Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - In the first week of Lent, 782 catechumen from 43 parishes took part in the Mass celebrated at the pastoral centre of the Diocese of Ho Chi Minh City. On Easter, 264 of them will be baptised. Card Jean Baptist Phạm Minh Mẫn, Auxiliary Bishop Nguyễn Văn Khảm, priest, religious and catechists took part in the prayer services.
The new catechumens are different in terms of education, profession and social standing. Some are lecturers of state universities; others are workers, students or ordinary citizens. They came to God by marrying Catholics, through prayers to God, introduced by other people, friends, participating in charitable works and social activities, or attending activities at parish-level Catholic associations.
Ho Chi Minh City Science University graduate K. Vinh is preparing to wed Peter. She said, "To have a good life, we need to have the same faith, so our children will also believe in the Lord."
N. Hồng, who is studying at the Commercial and Industrial College, is also "learning about God after he joined the Đất Việt prayer group".
V. Cường was born in 1960 in An Giang Province. He was baptised in 2011 and married with Catholic woman at Trung Chánh Parish of Hốc Môn District in Hồ Chí Minh City. "I have participated in prayers group at my community," he said. "Through Jesus' love, I have come to God and believe in his power. He has cured serious diseases of many people".
Paul T. Văn, from Francis Xavier Parish, is also a new Catholic. "To understand and live according to the Word of God, I must pray for myself and new catechumens so that He can help and consolidates our faith," he said.
"I am very happy because of there are many new catechumens who want to join with our diocese family," Card Phạm Minh Mẫn told participants. "All your witnesses and opinions have helped me convince more that God's Love is for everyone in society. God seeds his word, good news, and faith in the world and the lands of Vietnam. To develop the seeds we must pray, make friends, engage in charitable work, and act well towards one another with Jesus' Love."