Vote for Hanoi Vietnamese Catholics!

Recently, on Vietnam’s Got Talent, a group of young Vietnamese Catholics from Hanoi participated in Vietnam’s Got Talent. This is incredible that they’ve made it to the semi-finals! Vietnam is typically known as a country mostly atheist and communist, but there are still very many Catholics strong in their faith.

Here are some of their videos:
Their first audition when they received a gold X: 

Their semi-final performance: 

One thing I especially found moving was their semi-final performance. It was performed the day before the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. I myself am a Vietnamese Catholic, and my parents became refugees in America to have religious freedom. Over the summer at Marian Days, I also listened to a beautiful talk about the strong Marian devotion that Vietnamese Catholics have. I really do encourage you all to vote for these young people who are so courageously living out their faith in a country where it’s difficult. Many have been persecuted for their Catholic faith, so this is definitely a beautiful way they’re evangelizing about Catholicism.

With this opportunity, let’s vote for these young Hanoi Vietnamese Catholics and their choir! Even though you might not live in Vietnam, you can still vote for them. Here’s how:

Type in or click: google.com.vn

Next, type in the search bar or copy and paste: “Tim Kiem Tai Nang”

You should then be able to see:

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The Hanoi Catholic Youth Choir should be the picture with the most people or “Dan Hop Xuong Cong Giao Tre Ha Noi”

Just click on their image and raise the bar to three votes.

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Press Continue.

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Now, do not forget to press “Submit votes!” This is extremely important!

After you’ve pressed “submit votes,” this following screen should appear:

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And there! You’ve voted, and I want to thank you for doing so. I really hope that we can show how beautiful Catholicism is throughout the world!

~VibrantCatholic

An Inspiring Pro-Life Performance

So recently, there was a Vietnamese actress, Puka, who went on a show that was made to test celebrities in fields that were not their expertise. Puka had chosen to do “magic tricks,” but inside her performance, was something very meaningful. Her performance was a very pro-life performance, clearly with the portrayal and the music/audio in the background.

The performance starts out with Puka as being in her mother’s womb, then she seems to be looking at several things she could do in life, such as singing or dancing. Then, the mood darkens, and she gets taken by men in black clothing, while pleading to her mother to save her. The rest of the performance shows her doing circus tricks while the emotional song is played in the background. Then, she has a short moment when she spoke on her personal views on pro-life, and I agree with everything she has.

I would recommend you all to watch the video! It was an inspiring performance, although when I was translating, I wasn’t entirely able to translate the fullest message. It was inspiring to see a young Vietnamese actress with the strong belief that all life is sacred.

 

Music-List Mondays: Be Glad (GIA)

Music-List Mondays: Where VibrantCatholic chooses a song and talks about it.

Song of the week: Be Glad (GIA)

by David Haas, with others such as Marty Haugen, Lori True, Tony Alonso, Michael Joncas, Paul Tate, Ricky Manalo, etc.

Listen to the song here!!

Let me just tell you the first time I heard this was in my high school liturgical choir. And the mass we were going to sing it for? Mass on the feast day of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, who are Vietnamese martyrs.

Some of the lyrics that stuck out:

“This is my servant, my soul’s delight.” I can’t tell. Who are we even referring to at this point??

“The earth and sky tremble, but the Lord God will defend his people. I am going to bless you till you’re satisfied. Overflowing in abundance, my people will never be despised.” Wait…so why is there suddenly a change in the POV. You really shouldn’t just change from third person to first person. Also, what is the meaning behind emphasizing that the children of God will never be “despised.” 

Anyways, let’s get into the actual review:

Well, my school chose to sing this on the Vietnamese martyrs feast day. As a Vietnamese American, how do you think I felt having to sing this during the mass with our campus ministry leader telling us to smile during the song. There’s something utterly wrong in one of the messages, and it seems as if the writers forgot some important bible verses,

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18

“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” John 15:20

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12

Those are only a few verses on persecution, so why is a main message that those who believe in Christ will never be persecuted. As a Vietnamese-Catholic, who’s ancestry and ethnic people who have encountered the hardships of Christian persecution, there is no way I agree with this message that the song has portrayed. Christians are still being persecuted in places all over the world, it has not stopped.

I don’t understand the reasoning behind choosing this song especially for such a memorable feast day, a feast day honoring those that had died for their faith. I don’t think the people that chose to use the song at my school thought through the meaning, and instead probably thought “this is such an upbeat song, the youth will surely love it.” Wrong. I despised it, and no, the whole “smile everyone!” thing didn’t help me feel that better, either.

Change in point of view during the song, why?!? Not only why, but when is it ever right to put words in God’s mouth and pretend that’s okay. I’m pretty sure there’s never a time for that. As for the first line I mentioned, the servant should only be referred to Christ, it should not imply the entire Church. Also, they wrote in God’s voice saying that he will bless “you, until you’re satisfied.”

It seems as if they’re glossing over the fact that Christians are persecuted and despised to this day still. I am still unsure of the entire meaning of the song, it tells the listener to “be glad,” but am I supposed to be glad when I know that there’s still ways I can improve in? It gives the listener thoughts that they’re good enough, that they don’t need to change, and that God’s already pleased with how we are at this point. But, we aren’t perfect, we need to keep improving, our faith cannot just stop at this point when we think we’re ‘good enough.’

Although I have a lot of problems with it being used for a mass on feast day of martyrs, I also do not like the music style and do not it’s appropriate for mass…in other words, the electric guitar and upbeat rhythm do not appeal to me.

So that’s it for this Music-List Mondays!

 

Blessed Andrew Phu Yen

When first hearing about this person, I had no clue who they were or anything else. The only thing I figured out was that he was Vietnamese.

But, there’s actually many interesting things about this inspiring person. He is said to be the protomartyr, the first martyr, or the country of Vietnam.

Andrew came from his baptism name, and Phu Yen is the district where he came from. He was a student of Fr. Alexandre de Rhodes, and helped the Jesuit missionaries while they were in Vietnam.

How did Andrew come to be a martyr? It’s actually an interesting story, the Mandarin had went to the house of Fr. Alexandre de Rhodes, but they did not find Fr. Alexandre, only Andrew. Interestingly enough, Andrew self-confessed that he was a Christian, and so the Mandarin took him to prison when he refused to deny his Catholic faith.

They then decided that Andrew would have to be executed. When word reached Fr. Alexandre of Andrew’s upcoming execution, Fr. Alexandre went and bought a new traditional rug for Andrew to kneel on when he would be beheaded. But, Andrew refused to do so saying, “Let my blood soak into the soil of the Vietnam.”

When he was beheaded, he did not die the first time being struck, but an audible “Giesu, Maria, (Jesus, Mary)” was heard. The second time, Andrew Phu Yen repeated it, but still did not die, yet. The soldier striking Andrew was upset at this moment and struck Andrew the third time, and as Andrew slowly died, a soft “Giesu, Maria” could be heard from the mouth of Andrew.

He was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul the II on March 5, 2000. His feast day is July 26.

What an inspiring young man who died at the age of 19-20. His life story resonates in the hearts of many Vietnamese Americans who know or have heard of the struggles of Christian persecution in Vietnam. On this feast day of St. Andrew Dung Lac and companions, let’s all try to hope to have faith strong enough to choose our faith and not fear death.

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