#LittlePilgrimage 32. St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hà Nội – Vietnam

Saturday 18th May 2019.

During my recent holiday to Hà Nội, Vietnam, while my buddy trip was having a bowl of warm Phở, I ventured out to the famous St. Joseph’s Cathedral, located on the west side of Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

Familiarly called by the local as “The Big Church”, Saint Joseph Cathedral is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hanoi for more than 4 million Catholics in the country. It is the representative evidence of the French colonial architecture, during the expansion in its colonial empire Indochina. It was not until the Christmas Eve of 1990 that the mass was allowed to be celebrated there.

#LittlePilgrimage 32. St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Tòa Tổng Giám mục Hà Nội, 40 – Nhà Chung – Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội – Việt Nam

The exterior of this church was as high as 64,5 meters in length, 20,5 meters in width, 31,5 meters in height. The façade consists of two towers, square in shape with five bells.The twin bell towers with the resemblance to Notre Dame de Paris.The exterior walls made of granite stone slabs, yet is stained with pollution with the pass of time.

Meanwhile the interior was in Gothic style, tall windows with pointed arches. Stained glass windows were produced in France then imported to Vietnam. Typical Roman Catholic church with rib vaulted ceiling like those seen in medieval Europe. Weathered nave with shiny sanctuary made of trimmed wood. And also the statue of Virgin Mary kept in palanquin, to the left of the nave.

It was already 6PM by the time I arrived at the Cathedral and The Mass has just started. I know – the church was open for public and many of them are not Catholics. It was quite irritating and sad to see a lot of tourists hung around during the Mass with their camera shutters, video-tapping, and making noises at the back of the pews while I was sitting down quietly trying to figure out and follow the Mass ceremony that was held in Vietnamese.

For those who wants to attend English Mass, I believe they do have it every Sunday 10:30AM.

Sadly their website only in Vietnamese.

And here is the wiki for this Cathedral; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joseph’s_Cathedral,_Hanoi

#LittlePilgrimage 31. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Chengdu, China

Last Saturday, 22nd September 2018.

It has been a while since the last time I did my Mass Mission or Little Pilgrimage. Attending local Mass (preferably in English) during my holiday, was something I enjoy. What I usually do was searched the local church location before I go and check their English Mass timing (if any). The thrill in reading the map to the church at that foreign city was unbearable, and it was such a rejoice when I finally found the church. My heart was leap for joy!

I was in my unexpected holiday expedition to China – Tibet – China from 12th to 23rd September. I did miss a Mass on 16th due to a hectic program from the travel agency. But finally we had free and easy days from 11th to 12th. I’m glad to found out they do have English Mass on Saturday, exactly on our second day of free & easy days in Chengdu.

#LittlePilgrimage 31. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Chengdu, China, 平安桥街29号 (29 Pinganqiao), Chengdu 成都, 四川 (Sichuan) 610015

This rather small church probably was not well-known for locals. Firstly because it was a small church hiding behind few big trees, secondly catholic was not a majority in China (it is only 0.2% from the total population).

Even though Google was not 100% working in China, but the church was one of that important building you can find from Google Map. If you searched “Catholic Church Chengdu”, the map would be pointing at the exact location of the church.

The nearest Subway station to the Chengdu Catholic Church was Luomashi Station 骡马市 (exit-G). From exit, cross the street to W Yuhe Side Street then walk all the way to the west you will pass by Tianfu Expo Center, continue your walk until you meet at the T-junction between Xihuamen Street and W Yuhe Side Street, turn left to Xihuamen Street. About 100m you will find the church on you right-hand-side. And you will be greeted by Our Mother Mary at the gate.

Not much information can be found about the church. But here are some information for you;

It was a Roman Catholic Cathedral, following the Roman Rite order of the Mass.

English Mass is on every Saturday, 4PM.

