Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - The future of mission in Vietnam is the protection of human life from its conception, and the promotion of activities and initiatives that help the weaker sections of the population, including the poor and children. With this regard Catholics are preparing to live the period of Lent in preparation for the Easter resurrection, alternating moments of prayer and encounter with concrete action in the social sector. In his pastoral letter for this time, Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man said that "it is a propitious time to renew our faith, as individuals in the community". He adds, the real change comes with "hearing the word of God, prayer and the practice of his teachings."
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Vincent Phạm Trung Thành, provincial superior of the Redemptorists in Saigon, speaks of the Christian period of "fasting and prayer", inviting the faithful to promote "activities in the social field", by serving the "poor and unfortunate children who live around us ".
In preparation for Lent, last week the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City organized a series of visits to medical centers and social assistance to the sick, which was also attended by Congolese Mgr. Jean Marie Mupendawatu, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral health care.
In several meetings with doctors, nurses, workers and volunteers, he said that "Vietnamese Catholics in the past have died for their faith and became martyrs," today and tomorrow, adds Msgr. Mupendawatu, the Catholics of Vietnam "must be prepared to die to protect life. This is the new mission field, the voice of the Gospel and evangelization of modern society."