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    » 06/30/2006, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Ho Chi Minh City: church celebrates new parish dedicated to children

    JB. Vu

    The church of St John the Baptist was completed and inaugurated with a solemn mass. Cardinal Pham Minh Man presided over the celebration and reminded the faithful about the importance of prayer and education of youth, the primary commitment of the new structure.

    Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – The Catholic community of An Thoi Dong this week celebrated the inauguration of its new Church, the parish of St John the Baptist. It has been described by Cardinal Jean Baptist Pham Minh Man as "the youngest community" in the diocese of Ho Chi Minh City. Sixty catechumens will be baptized here shortly.

    Celebrations included solemn mass presided over by Cardinal Man and celebrated by the bishop of the diocese, Mgr Van Nghi, as well as a meeting for the whole community.

    The new parish, which is Can Gio district, was born in 1993 thanks to the efforts of Fr Chan Tin of the Salvatorian Congregation: when it was set up, 12 people were baptized and now the community counts 483 members.

    Nowadays, the main commitment of the parish, with its church compound measuring 500 square metres, is tending to children. Forty disabled youth are assisted by volunteers, who also care for poor or neglected people who seek help to meet their basic needs there.

    One of the people who attended mass for the inauguration of the new structure, told AsiaNews: "The bishop of the diocese, Mgr Nicholas Huynh Van Nghi encourages and supports missionary and parish work: he was the one who gave money to buy the land. Cardinal Man was also of great help, visiting us and counselling us about the acquisition of land and construction of the church."

    He added: "It should also be said that many lay people were involved to reach the goal: this is a sign that the faithful of Ho Chi Minh City have changed their mentality about religious freedom, which they desire even more than before."

    At the end of the mass, the cardinal told the community: "I need your prayers as I need to return here often. If I am here now, I owe it to your prayers and for this I want to express my joy and gratitude today."

    "The first reason for which to be grateful is that thanks to the love of Christ, we managed to give this church to the community of An Thoi Dong," he continued. "The second reason is listening to young people sing with pure heart, headed for a happy life. It is with these hearts that we must commit ourselves to giving and developing the Word of God."

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    See also

    25/08/2006 VIETNAM
    North Vietnam: a diocese "saved" by prayer

    In Bac Ninh, Catholics survived for decades without priests who had fled communism. But lay people kept prayer alive. Today efforts are under way to transmit its value and importance to youth through an original initiative.



    23/02/2008 VIETNAM
    Ho Chi Minh City, Catholics at work against AIDS and prostitution
    The diocesan committee of pastoral and social activities has organised a meeting to assess the social activities of the Church: the first challenge is against AIDS, prostitution, and the drama of children on the streets.

    10/03/2009 VIETNAM
    Severe crisis for traditional model of Vietnamese family
    More people are divorcing, or separating into nuclear families. Preoccupation with making money is overshadowing concern for children's education. Since last year, the bishops have been urging family education. A pastoral letter from Cardinal Pham Minh Man.

    30/06/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Manila: "Mass for life" celebrates abolition of death penalty

    Those who lobbied for the abolition of the death penalty participated in the event. The bishop of Pasig urged the faithful not to forget detainees, who need a new way of living their lives.



    07/10/2006 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese church tells youth: first spiritual, then economic, development

    A big meeting was held in the diocese of Ho Chi Minh City for hundreds of young people from different parishes. Commitment to serving others and to fostering personal growth was stressed.





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