4th Station of the Cross

As I started my last prayer, I stopped at the 4th Station of the Cross. Why have I not noticed this station? I looked at the Roman Numerals, “IV”. I saw Mary’s face close to Jesus’, almost seemingly the two were having a conversation with words or simply their eyes. Jesus was wearing his crown of thorns and carrying his heavy cross. Mary was looking longingly and worriedly at Jesus. At that moment, I realized my prayer was answered.

Help me feel Your Love.

 

 

VSL: SM TT 28

#TNTT Đoàn Vinh Sơn Liêm: Sa Mạc Thăng Tiến XXXVIII (38)

💛These Nghĩa Sĩ’s first impression of me was that I do semaphore really fast. Now, a couple of them can mentally decode semaphore and some of them can write down and decode the semaphore I perform at my fastest speed. I may need to level up in other areas! 😳 Thank you for a wonderful year with you all! I have been truly blessed to have been your Huynh Trưởng this past year. 💛

Maria Pham Thi Sinh

The night before heading up to Sacramento for TNTT HT Training Camp, I received news that my grandma has passed away. I tried my best to keep it all together throughout camp despite how many times I actually just wanted to breakdown. I held it all in until I was on the Holy Land Pilgrimage. I missed the funeral mass due to being across the Atlantic Ocean, but I knew that if my grandma was alive, she would have told me to go to the Holy Land and pray for her soul. And I did. And I will continue to do so for the only grandma I ever knew.

Vietnamese Martyrs Drawing 2019

This month’s theme was chosen by one of our viewers. The theme that she requested was Vietnamese Martyrs. My head drew a blank when I first heard this. I was not sure of what to draw that has not been drawn yet. 

At first, I drew some sketches but found them unsatisfying. They have all been done before or it was nothing interesting. Then, I tried to draw inspiration from the LBM Dance that my Nghĩa Sĩ kids did. I drew another sketch, using a photo from the dance as a reference, but still found it unoriginal. Finally, I looked at the backdrop of the LBM stage. Although the Huynh Truong who did it put little effort into it because he wanted to do the bare minimum work required, the backdrop was straightforward and simple. That was what I liked about this backdrop. I drew inspiration from this.

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Rough sketch and Initial Inking

Perhaps I was thinking too much into the words “Vietnamese Martyrs.”  Maybe I needed to think simpler. 

Right before the LBM performance for my Nghĩa Sĩ kids, I gave them a little prep talk about the colors they were wearing. Red and brown are the colors of the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng. The red represents the blood of the Vietnamese Martyrs spilled onto Vietnam’s land, which is represented by the color brown. I decided to somehow incorporate the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng into my drawing.

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Color Penciled

“If the Hiệp Sĩ Khăn Quàng basically represented the Vietnamese Martyrs, then I should draw that,” I thought. I wanted to show all the different kinds of Vietnamese Martyrs: priests, bishops, friars, non-clergy men, and women. I drew as many and as different as I can to show the different kinds of people who were martyred. Anybody, even ordinary people, can love Jesus Christ as much as they did. 

I put the least amount of thought into this drawing, and yet it somehow had the most meaning. 

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Adobe Photoshop CS6

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Humans of Santa Clara University (2015)

Original Post from Humans of Santa Clara University

Thao ‘16, School of Engineering

“After witnessing two incidents of corruption, one from leadership at my local parish and another from a teacher in high school, I entered Santa Clara University hoping to re-establish my faith. My first professor here, Sam Conedera, was kind, patient, caring, approachable, and supportive. With each conversation we had, my faith slowly renewed. On these stairs two years ago, I asked him to pray for me. He gently smiled and said, ‘Yes, I will pray for you.’ A week later during office hours, I asked if he had prayed for me. He answered, ‘Yes, I did and I will continue to do so.’ Sam was a huge part of my faith journey. I hope to be a guide like him to others on their faith journey, especially to the kids at my Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Group.”

Apr 16, 2015

Diocese of San Jose Priest Ordinations 2019

This is the second Priest Ordinations Mass that I have attended. It has been 2 years since I have attended a Priest Ordinations Mass. 

It was the same Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph that I have attended multiple Masses during the weekdays for over half a year. However, I felt a different sense of peace and hope as this Ordination Mass went on.

Congratulations to the newly ordained Fr. John Hoang and Fr. Victor Trinidad!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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Camp Drawing 2019

This month’s theme for the VEYM DAC (Digital Assets Collection)/TNTT Arts Team is Camping. I initially had many concepts in my head, but had a difficult time transferring it down on paper. Maybe it is the lack of completion of my imagination or maybe it is the lack of drawing skills. I did draw another concept before this final one, but I decided not to pursue it since it would have probably taken twice as long to finish. In the end, I chose this concept because I felt that it captured what I thought of camp.

When I think of Camping, I think of the spiritual peak of the camp, which is Hành Trình Đức Tin (HDDT). I remember the first thing we have to do is receive and decode a morse or semaphore message. Sometimes, it could be both going at once. Back when I was a Đoàn Sinh, I would be one of the fastest people to decode the morse or semaphore messages. Being the first one to decode was crucial because it basically dictated whether or not our đội will come in first for HDDT. It meant winning.

That is what I wanted to capture here: the concentration, the competitive spirit, the adrenaline rush. I felt all that while I wrote down the message and decoded it as quickly as I can.

Last year during camp, I was assigned to Ngành Thiếu, but that obviously did not stop the Nghĩa Sĩ kids from noticing an unfamiliar female Huynh Trưởng performing Semaphore so quickly that it was nearly impossible to record. This year, I am helping out with Ngành Nghĩa Sĩ and I was assigned to review Semaphore with them. During my lesson, the Nghĩa Sĩ kids were very attentive because they remembered how fast the semaphore was during the previous camp. They wanted to get used to my speed so that they would be prepared for this year’s camp. A good number of them were very focused. This drawing reflects those kids during my review lesson.

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Coloring using Adobe Photoshop CS6

I really enjoyed teaching the Semaphore review lesson because the Nghĩa Sĩ kids quickly started recognizing the letters and decoding out loud as I performed the message. I beamed with pride and thought, “This is how good they should be!” I was proud of them.

After that lesson, I knew my Nghĩa Sĩ kids were ready for camp.

One of my art friends complimented on the foreshortening and I had to give credit to the reference I was using. It is a photo from an HT training camp that took placed in Miền Tây Nam. Training Camp in Miền Tây Nam, specifically Liên Đoàn Nguồn Sống, has a special place in my heart.

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Liên Đoàn Nguồn Sống’s Xuất Hành XXIX (August 2018)

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