Historic St. Anthony Catholic Church
258 Ohio, Wichita, Ks
2nd St. & Ohio
Two blocks east of Old Town
Sunday Mass at 1:oo
English/Latin missals provided. Join us for coffee and donuts after mass downstairs in the St. Clair/Sunshine room, south exterior basement entrance.
Pastor of St. Anthony Parish: Fr. Ben Nguyen
EFLR Celebrants: Fr. John Jirak, Fr Nicholas Voelker
Master of Ceremonies: Tony Strunk
Choir Director: Bernie Dette

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Did You Know

Mass Propers, the readings that change everyday, can be found in the red missalettes at the entrance of church?

Fr. Nicholas Voelker celebrates Low Mass Saturdays at 8:00 a.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 106 East 8th street, Newton. There is no mass this Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Post #265

Topics: Feast Day: Our Lady of La Vang...Fr. Nicholas Gihr: Excerpt from Book...Video: Our Lady of La Vang Feast Day

Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death over take you. John 12:35


...and now for the necessaries.
Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita diocese. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Feast Day: Our Lady of La Vang

Our Lady of La Vang (Vietnamese: Đức Mẹ La Vang) refers to a reported Marian apparition at a time when Catholics were persecuted and killed in Vietnam. The Shrine of our Lady of La Vang (Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang) is situated in what is today Hai Phu commune in Hải Lăng District of Quảng Trị Province in Central Vietnam.

Fearing the spread of the Catholicism, in 1798 Emperor Canh Thinh restricted the practice of Catholicism in the country. Soon thereafter, the emperor issued an anti-Catholic edict in which persecution ensued.
Many people sought refuge in the rain forest of La Vang in Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam, and many became very ill. While hiding in jungle, the community gathered every night at the foot of a tree to pray the rosary. One night, an apparition surprised them. In the branches of the tree a lady appeared, wearing the traditional Vietnamese áo dài dress and holding a child in her arms, with two angels beside her. The people present interpreted the vision as the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus Christ. They said that Our Lady comforted them and told them to boil leaves from the trees for medicine to cure the ill. Legend states that the term "La Vang" was a derivative of the Vietnamese word meaning "crying out". Modern scholars believe it comes from the ancient practice of naming a location for a genus of a tree or plant native to the area, La meaning "leaf" and '"Vang "herbal seeds".

In 1802 the Christians returned to their villages, passing on the story of the apparition in La Vang and its message. As the story of the apparitions spread, many came to pray at this site and to offer incense. In 1820, a chapel was built.

From 1830-1885 another wave of persecutions decimated the Christian population, during the height of which the chapel in honour of Our Lady of La Vang was destroyed. In 1886, construction on a new chapel bagan. Following its completion, Bishop Gaspar (Loc) consecrated the chapel in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians, in 1901.

On December 8, 1954, the statue of Our Lady of La Vang was brought from Tri Bun back to the holy shrine. The Vietnamese Bishops Conference chose the church of Our Lady of La Vang as the National Shrine in honour of the Immaculate Conception. La Vang became the National Marian Center of Vietnam on April 13, 1961. Pope John XXIII elevated the Church of Our Lady of La Vang to the rank of a minor basilica on August 22, 1961.

On June 19, 1998, Pope John Paul II publicly recognized the importance of Our Lady of La Vang and expressed desire to rebuild the La Vang Basilica in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the first vision.[1] Researcher Lê Xuân Nhuận[2] published an article on the English-language vnforum@vnforum.org moderated by Dr. Trần Đình Hoành, to reject the “Yes” answer of the dying old-aged believers on which the Trí Bưu Vicar based to report about the apparitions.[3] Subsequently, Pope John Paul II himself, two months later, through L'Osservatore Romano, on August 12, 1998, was really honest and straightforward to confirm that: “Unfortunately, there is no written documentation of these apparitions (of the Virgin Mary in La Vang).” At the same time, a Vietnamese Catholic personage, Mr. Nguyễn Lý Tưởng frankly wrote and published, on August 15, 1998 as quoted above: “The Trí Bưu (Cổ Vưu) Parish priest asked the local old-aged believers when these were on their deathbed, awaiting exoneration and anointment: ‘You must swear to say the truth, did you hear your parents, grand-parents, in the past mention something concerning the Virgin Mary’s Apparitions in La Vang?’ All those persons answered ‘Yes’ and ‘The event happened nearly 100 years ago.’ The Virgin Mary had appeared about 100 years earlier.” Afraid of not being allowed to go to the paradise, those “witnesses” had to answer “Yes” to things supposedly happening long, very long even before they had been born. They themselves did not see (witness) anything. This explains why the Vatican negated it.[4]

