The Lunar New Year is widely celebrated throughout Asia and St. Patrick's diverse community is no different. The Vietnamese community of St. Patrick's Seminary annually hosts a celebration of the Lunar New Year, which includes the Holy Mass and traditional Vietnamese New Year food and music.
The Eucharistic Celebration of the Lunar New Year was done in Vietnamese and the wonderful music was provided by the Fatima Choir of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and its Choir Director, Mrs. Thanh Binh. Rev. Luc Phan, Chairman of the Western Region of Vietnamese Priests and religious men and women in the States, was our celebrant for the Mass. Our Mass included some special elements for the occasion, including lighting special incense at the beginning of the Mass.
Afterwards, we celebrated the new Year of the Pig with some traditional New Year food and music. Very popular was the pork dish - no pun intended - of which several seminarians were seen going to get second helpings! The food was provided by Mr. Minh and Mrs. Nga of Cao Nguyen Restaurant in San Jose. Accompanying the great food and talk was melodious music that filled the air, including songs from both the Daughters of Carmel and the Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest.
Given its unique location at the center of three major cities - San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, St. Patrick's Seminary is blessed with a diversity that enhances its formation of priests. Events like our Lunar New Year celebration increase our seminarians appreciation of different cultures and ethnicities. There is a wonderful, vibrant community here at St. Patrick's Seminary.