| 1,000 honor Vietnamese martyrs|
More than 1,000 people came together for the annual celebration honoring Vietnamese martyrs that in a larger venue this year, still left many standing at the sides of St. Felicitas Parish, San Leandro, on Nov. 13. Very Rev. George Mockel, vicar general, presided at the Mass, with Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins concelebrating. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, was attending the US bishops' conference and could not attend. They were joined by about 20 priests and deacons. Drums were beat and a newly made shrine to the martyrs was incensed. The congregation, with the shrine, processed around the church and school, returning for Mass. The choir sung the Mass in Vietnamese, and Rev. Peter Tu Nguyen, parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish, Rodeo, delivered the homily in English and Vietnamese. Father Nguyen related the history of the 117 martyrs, slain during the persecution of Catholics in Vietnam between 1798 and 1861. The martyrs, canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988, were among more than 100,000 Vietnamese Catholics killed because of their religious beliefs. Relating intolerance for religious freedom to today, Father Nguyen said, "the persecution of the Church is a continuation of Christ's suffering on Calvary." The experience of the "martyrs in Vietnam should encourage us to live out our faith," he said. Entertainment and ethnic food followed the Mass. See more photos at facebook.com/TheCatholicVoice. There are about 8,000 Vietnamese Catholics in the Oakland diocese. For more information about the community: Sister Rosaline Nguyen, LHC, 510-628-2153 or email@example.com.
ALL: ALBERT C. PACCIORINI/THE CATHOLIC VOICE