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Weeping Mary draws faithful

Thousands of Brisbane mass-goers yesterday gave their usual parish a miss and instead visited the Vietnamese Catholic Community Centre in the city's southwest to get a glimpse of the much-publicised weeping statue of Mary.

The Courier-Mail reports that believers lined up patiently for up to 20 minutes in a queue that snaked its way down the centre aisle and out the front door. It says each person was allowed a 20-second peep at the statue before they were asked to move on.

In only a week the small Inala church has become the focus of media reports in Vietnam, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the US. A film crew from a Melbourne-based Vietnamese television news channel interviewed believers as they left the church.

The show's producer, Vien Trinh, said it had become a very big story back in Vietnam. "In the very near future I can see many people flocking to this church from overseas to feed their curiosity," he said. "This is being very widely received by the Vietnamese community."

The church's growing guest book also now features names from visitors from every state in Australia and a number of people from the US.

In the past week the religious mystery has become a hot topic of conversation on many Internet web discussion forums as well.

A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane told the paper that an investigation into the happenings would probably take place this week.

Weeping Mary draws faithful (The Courier Mail 31/5/04)

Inala priest says faith rose to the occasion (The Courier Mail 29/5/04)

31 May 2004