Vietnamese Annual Marian Days Festival August 6-9 Carthage Missouri

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I haven’t seen any news yet about this annual Catholic religious and cultural event.  One blogger wrote that 80,000 were expected to arrive this year.  On Friday and Saturday the crowds are the largest, but only thirty policemen are on duty. Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said. “There’s a lot of other events where you could have 60,000 people, there’s no way 30 cops could handle it. It says a lot about the festival itself.”  That doesn’t mean there’s no potential for trouble.  One year gang members showed up and there was a fight, but no serious injuries. Now the police turn away any young men wearing suspicious tatoos or head bands, or who admit to being in a gang.  But that danger is minimal because the people coming to this event are coming, for the most part, for religious as well as cultural reasons. It is, for most, a time for prayer and confession as well as remembrances of home and camaraderie.  There are hundreds of priests and religious who are here to serve the faithful. These people love America for the freedom and opportunities they have here, which do not exist in Communist Vietnam.  There are those, however, who would like to make the festival more ecumenical, which I suppose would mean allowing some Buddhist participation. Hopefully the clergy who are responsible for the festival will not allow that to happen; after these are four Marian Days. Well, you can read more here and here.

 
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