By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — In the Christmas story in Matthew’s Gospel, a star led the wise men to the infant Jesus. Father Hai Dinh used that story to inspire the Vietnamese Catholic Community at Sacred Heart Cathedral to create two stars for the parishes he serves.
Fr. Dinh, parochial vicar for the cathedral and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport, wanted to see a star hung above the Christmas manger with a light emanating from it. He proposed that the Vietnamese community make one for the cathedral and one for St. Paul the Apostle, which hosts the Lunar New Year celebration and is also home to Fr. Dinh.
“At the end of November, to prepare for Christmas, I told the Vietnamese Council at Sacred Heart that I had the idea of making two, big Christmas stars. I told them the stars could be Vietnamese style. They supported my idea,” Fr. Dinh said.
Fr. Dinh also wanted to bring another Vietnamese tradition to the cathedral in the way the Nativity scene was decorated. “They spent a lot of time to complete the Christmas manger,” he said. The manger not only held the figures, but colorful lights and the handmade star shining above.
The stars are made of metal and plastic, which is in a variety of colors and contain a nativity scene on the front and can be plugged in to illuminate the colors.