Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, concelebrated the anniversary Mass for 3,000 people gathered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
On Sun., Jan. 18, over 3,000 Catholics gathered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to participate in the concluding Mass marking the arrival of the first Jesuits in Vietnam 400 years ago. The event culmination of a year-long celebration that started last January when Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, celebrated the opening Mass. That Mass had a congregation of over 1,500 with over 100 additional priests concelebrating. This year’s closing Mass included Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, as one of 14 concelebrants, and main celebrant Jesuit Bishop Cosmas Hoang van Dat of Bac Ninh located in the north of Vietnam near Hanoi.
The Jesuits who arrived in Vietnam 400 years ago, came after the death of Italian Jesuit missionary Fr. Matteo Ricci. While they had originally intended to go to Japan, they quickly began to befriend the local people by learning their language and culture. Since those Jesuits arrived, Christianity has continued to grow and spread in Vietnam. Additionally, the Jesuit presence there has grown as well. The Vietnam Province is one of the largest Jesuit provinces in the Asian Pacific Jesuit Conference.
For the past five years the Holy Cross women’s lacrosse team has been volunteering with Catholic Charities and the Worcester County Food Bank to serve those in need. “We want to give back to the community in Worcester and do our part to make sure that everyone has their basic needs met,” said Stephanie Ridolfi, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team. Click here to read more about how these students strive to be women for others.
From Dec. 22 through 29, Fr. James Keenan, SJ, director of donor relations for the USA Northeast Province made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he was able to visit cities including Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. He made the pilgrimage with his cousin and his cousin’s daughter.
Below is a photo gallery detailing some of the highlights from his trip as well as an audio clip of Fr. Keenan talking about the people he met and how the experience changed how he prays.
The view from the top of Mount Carmel.
Pictured in one of the old sections of Jerusalem, from left to right: Fr. James Keenan, SJ, his cousin Patrick Birde and their tour guide.
The Western Wall is part of the old temple which was destroyed in the first century.
The pilgrims stopped and prayed at the Garden Gethsemane, which was where Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion.
An image from inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church is built atop where Jesus was crucified.
The Stone of Anointing inside the Church of Holy Sepulchre is said to be where Jesus was anointed before his burial.
A close up shot of Fr. Keenan praying at the Western Wall. All are welcome but a yarmulke is required to cover one’s head.
A baptismal site on the river Jordan. According to tradition, this is where John the Baptist did most of his preaching.
A view of Jerusalem, the city where the pilgrims started their week-long tour.
Fr. Keenan poses with his walking stick in front of the old market section in Jerusalem.
Shuduio Endo’s novel Silence tells the story of Jesuits journeying to Japan to find their missionary mentor who is rumored to have apostatized.
This year will see blockbuster movies starring spies, rebels and super heroes but only one will feature Jesuits as protagonists.
The upcoming film Silence is Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shuduio Endo’s book of the same name. Taking place in Japan during the 17th century it details the journey of two Jesuit missionaries to find their old Jesuit mentor who will be played by Liam Neeson.
Neeson is no stranger to the Society. In addition to narrating a documentary about the real life Jesuit missionary, St. Francis Xavier and playing a Jesuit in the film The Mission, his son is a senior at Fordham Prep.
Click here to read the full article about the film and Hollywood’s fascination with the Society.