Doan Le Bao Tinh, Saddleback, of St. Nicholas Parish is located in Laguna Woods, California. Although a smaller Vietnamese community, this is a family that has experienced tremendous growth in the last couple of years. Various leaders continue to selflessly devote their time to provide a God-filled environment to the youths in this community. Together, they foster an atmosphere conducive to spiritual progress.
“The Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society is a non-profit organization, under the leadership of the Catholic church. Its aim is to teach youths to be virtuous people and good Christians. It also offers apostolate services for the youth. Throughout its 75 years of service, the Society has kept pace with social and cultural changes of the day in an attempt to reach out to the youth of all times.”
“The Eucharistic Youth Society was founded in Europe during World War I and was known as the Eucharistic Crusade. Its purpose at that time was to pray, especially to the Blessed Sacrament, for the conversion of hearts and the reconciliation among the disillusioned youths affected by the War. Although the Eucharistic Crusade was founded by a Jesuit, Pere Bessiere, S.J., it was brought to Hanoi, Vietnam, by the Sulpicians in 1929. By 1951, it had spread throughout the whole country and became an organized association in the early 1960’s.
In 1964, in keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the Vietnamese Eucharistic Crusade was transformed into the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society and was approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Government. This new transition integrated both prayer and apostolate services. From 1964 to 1975, the Society grew considerably in spirit and in number. In order to accommodate the growth of the Society, the first National Convention, “Promised-Land I”, was held in 1972. Over 2,000 coordinating-leaders attended it. By 1975, there were about 140,000 members, under the leadership of 3,800 coordinating-leaders serving in 650 parishes within 13 dioceses in South Vietnam.
With the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, the Society’s activities ceased temporarily. However, with the waves of refugees fleeing to new homelands, the Society came to life again. The Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society is currently active in many different countries in the free world: Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States.
In the United States, there are about 15,000 members in 70 Vietnamese Catholic communities and parishes under the direction of 1,300 coordinating-leaders and chaplains. In order to correspond to the growth and revival of the Society, “Promised-Land II” was convened in July 1992 at Dominguez Youth Retreat Center, Dominguez, California.”