MORE than 3000 people attended a double Vietnamese celebration at St Mark’s Parish, Inala on January 31.
Vietnamese people came from all over the Brisbane region for a Mass and procession marking the Vietnamese New Year and the arrival in the parish of a statue of Our Lady of La Vang.
The statue, commemorating an appearance by Our Lady at La Vang in 1798, is being taken to parishes around Australia in the lead up to a synod in Rome, from July 24-28, for the Vietnamese Catholic diaspora.
Pope John Paul II has blessed the statue for the Vietnamese community in Australia.
Assistant priest at Inala, Fr Joseph Nguyen Thanh Liem, said he was overwhelmed by the response to the celebrations and the size of the crowd exceeded his expectations.
The celebrations on January 31 started with another colourful procession, which featured children dancing in front of the statue, and the lighting of a line of fire crackers 10m long.
Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan joined the procession and then presided at the Mass outside St Mark’s Church.