07/02/2010, 00.00
VIETNAM
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First training course for Caritas workers in Hai Phong

by J.B. Vu
To the 80 participants Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien says that charity is not a secondary commitment of the Church, but one of its fundamental elements, with the announcement of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments.

Hai Phong (AsiaNews) - Charity is one of the cornerstones of the action of the Church, it is an expression of love that we must have toward each other, if we want to build a just society.  This is what has emerged from the first training course on "Social Work and Community" organized by the Diocese of Hai Phong for 80 members of the parish Caritas (pictured).

The participants were different in age, knowledge, work environments, but with a shared "love and service to the faithful and parishes".

Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien, of Hai Phong revealed that "many people misunderstand the practice of charity. They think it is a secondary commitment of the Church. This is not right. Indeed, charity is the essence of the Church of today. Three elements comprise the essence of the Church and its activity: the proclamation of the Word of God, the celebration of the sacraments and the practice charity and love of one another. "

Speaking to AsiaNews, some participants said "Before, we thought that if we had money we had to make gestures of charity and social activities. Now we realize that we must love one another and be in communion with parishes, priests and the local church”.

Father Joseph Nguyen Xuan Dai, who spent 16 years in prisons of the regime and now is vice president of Caritas Committee for the diocese revealed that "if we want a just, democratic and civilized society we must share Christ’s love with each other. He loves us and teaches us that we must love one another".

Some participants spoke to AsiaNews about how they had done charitable work "when we were children within the Catholic parish associations. Now we understand and can perform charitable and social activities for parishes and small communities, with love and solidarity and achieve better results".

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