In the Philippines, the chapel of Our Lady of La Vang is now the Roman Catholic parish church and national shrine in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. Became has a patroness of Puerto Princesa and patroness of Palawan.
We Must Withdraw Our Souls from the World
 and Participate with Great Inward Focus at the Mass
A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
Submitted by Michael O'Neill

Fr. Nicholas Gihr, in his book The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Ascetically Explained, highlights true active, interior participation at the Mass in a section explaining the exalted prayers of the Preface, the common parts of which date to Apostolic times according to Fr. Gihr, one of the greatest scholars of the Mass in the history of the Church.  Active participation is not running around performing various jobs during Mass, or acting in what from time immemorial was the place of the priest in the distribution of Holy Communion.  Participation is inward, does not require the understanding of every word spoken at Mass, and is focused above all on turning out thoughts away from the world and its illusions, and focusing them on God and our need for contrition and repentance. Pages 555-557 below:
Sursum corda! "Lift up your hearts!" The meaning of these words is most comprehensive: they signify that we should withdraw all the faculties of our soul from what is earthly, and consecrate them exclusively to intercourse with God and divine things. For this is, above all, necessary to turn mind and spirit from worldly objects and to close them to distracting thoughts, so as to be immersed with all one's might andattention in holy meditations.  If the mind be penetrated with a higher light from above, then the will also will be incited to devotion. The heart becomes aglow with holy love of God, and disengages itself from the bonds of worldly inclinations and desires, that enchain it in the dust; it rouses itself from its sluggish indolence and tepidity, that it may with holy ardor soar heavenward with all its powers. ''Hearts on high!" 

This applies principally to the time of Mass. It, of course, requires serious effort on our part to raise mind and spirit on high, and keep them recollected and disengaged from what is earthly and perishable; human frailty and the inconstancy of man being so very great. To persevere in undisturbed recollection and communion with God, is possible only to a soul that daily endeavors to divest itself of all earthly dross and bonds, and labors to attain a permanent direction upward. [So, we must practice penance and mortification regularly to improve our ability to participate actively and inwardly at the Mass.]  Hence the words of the Apostle: "Our conversation is in heaven" (Phil. 3, 20). 
 What does this imply? That we should not grovel like worms in the dust, but like the birds in the air we ought to soar in spirit heavenward ; we should not burthen and oppress our hearts with the thoughts and desires, with the cares and pleasures of this life, but we should so divest ourselves of the earthly and of the love of perishable goods, that our soul may aspire with ease to Heaven with lively hope and ardent desire. "Mind the things that are above, and seek for what is above" this is the wisdom of Christian life.  
The Sursum corda, therefore, admonishes us, especially at the Sacrifice of the Mass, to have our mind occupied with heavenly things only and to be intent upon them. "No one should be present in such a manner, that, although he may say with the lips: 'We have lifted our hearts to the Lord,' his thoughts are directed to the cares of this life. We should indeed think of God at all times; but if this be impossible, on account of human frailty, we should take it to heart most especially at least during the Holy Sacrifice...... 
......The more estranged the soul becomes from frivolity and the distractions of the world, the more she rises above all created things, the more clearly and profoundly also will she perceive that God is the eternal love and the fountain-source of all that is good: she thereby becomes penetrated with a lively sense of grateful praise to Him.
Thus Father Gihr presents the timeless wisdom of the Church on pious participation at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We are very frail creatures. Maintaining our focus for even an half hour on thoughts of God and heavenly things is very difficult. We can only achieve such through practice. This practice should really begin outside the Mass with focused times of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading.  It is not a trivial task.

But when we think of what the Mass is, what awesome events transpire there, and what the Mass means for our souls, even a large effort seems to pale in comparison to the august Gift we receive every time we worthily participate in the Mass and receive Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist. It is the Source and Summit of our Faith, and worth our utmost efforts to participate with the most reverent and deeply engaged participation possible.

Happy Feast Day to the People of Vietnam
By Charles Cole

Today is also the Feast of Our Lady of La Vang who appeared in Vietnam in the 1700s. A reader in Vietnam has kindly sent in a link to the documentary below (in Vietnamese and French) which has some wonderful footage from the 1960s. He writes:

The first part of the documentary is about the arrival of the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in 1965. In it one can see that altars in the less major cities of Vietnam are still Ad Orientem, while in the capital of Saigon, concelebration (on giant altars!!) and Versus Populum Masses are already taking place. One sees that priests still wear maniples etc. 
The second part of the documentary is about the Marian Congress of 1961 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang. There are many clips of the Pontifical Masses in this documentary, and Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc is featured many times, conferring Confirmations and Consecrating the Minor Basilica. There are many interesting processions throughout both documentaries wherein traditions from the Colonial period are still observed.
Đức Mẹ thánh du tại Việt Nam 1965

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