Phone 28-6634192

Here’s wiki for the church; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Chengdu

Save

#LittlePilgrimage 30. Our Lady of Victory Cathedral Daimyo-machi, Fukuoka, Japan

25 June 2017. It was cloudy in Fukuoka, Japan. Me and my friend were on our holiday in Kyushu island, Japan.

Weekly Mass for me is a habit, something I do regularly. But attending Mass during holiday has became one of my favorite activity! It started since I accidentally attended a local Mass in Hong Kong. Since then, I tried to always visit the church during the holiday. But attend the Mass is not always easy to do, especially if I traveled with a non-Catholic friend.

But here I was in Japan, and my Catholic friend agreed to join me for a Mass.

#LittlePilgrimage 30. Our Lady of Victory Cathedral Daimyo-machi, Fukuoka, Japan, 〒810-0041 Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Daimyo, 2 Chome-7-7.

In 1896, a small wooden chapel was built on the site where the present church is located. In 1938, the number of faithful from Fukuoka rose sharply, and then there was the need to expand the chapel premises. The church was rebuilt and reinforced with red brick.

In 1984 he began a new restructuring of the cathedral. In 1986 the church was demolished and a modern concrete church was built in its place. The old church only remained the main altar.

The church follows the Roman or Latin rite and is the main church of the Catholic diocese of Fukuoka (Dioecesis Fukuokaensis; カトリック福岡教区) which was created in 1927 with the Papal brief Catholicae Fidei under the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.Read More »

#LittlePilgrimage 38. อาสนวิหารอัสสัมชัญ Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok

It was a sunny Sunday when I woke up alone in my hotel, during my solo holiday. What a fun days so far. And I had a plan to attend the Sunday Mass at the famous Cathedral in Bangkok.

Apparently the Cathedral was located not too far from the hotel. I took a taxi and it cost me less than 40B.

#LittlePilgrimage 38. อาสนวิหารอัสสัมชัญ Assumption Cathedral, 23 Oriental Avenue, New Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand

The Renaissance style building is the Cathedral of the Archbishop and of the Archdiocese of Bangkok has a beautiful red bricks on the facade, facing the car park.

The history of the Cathedral date back to the year 1820 when Bishop Florens was the head of the “Siam Mission”. A piece of land was purchased to build a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, paid for by donations. A traditional Thai-style church was completed for the Catholic community in that area in the year 1821, and given the name “Assumption Church”. After the completion of the church, the office of the bishop was built nearby and in the following year, the church was named “The Assumption Cathedral”, the Cathedral of the Bishop of the Bangkok Diocese. Since then, the Assumption Cathedral has continuously been the permanent residence of all the bishops of the Bangkok Diocese.

As Grand as the people talk about it, the interior was very impressive! The golder altar, golden ceiling, golden statue, everything looked amazing for a non-catholic country. The choir group sang very beautiful even without a conductor! And there was this young lady who sang the Psalm solo, and she truly has an angelic voice! She really amazed me!

*

cathedralRead More »

#LittlePilgrimage 37. โบสถ์พระมหาไถ่ Holy Redeemer Church, Bangkok

This church was my first place I visit when I reached Bangkok during my solo holiday. The church was located about 3 km from my hotel. I had no idea about taking a public bus there, and there was no BTS station nearby. So I decided to walk. It was a pleasant walk since I walked pass through a natural park.

LittlePilgrimage 37. โบสถ์พระมหาไถ่ Holy Redeemer Church,

I had this plan to travel together to Thailand with a friend since last year, but due to some reasons, she canceled it just a day after I booked my flight and hotel. I decided to go anyway since I already booked my flight, hotel and even done with my itinerary.

