Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Cathedral parish to host celebration of Chinese New Year

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 8, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

(IR graphic courtesy of Father Vincent Van Dao)

Lunar New Year – sometimes called Chinese New Year – is a major holiday for the Chinese as well as for ethnic groups who were strongly influenced by Chinese culture. This includes the Vietnamese, Japanese, Koreans, Miao (Chinese Hmong), Mongolians, Tibetans, the Nepalese and the Bhutanese.

Father Vincent Van Dao, parochial vicar at Spokane’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, is spearheading the parish’s first annual celebration of the Lunar New Year.

“This is the first time we have done this,” Father Van Dao said. “We are combining both secular and religious aspects of this celebration. We invite everybody, Catholics and non-Catholics.”

The Lunar New Year celebration will begin with Mass at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Cathedral. Father Steve Dublinski, rector of the Cathedral, will preside, with other Asian priests concelebrating.

A reception with entertainment will follow in the Cathedral’s basement social hall.

“There will be Vietnamese traditional dress, and I think there will be Hmong, also,” Father Van Dao said, “and Filipino, too.”

Father Van Dao explained that the Lunar New Year has the same number as the conventional year, 2007, but this Lunar New Year is also called “the Year of the Pig.”

“This is something that we haven’t done before,” said Father Dublinski, “but we’re looking forward to making this an annual celebration. We recognize that this is a significant event for all people of Asian descent, and they are a significant part of our community, so we want to help them celebrate the Lunar New Year with proper festivity. It’s purposely an inter-religious event.”

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