12/09/2011, 00.00
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Vietnam, nuncio Girelli finishes his tour of all 26 dioceses

by Nguyen Hung
The Papal representative ends his tour of all the country’s diocese in Thanh Hoa. The diocese suffers especially the flight of young people seeking work in the south of the country or in the industrial cities.
Thanh Hoa (AsiaNews) – Nuncio Leopoldo Girelli, the non-resident papal representative in Vietnam, has completed his visits to all 26 dioceses in the country. From 1st to 3rd December, the Nuncio visited the Diocese of Thanh Hoa, where he was in the Cathedral parish as well as the parishes of Tam Tổng and Ba Làng. He also visited the Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross, spoke with the priests and religious of the diocese. Together with Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Chí Linh he also visited the mental health center where Gia Hà where he delivered gifts to patients.

The Diocese of Thanh Hóa has developed over the course of 80 years, with moments of great success and of crisis. Currently it has more than 80 priests and 138 thousand faithful. Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Chí Linh, said: "In the Diocese we have a congregation of the Lovers of the Cross and two communities of Saint Paul de Chartres. The percentage of Catholics in the province is 2.7% of the population. The mission territory is very large. We must also address the problem of the brain drain of our young human resources. Young people have no work, or what they earn is not enough to live on: more than ten thousand young people have left their homes throughout the diocese and parishes to seek work in South Vietnam or in the industrial cities".

On the afternoon of December 2 Archbishop Girelli has made a visit to the Gia Hà center of social protection, in the district of Quang Xuong. The Archbishop spoke to the Governing Council and the people who work in the center. "I am delighted and honored to visit you here. I thank Bishop Joseph, who organized the visit, so as to show clearly the friendship that exists between the church, its charities and communities. As a representative of the Pope I can testify to the concern of the Church to be always close to the poor, and its efforts to serve people more”.

Thanks to this visit, Archbishop Girelli has seen first hand and better understood the commitment of the local Church. The nuncio said: "Coming here, I understand that your bishop is very active. The community of God's people here are joyful, energetic, full of life ... and you had the courage to put the flags of the Vatican all over. This shows me that local communities are rich in faith communities. The new situation presents no small challenge. So our faith has to grow if it is to counter the secularization that we are facing today. "

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