A few days ago, I saw two or three friends from Seattle years posted on Facebook a tribute on Raymond Hunthausen, former archbishop of Seattle, on his death at 96 years old. (The writer is Fr. Michael Ryan, rector of the Cathedral parish and one of the spiritual chaplains of the L’Arche community that I belonged.) By a coincidence, the next morning I came across two items while looking at some old issues of a magazine by Vietnamese Catholic refugees, and one of them shows a photo of the late archbishop presiding over a mass among Vietnamese refugees in 1978.
It’s been a rough week in the news, headlined by the ongoing Gaza Strip protests and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yesterday saw the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. Then last night I read about the closure of another small liberal arts college, this one in Oregon. It was therefore a relief, even a kind of solace, to have finished reading the very beautiful study about conservatives in Louisiana by the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild.
This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Tet Offensive. The event has generated perhaps more publications in the English language – government reports, media accounts, academic studies, amateur histories, memoirs, etc. – than any other from the Vietnam War. A sucker for anniversaries of publications and releases of films and music, I wish to commemorate it by inviting non-Vietnamese to listen to a very well-known song among Vietnamese.