| A procession moved around the block at St. Anthony Parish.
all: Raul A. Ayrala/The Catholic Voice
Vietnamese martyrs honored
at St. Anthony Parish Mass
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, in front of a reliquary of the martyrs.
About 1,000 people participated in the annual procession and Mass to remember Vietnamese martyrs Nov. 24 at St. Anthony Parish in Oakland.
Events began with a reenactment by young people from the Vietnamese community of the martyrs' passion and triumph of the Catholic faith with traditional music, dance and instruments The procession started at the church, and went around St. Anthony School (a block surrounded by 15th Street, 15th Avenue, Foothill Boulevard and 16th Street) on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon.
A reliquary of the martyrs was carried around the block by four women. After the procession, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, concelebrated the Mass, along with Bishop Emeritus John Cummins, Vicar General Rev. George Mockel, the pastor of St. Anthony's Rev. Jesús Nieto-Ruiz, priests and deacons.
"I respect, I salute and I honor this Vietnamese Catholic Community because you are the descendants of those martyrs," Bishop Barber said in his homily. "They died because they acknowledged that Christ is God, that Christ is our Redeemer, that He is the Head of the Church.
"As Saint Thomas said when he was going to be executed: 'I die as a loyal server of the king, but God is first.'
"The Catholic faith is strong in Vietnam. The Catholic faith is strong in Oakland.
"The Catholic faith lives in Vietnam. The Catholic faith lives in Oakland.
"Long live Christ the King."
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