t know yet. When I grow up, I wish to be the one in charge to teach the kids dance for Mother Mary during May Crowning.
Sơ Mân Côi
Being an altar server has led Joachim Cao closer to God. On August 4, 2015, 9000 altar servers gathered and met in Europe. On this day, Pope Francis said: “Being altar server is a call to prayer and mission. In the Eucharist and in the other sacraments, you experience the intimate closeness of Jesus, the sweetness and power of his presence.” I wish that more young people would participate in parish’s church activities as a way to build good relationship with Jesus in the Sacraments. The following is a short exchange with Joachim Cao, an altar server at St. Joseph Parish in Algiers, LA.
1. How long have you been on the altar server team?
-About 3 years
2. Why do you want to do this work?
-I willingly do this for the love of God. When I found out that St. Dominic Xavier was an altar server, I followed his good example.
3. Are there any challenges for you to be an altar server?
-I love to be an altar server, so nothing seems to challenge me. I just listen to what I was taught and do it with my heart.
4. Will you continue to serve God like this after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation?
-Yes, I might come back to serve.
5. Altar server gets a chance to be closer to God. Do you think this is the opportunity that God slowly guides you into the priesthood or religious life?
-Yes, I think so, and I am thinking about religious life.
Sơ Mân Côi
Known in Vietnam as Tet Nguyen Dan, Lunar New Year is marked to celebrate happiness, joy, and luck to everyone who observes the Gregorian calendar. Not only the adults but the children are also excited to welcome the new year- Year of the Rooster. I have the honor of interviewing children and their thoughts on Tet. These are Kain Bui (6 years old) and Ella Joy Bui (4 years old) who are eager to share their excitement regarding Tet.
1. What do you know about Tet?
-Kain: I don’t know. I just know about New Year.
-Ella Joy: Yeah Tet is very fun.
2. What do you see on Tet?
-Kain: I watch the dragon dance & fire crackers. I get red envelopes but not a lot of money. I go to hội chợ with my parents.
-Ella Joy: I like the dragon dance but it’s not a real dragon!
3. What do you do on Tet?
-Kain: I go to ông bà’s house and say “Chúc mừng năm mới” (slowly spelling).
-Ella Joy: I say “Chúc mừng năm mới” (clearly).
4. What kinds of clothes do you wear on Tet?
-Kain: I wear áo dài, and it is blue.
-Ella Joy: Yeah, my áo dài is yellow.
5. What do you eat?
-Kain: I like xôi, eggroll, and cơm with thịt kho.
-Ella Joy: I like candy.