From the airport, after I checked in my hotel and had lunch around the hotel, I headed to the church. I had to walk pass through the Lumpini Park. It was very green and relaxing park, that offers rare open public space, trees, and playgrounds. I saw a lot of dove gathered around the artificial lake, I saw some people jogging, I even saw some people rent boats. I walked diagonally from the park entrance to the exit. There was a school at the park exit, and from the school, turned left, walked to the traffic light, cross the street diagonally with the bridge, then turned right to Soi Ruam Ruedi road. If you see Neil’s Tavern (a cake shop) on your left hand side, it means you’re on the right track to the church. Just go straight. The church is just at the end of this road.

Please take this note from me; if you are travelling alone, you don’t know the area, you don’t know the language, please do your homework first at home: check how to get there by google map, print out the church name in English and in the local language, and don’t forget to print out the picture of the church too! It will help coz some people won’t remember the name but remember the building from your pic.

The walk from the hotel to the church was probably more than 1 hour. I didn’t rush, I enjoyed my walk and took my time to sat down a while at the park and took some selfies. When I arrived at the church, It was almost 4PM. The building was exactly like the one I saw on google. White wall with colourful roof, lots of pillars and vernacular doors. There was a couple doing their marriage preparation at the church. A beautiful lady, a handsome man. I was glad to be there and see them preparing their big day of their life.

The altar itself was very unique. Jesus was not nailed on the cross. He was in the middle of the altar with golden statue, his both hands raised up to heaven, and by the lighting from the ceiling, it makes the Jesus statue has 4 shadows! It somehow reminds us how Jesus always a helping hand for those who seek Him!

And look at Mother Mary statue! How beautiful with a lot of roses around her! What a coincidence that the first day I had my solo holiday and decided to visit this Holy Redeemer Church, was also the same day as our Mother Mary’s birthday! Happy birthday o The Blessed and the most Beautiful woman!

*

holyredeemer01

holyredeemer02

holyredeemer03

*

It was a pleasant short visit and watching the couple preparing their marriage. After just 10 or 15 minutes, I left the church to hotel because I need to rest early, the next day will be a long interesting day.

This is the church’s website http://www.holyredeemerbangkok.net/ENG/

Mass Schedule
Saturday : English 5.30 p.m. | Thai: 7.00 p.m.
Sunday: English : 8.30, 9.45, 11.00 a.m. & 5.30 p.m. | Thai 6.30, 7.30 a.m. 12.30 p.m. & 7.00 p.m.
Daily: English : 7.00 8.00 a.m. & 5.30 p.m. | Thai 6.30 a.m.
Wednesday Novena: English : 8.30 a.m. 6.00 p.m. | Thai : 10.00, 11.00 a.m. 3.00 7.00 p.m.
Confession Sundays : Before Masses | Weekdays : After Masses

#LittlePilgrimage #36 Kapel St. Petrus (Chapel of St. Peter) — How I met my Guardian Angel

I met my guardian angel (again). He (or she) disguised herself as an old cab driver. We talked like old friends.

After another heartbreak, I decided to take a short holiday, a weekend getaway to anywhere outside the island. So i found this ad online 2 weeks ago, the host offered a 1 night trip to Bintan, Indonesia, with Pilgrimage to Grotto of Mary Mother of Perpetual Help. I signed up immediately without second thought. Lesson learned here, don’t make any decision when you can’t think clearly. Don’t rush into making decision when you’re under stress.

#LittlePilgrimage #36 Kapel St. Petrus (Chapel of St. Peter), Teluk Dalam – Pantai Trikora (49 km dari Tanjung Pinang), Kab. Bintan, Kep. Riau, Indonesia.

CYMERA_20150914_105547 CYMERA_20150914_105606 CYMERA_20150914_105623 CYMERA_20150914_120502The driver from the Hotel took us to the Chapel, about more than 1 hour from Tanjung Pinang. It was more like forested village area. The Mass started about 5 minutes after we arrived at the Chapel. We soon took a seat and follow the Mass. This was my first time attend a Mass in a very small chapel, in the middle of nowhere. One good experience for me. I feel so blessed to sit around them, and feel so grateful that someone built this chapel for the locals to gather and praise God every week.

