08/24/2010, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Plans submitted for the reconstruction of the National Shrine of La Vang

by J.B. Vu
There are 12 plans, drawn up by Catholic and non-Catholic architects. They will be exhibited in Hue, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The shrine will be built along Vietnamese lines.

Hue (AsiaNews) – Plans for the reconstruction of the national Marian shrine of La Vang have been chosen. Twelve plans were presented Aug. 21 by the Secretary of the Committee for the sacred art of the Vietnamese bishops' conference. They are the work of Catholics and non Catholic architects who enthusiastically participated in the tender for the reconstruction of the National Centre for Marian pilgrimages.

In an expression of love for "Our Lady of La Vang”, the sanctuary building’s will be based on Vietnamese culture. The built environment and construction must be in harmony with the surrounding communities.

Launching the tender Archbishop Etienne Nguyen Nhu The of Hue diocese stressed that "we had the opportunity to participate in meetings with small and large tenders and scientific workshops on religious art, but this is the first time that we have taken part in a competition that not only is a course in art and science, but also a celebration of beauty and our desire to make a gift to God and Mother Mary. Truly this is the first time I have attended a meeting on the science of sacred art”.

Father Vincent Pham Trung Thanh, Redemptorist provincial superior and secretary of the Committee for sacred art has raised hopes that " exhibitions of the projects will be organized in the Archdiocese of Hue, Hanoi and Saigon. After the exhibits, if a plan is chosen, we will put it on the  agenda of the Episcopal Conference plenary, scheduled for October in the archdiocese of Saigon. The work and construction will begin after the end of the Jubilee Year for the Church of Vietnam., which marks the 350th anniversary of the Church in Vietnam and the 50th anniversary of the hierarchy, and which concludes on 6 January 2011, at La Vang”.

"Our journey – concludes Mgr. Nguyen Nhu The - is still long and we expect many difficulties, but the past and present of the Vietnamese Church give us hope and faith in the future. "
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