Trai Gao, Vietnam, 16 May 2018 -- This quarterly recollection of all the Salesians working in the north, Viet Nam had a special meaning because it happened in the month of Mary, the month we will celebrate the solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, this is also the anniversary of 150th year of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Torino.
The Salesian community in Trai Gao parish, Thai Binh Diocese was the first time to be the host of this quarterly recollection. At 6:30 two Salesians from Lao Cai Province (around 400 km from Trai Gao) arrived. After that all the Salesians working in the north of Viet Nam also arrived for this special day.
At 9:00 Fr. Paul Dinh Van Dong, SDB began the day of recollection with the invocation of the Holy Spirit. He also greeted all the Salesians present and gave the talk for them. Then they had time for reflection and confession. At 10:00, they had time to discuss about the youth day and Salesians day of the north will be organized in the near future.
At 11:00 they celebrated the solemnity of Mary Help of Christians with many parishioners of Trai Gao parish attended. At the beginning of the Mass, the band played different Marian songs. Then Fr. John B. Tran Van Hao, SDB the parish priest introduced the Salesians for the people present. The presider Fr. Paul Dinh Van Dong, SDB invited all the people to thank God for the wonderful things He had done for Mother Mary, and through the Blessed Mother He will do for us. In his homily, Fr. John Vinh, SDB shared about the original reason of the writing letter to Mary, and he also highlighted about the intercession of Mary for us based on the Gospel about the wedding feast of Cana. He said that even though Jesus told that his hour wasn’t yet come, but with the intercession of the Blessed Mother He already changed water into wine in order to bring joy for the couple and for all the participants. And then before the final blessing, the Mass presider talked on the behalf of all the Salesians in the north thanked the pastoral council of Trai Gao parish for warm welcoming. He also wished that the parish always be blessed by Mary Help of Christians in this novena and especially on coming May 24. Finally, after the Mass all the Salesians had picture taking at the statue of Mary.
The day of quarterly recollection of all the Salesians working in the north, Viet Nam was ended with lunch in the pastoral house together with all the members of the pastoral council of Trai Gao parish with different tipical dishes at the locality. Thank God and Mary of Help Christians, wishing that with this special day all the Salesians and also othe people will become real and faithful soldiers of Mary for the young.