CMR Springfield Community:
This year, Tết (Lunar New Year) Tân Sửu fell on a Friday, the 12th of February. To make up for the scaled down celebrations due to Covid-19, our Springfield sisters celebrated for a full four days with feasting, traditional games (some "gambling" with marshmallows and dimes!) and Holy Mass.
We counted down to the new year Thursday night with ốc len xào dừa, a traditional snail dish, Bingo, and Eucharistic Adoration. On Friday, the sisters at our Queen of Angels Daycare dressed the students in traditional clothing and gave out lì xì (lucky money). At the Catholic Center, Sr. Janine decorated the meeting room with cây mai (a traditional yellow-flowering tree, usually apricot flowers) and introduced Vietnamese coffee with Krispy Kreme donuts. On Saturday, we played bầu cua tôm cá (everyone went home at least $2 richer) and caught some movie-time! On Sunday, we joined the Vietnamese Catholic Community at St. Agnes Cathedral for Holy Mass and went bowling (with masks) afterwards.
Although it was cold and wintry that weekend in Springfield (definitely not as icy and cold as our Irving community), we were blessed to have sisters in the community who were great cooks, game organizers, and fervent adorers! They helped to make TẾT 2021 truly a new year of hope, joy, and together-ness!
CMR Kansas City Community:
Celebration was muted this year as our usual place of celebration is Holy Martyrs Parish, our Vietnamese Catholic community. There was no carnival "hội chợ" and no sitting together to enjoy a hot bowl of phở or bún riêu. All foods had to picked-up. Even so, our sisters weren't going to let a virus or a winter storm dampen our spirits. We drew lucky money "lì xì", played "bầu cua tôm cá", and enjoyed traditional Vietnamese cuisine. May this Year of the Ox give each of us strength to bear challenges patiently and fruitfully!
CMR St. Louis Community:
Another downfall of Covid-19 is not being able to participate in our usual Tết celebrations with the St. Louis Vietnamese Catholic community! In years past, we would savor delicious traditional dishes, watch lion dances, and enjoy the various performing talent along with the hilarious games. It was always so much fun and grace-filled. We definitely miss it!
Some things stayed the same: scrumptious Bánh Tết Chuối and Bánh chưng from our benefactors and delectable foods, especially yummy Canh Chua! We also played two days of bầu cua tôm cá. Some sisters won big ($1.50!) and others lost all their monies. :-D
Of course, we spent a good deal of time in prayer, praying for the end to COVID-19 and many blessings on the new year of the Ox!
CMR Irving Community:
Tết songs are about springtime, songbirds, and warm sunshine. Yet, Winter Storm Uri dumped a historic 5 inches of snow upon us in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Providentially, we did not lose any electricity, water, or heat. We took this rupture in our usual schedule (Srs. Terry and Marie couldn't go to school to teach) to attend Mass together, cook together, and play games. This is a rare treat for us because Sr. Eileen is a nurse and works the night shift. We also had the opportunity to cook for a family, several blocks down that lost electricity and heat.
The Kansas City sisters were planning to celebrate Tết with us but had to cancel the trip. We made up for this loss by having Sr. Irene spoil us with a huge T-bone steak dinner and commandeering a neighbor's igloo!