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tuannyriver

Website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University

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Religion

Our Lady of Lavang chapel at the BNSIC

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My nomination for the most devotional Vietnamese song about Mary

It is always tricky writing about “the best” or “the most XYZ” song. But this year marks the centenary of the Marian apparitions in Fátima, and more Vietnamese Americans travelled to Portugal than any previous year. It made me think of the song Lời Mẹ Nhắn Nhủ [Words of Our Lady], better known by its informal title Năm Xưa Trên Cây Sồi [Years Ago on an Oak Tree]. I’m not very keen on awards, especially awards of recent productions. But I’m more open to retrospective awards. Were there an award for the category “the most devotional Marian song or hymn written in Vietnamese in the twentieth century,” I’d vote for this song.  

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Fortieth anniversary of two Catholic monthlies by Vietnamese refugees

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Rod Dreher & J.D. Vance at Pepperdine

By a coincidence of scheduling, Rod Dreher and J.D. Vance gave talks at Pepperdine within four days of each other.  I was able to attend both presentations and took a few notes.

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Rod Dreher on the Benedict Option

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How many Vietnamese Catholic priests are there in the U.S.?

The short answer: There were about 900 Catholic priests of Vietnamese origin in the U.S. by 2012. There are approximately 950 at this time (2017), and probably more.

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Some participants in the fifth of a series called Emmaus, which are national gatherings among Vietnamese American priests. The 2013 gathering was held in Little Saigon, Orange County. ~ pc vietbao.com

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Catholic refugees, the age of priests, and money

“Do anything three times if possible,” goes my motto as a forty-something. Publish three books or articles on different topics but a common theme. Or, dance to three different songs but the same genre from the same period. Or, write three blog posts about the same subject matter in a row. Three books and articles I haven’t achieved.  But I’ve done the dancing bit and now I am doing the third thing.  My last two blog posts are about Vietnamese Catholic refugees in the U.S. during the 1970s and the 1980s, and this post rounds up the miniseries.

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Fr. Trần Văn Khoát and Catholic refugees in Beaumont and Port Arthur

My last post is about Ngô Đình Diệm’s older brother Archbishop Thục, who got mixed up with several reactionary groups during the 1970s and 1980s before reconciling with the Vatican and living out his last year among a religious order of Vietnamese men in Missouri.  Since then, I’ve read some more materials and learned about something I didn’t know before: a group of Catholic refugees led by a traditionalist and anti-Vatican II priest by the name of Trần Văn Khoát.
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The last years of Ngô Đình Thục

The only time that I’ve seen anyone related by blood to Ngô Đình Diệm – Ngo Dinh Diem for readers that are used to the English spelling – occurred exactly thirty-three years ago this month.  The town was Carthage, Missouri, best known as the American headquarters of a large Catholic order of Vietnamese American priests and brothers. The person was Ngô Đình Thục, Diệm’s older brother and the former archbishop of Huế. Along with tens of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics, I was attending the annual Marian Days weekend with my family and people from southern Minnesota. Unfortunately I don’t remember much about the Archbishop except that he presided over one of the masses with a visiting bishop from Vietnam.

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Five recent articles on Vietnamese history

This summer has been one on Vietnamese history: some for research and some for the sheer pleasure of knowledge.  Before turning to prepping for fall classes, I wish to have one more write-up about several articles read in the last two months.  The focus is Vietnamese history but away from the Vietnam War.  Below, I go over each article in chronological order of their topics.

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