Catholics gathered in Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Nghệ An. Together with Thừa Thiên-Huế, the territories have been the scene of the most serious environmental disaster in the history of the country. The commitment of Msgr. Nguyễn Thái Hợp for the victims.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Together with their families, thousands of disabled people (Catholics and non-Catholics) are taking part in the celebrations dedicated to them by the diocese of Vinh, in central Vietnam. Among the poorest in the country, the diocese covers three provinces: Quảng Bình, Hà Tĩnh and Nghệ An. The first of the three events, organized by the local bishop, Msgr. Paul Nguyễn Thái Hợp, took place on November 8th in the province of Hà Tĩnh, with the theme "Trái Tim Nhân Ái" (Kind Heart and Love). It saw the participation of 900 disabled people and preceded the celebrations of Quảng Bình (15 November), followed by those of Nghệ An (29 November).
Together with that of Thừa Thiên-Huế, the provinces of the diocese have been the scene of the most serious environmental disaster in the history of the country. In April 2016, a steel company of the Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics Group released toxic chemical compounds in the port waters of the province of Hà Tĩnh, bringing down the fishing and tourism industry in central Vietnam. Even today, millions of people suffer the consequences of the tragedy.
As president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Episcopal Conference, Msgr. Nguyễn Thái Hợp has repeatedly expressed the Church's support for the affected populations. He has also been at the forefront in a commitment to defending their rights and ensuring assistance. For this reason, the Catholic community of Vinh is linked to the prelate by a sentiment of esteem and affection. Mr. XN declares to AsiaNews: "In the context of a very hard life, Msgr. Paul continues to be very interested in the poor, disabled people, especially children, and those who are affected by natural disasters every year ".
Many of the young people and volunteers of the diocese have done pastoral work and social activities in favor of the children of Tân Vĩnh, in the town of Nghèn Town (Hà Tĩnh). The social worker Teresa Hường says: "Through the festival of disabled people, the faithful are aware of the stories and take care of those in their community who live in the most difficult conditions. The event has shown a spirit of communion of love that alleviates the pain of the less fortunate ". Some of the volunteers of the diocese declare: "We hope that each of these celebrations will bring a new wind" to the community: a wind of love, understanding and faith in the truth ".