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» 07/24/2006
VIETNAM
In southern Vietnam Church increasingly present among troubled youth
by JB. VU
Volunteers and street counsellors work among kids abandoned by their families, trying to survive in a materialist society.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – Although Catholics still suffer discrimination in Communist Vietnam, the Church's pastoral activities have grown by leaps and bounds thanks to the work of laymen and women, especially among the young. They provide a moral compass to those who live separate from their families.

In Vietnam's Communist society, Catholics must be steadfast in their faith. Recently in the southern part of the country, a Young People Conference was held in Phan Thiet that brought together thousands of young people.  A Congress for the Family in Saigon Archdiocese also saw some 5,000 people come together. Both events are symptomatic of the laity's fervour and care for the Church.

In Can Tho diocese some 50 street counsellors operate among street kids. Similarly, in the town of Cao Lanh 25 Catholic volunteers work with troubled children. And in most of these cases, the kids come from broken homes, surviving shining shoes, selling lottery tickets or performing manual tasks for local store owners, not to mention those who wait at bus stops to relieve passengers of their wallets.

The children and kids are deprived of love. They bear the burden of the "world" all alone, without parents worrying about them. Most end up falling into a life of dissolution.

"In this day and age, fathers are absent and mothers work," some of the volunteers told AsiaNews. "The family unit is weak. everyone lives in their own little world. Young people are like islands stranded in their own thoughts and emotions. But our pastoral and social work is bringing the Word of God to them. We can help them to be free from the temptations of a materialist society."


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See also
05/17/2006 VIETNAM
Catholic youth accompany abandoned children
by Thanh Thao
02/27/2007 VIETNAM
Social action heralds faith in Ho Chi Minh City
04/02/2009 VIETNAM
Social activities promote inter-faith dialogue between Vietnamese Buddhists and Catholics
by J.B. VU
02/23/2008 VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City, Catholics at work against AIDS and prostitution
by JB Vu
07/17/2006 VIETNAM
Catholic education trying to stop family crisis in Vietnam
by JB Vu

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Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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