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Saint Joseph’s Seminary Saigon, days of pilgrimage to shrine of Tapao on May 7, 2022

May 14, 2022 11:27 am
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(CGOL) O Trinity, we bless you because from all eternity you have chosen Mary to be the mother of the Son of God made man for us, and have glorified you as our Queen and Mother, so that thanks to her, God loves and takes care of the children on their pilgrimage on earth. We thank God for accepting this Tapao mountain and forest as a spiritual place for you to meet us, and through you, we can meet God in the depths of our hearts, and here you can transfer your heart. have mercy on all those who are suffering spiritually as well as physically, who confidently run to her and implore her.

The Center of  Our Lady of Tapao, in Binh Thuan province, is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Vietnamese Catholics. Every year, the center welcomes hundreds of thousands of people to come here to be with Mother. In the spirit of the month of flowers to honor Mary, and also on the occasion of the Church’s prayer for the vocation of priests and religious, the family of Saint Joseph’s Grand Seminary in Saigon had a pilgrimage to Tapao, Phan Thiet diocese, in May 7 and 8, 2022, including teachers, seminarians, nuns and staff.

At noon on May 7, 2022, the seminary community arrived in Tapao before the extremely gracious reception of the priests in charge of the holy places and the Sisters of the Sisters of the Servants of Jesus the Priest. Although the road is far away, but before the change in appearance of the Tapao shrine, the seminarians seem to have forgotten all about the fatigue of the trip. The scene of Tapao today is completely different from before. The comfortable facilities, along with the clean and beautiful roads leading to the mountain where the statue of Mother Tapao was firmly built, have created very favorable conditions for all pilgrims who want to come to the Mother. After the liturgy at the platform, the entire seminary family went to the mountain to pay respects and pray the rosary at the shrine of Our Lady.

In the evening of the same day, Father Peter Nguyen Huu Xuan had a meeting and expressed his joy before the visit to the Holy Land of the seminary community. In a friendly and joyful sharing about the formation and development of the Center, Father Peter helped the seminarians understand that the miracles you will encounter when coming to Mother Tapao are not phenomena. It may seem strange on the outside, but the biggest miracle that God has done through her is the change of heart of those who sincerely come to her in this Tapao land. After the sharing session, it was a friendly fraternal meal. Present at this meal, along with the seminary’s family, were the administrator of the Bishopric of Phan Thiet, the priest in charge of the Center for the Mother of God of Tapao, the nuns and the staff. The director of the Seminary, Father Joseph, expressed his gratitude to Bishop Joseph Do Manh Hung, Bishop of Phan Thiet Diocese, the administrator of the Episcopal Palace, the father in charge of the Center, the sisters and the staff who welcomed him. considerate, attentive service, encapsulating the love of the whole diocese for the priestly training for the Church.

On the morning of Sunday, May 8, Father Joseph – the rector of the Major Seminary, presided over the Good Shepherd Sunday Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Tapao. Attending the Mass, in addition to the seminary community, there were also many faithful pilgrims from the dioceses. The presence of the parishioners at this special Mass, along with witnessing their spiritual longing, have contributed to forging the pastor’s sentiments of taking care of the flock in the future mission of each person. seminarian. In the lecture, Deputy Director Joseph Do Xuan Vinh shared: the meaning of the phrase “pilgrimage” is not simply a trip, but also a renewal of faith life. Thus, the pilgrimage of the seminarians today is also a “vocational renewal”. This is all the more significant when the pilgrimage is made on the day of prayer for the vocation of the Church.

Father emphasized: The key point of vocation life is listening to the voice and responding to God’s call. And this example of a life of listening and responding is none other than the Virgin Mary herself; a village girl who listened to God’s voice all her life and then became Mary – Mother of humanity. In the homily, Father Joseph also talked about the meaning of the word “Tàpao”. In the K’Ho language, “Ta” means beautiful, and “Pao” means a dream. Tapao is a beautiful dream. God also has a “dream”. To borrow the words of Pope Francis: vocation is not only knowing how to live, but also knowing how to cooperate in letting God fulfill His dreams; Deputy Director Joseph expressed his wish that after this pilgrimage, each person will also know to let God fulfill His dreams in their own life.

After breakfast, the rector of the Seminary thanked the Superior Sister and the Sisters of the Servants of Jesus the Priest and everyone greeted her leaving. On the way back, the seminary community had the opportunity to visit the parish of the Mother of God, which is preparing to be inaugurated on Thursday, May 12. Pastor Joseph Nguyen Cong Hoang and the parish welcomed everyone very cordially and warm. Father Joseph Nguyen Cong Hoang also studied at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Saigon and has been a priest for 13 years. With the sentiments of his senior, I share with you some very practical and useful pastoral experiences. Through his sharing, along with the fraternal welcome of the pastor and the entire parish, people have more deeply experienced the meaning of the phrase “Church family”. Even if he has to leave his family to enter the religious life, wherever he goes, a disciple of Jesus can find his “family”.

Thank God for the peaceful pilgrimage, much spiritual joy and each person is more and more confident in choosing his or her vocation.

Sr.Giacinta – (tgpsaigon.net)

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