This mini chapel located in the middle of a forested area. Outside the chapel, there are the 15 ways of the Cross. Yes you heard it right! They put one more extra for us to remember how Jesus suffered and finally rose from the death. The famous Grotto of Mary Mother of Perpetual Help was apparently not-so-famous among the locals. And I have to admit that it was such a pity to not doing any maintenance properly for this Pilgrimage Site so more tourist can enjoy their religious trip.

But I do enjoy to be around the nature. I cherished myself during my religious trip to this small village around the forest. And this Pilgrimage site has reminded me of another Pilgrimage site I went many years back in Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia. Maybe next time I can revisit that site and post it on my blog. Anyhow, after the Mass and follow the 15 ways of the Cross downward back to the entrance, we went back to the hotel.

Long story short–the host tricked me and I paid two and a half more expensive than what’s necessary in total. I was too tired of being tricked and lost this amount of money by a stranger disguised as a nice lady, in my own country. I just wanted to go home and have a good rest. But the taxi queue was very long at the terminal, so I decided to take the bus back to Tanah Merah MRT station, then take a cab from there.

Instead of grab those random empty cabs passing me by with their green lights, I just–somehow–wanted to grab a cab from my application, instead of stopping them. Finally this old cab driver with number 710 called Mr. Ong, answered my call.

As I was trying to be a nice passenger to the driver, I told him I just finished my short holiday in Bintan. Then I realized I couldn’t hide my disappointment of what just happened during the holiday. But since I didn’t think it’s necessary to bad mouthing about someone, so what I told to the old driver was just “I can’t believe my friend tricked me for my holiday.” But what the driver answered me was surprised me. He didn’t ask me back like, “how do you know this friend?” or “how much did she trick you?” or “what is the nationality?” or what ever kepo question the normal people here would ask. What he answered me was something like, “that’s okay Miss. It’s no use to keep your anger towards someone else’s fault. Don’t let it bring you down.” He didn’t blame me for not being cautious, he didn’t blame her for conning me.

Then we talked about other topics. It seemed like the nice cab driver was trying to distract my bad mood into a nice and friendly conversation. It also seemed like he knew what topics interest me. We talked from politics, to my job, to sg life, and I found it strange and amazed me how we talked like old friends. And then we talked about the rich and the poor and the gap between them, and then he asked me, “you don’t like about this gap, right?” It was literally like we are old friends, he followed my facebook and he knew me so well. And it was also surprised me how he literally lightened up my mood with a very enjoyable conversation, and not just a light chit chat between a cab driver and a passenger who has just met.

The second time I somehow brought our conversation back to the incident I just had, once again the cab driver told me, “You know what Miss. Sometimes, this kind of thing must be happened in our life so that we can learn something. And there’s nothing much you can do. All you have to do is just accept it and move on.” He didn’t even quote from anyone, we didn’t even talk about religion, but everything he told me was all correct and somehow calmed me down.

When we finally arrived at my condo, being a polite person I told him, “good night sir, it’s been really nice talking to you.” Because that was exactly what I feel. I’ve been in hundred cabs before, but tonight was the first journey I enjoyed it very much, I felt so lightened up because of the friendly conversation with him. When he replied me, “It was nice talking to you too, Miss”, it sounds like a polite reply. But when he turned to me and smiled at me and said, “have a good rest,” I suddenly feel so much calm and the bad mood vanished. I’m quite sure that wasn’t humanly smile.

I reached my room and cried after I realized how God taking care of me during my trip. And even after all that incident happened, the hotel staffs treated me very nice like helping friends. The nice and friendly conversation with the cab driver was the most knocked me to the heart. I can feel the warmth of when I’m talking to a wise best friend. I believe I had an unforgettable conversation with my guardian Angel. I believe this time my guardian Angel just wanted to help me and cheer me up after the incident. I believe he (or she) disguised herself as an old cab driver.