Diocesan News

Corps Will Drum Up Crowd’s Devotion at the Diocesan Eucharistic Revival

Members of a women’s drum corps are seen during a Mass marking the beginning of the Lunar New Year at St. Michael Church, Flushing, Feb. 11, 2024. (Photo by Gregory A. Shemitz)

FLUSHING — A handful of women from St. Michael’s Church are marching to their own drumbeat for the Diocesan Eucharistic Revival, combining their faith and culture to perform at the April 20 celebration. 

The St. Michael’s Church Drum Corps, based at the multicultural Flushing parish, is composed of about 25 Asian women of various ages. Since 2022, they have dutifully learned how to play the drums, a skill none of them had before a few years ago, and are now an integral part of major church celebrations. 

“We are nervous, but we are excited also,” said corps leader Christy Lin. “We just taught ourselves, and we do the best we can. We [feel] we can do something for God. We are so happy for that.” 

The group is one of many that will perform at the Eucharistic Revival, to be held in Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Among those who will provide entertainment on the stadium’s tennis court, assembled to reflect the diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, will be a 75-member diocesan-wide choir and a Lion Dance Group. 

Based in a neighborhood where over half the community identifies as Asian, according to the NYU Furman Center, St. Michael’s has large communities of Hispanic and Asian Catholics, and it holds several Chinese cultural events throughout the year.

“It’s certainly very empowering to see these faithful women. They did it because of their faith. They were afraid to begin, they were nervous, but they came together and they faithfully practiced every week,” said Father Vincentius Do, the pastor.

Among those women is Susan Pan, who marches at the back of the drum line, a position reserved for the strongest drummers. She’s been a parishioner at St. Michael for a year and a half and joined the drum corps at the suggestion of a friend. She said being among women from her own culture reinforces her belief that she has found the right place to pray. 

“Now I have the thinking that [I can] show some culture as well as praying,” she said.

On the day of the revival, Father Do will lead a procession through the streets of Flushing, leaving St. Michael’s early in the morning to walk with parishioners to the stadium. He’s been spreading the word about the celebration and is looking forward to the opportunity to take the faith to the streets. 

“We will wake the whole neighborhood up and we will walk there joyfully to give glory to God and to bless our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament,” Father Do said.