1,200 Vietnamese priests on mission in 100 countries worldwide
by J.B.Vu
4 thousand others work at home. The data pointed out by Card. Pham Minh Man in a meeting for the Year for Priests,, described as "an opportunity to build a 'new life' in the priestly family, community, society and the Church."

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – There are 5,200 Vietnamese priests, 1,200 of whom carry out their mission in more than 100 countries worldwide. The figure, part of a growing Vietnamese clergy, was highlighted by the Cardinal of Ho Chi Minh City, Joseph Phan Minh Man, during a meeting that brought together in the archdiocese of Saigon bishops and priests of 10 diocese.

More than a thousand priests (559 of the diocese of Xuan Loc and 662 from Saigon) in late May, gave an exhibition of their work experience, pastoral activities and brought to light the way to work for a "new life". Bishops and priests of My Tho, Long Xuyen, Can Tho, Vinh, Saigon, Xuan Loc, Phu Cuong, Phan Thiet, Da Lat and Ba Ria were present.

"We are meeting - said the Cardinal Pham Minh Man – during the Year for Priests, which is an opportunity to build a 'new life' in the priestly family, community, society and the Church. From this point of view, the priesthood will be service for hope, justice, love and peace of Jesus. "

Priests and bishops have expressed their thoughts as “experiences of the flowering and maturing of the Word of God ": experiences of mission, how to put God's Word into action, how to listen, how to pray or show that these beliefs are not only expressed in "words" but "also in lifestyles and pastoral activities”.

The cardinal also discussed the development of the "Levi Family", which gathers together the Vietnamese priests. In 1668 (332 years ago) there were only about four clerics. In 1770 (after 102 years) there were 44 (increased 11-fold) and in 1800 that number had grown three times over. In 1963 there were about 1200 and now there are 5200, 4 thousand of whom live and work in Vietnam and 1,200 who live and work abroad.

Therefore, during the "Hoi Ngo (the meeting), cardinal, bishops and priests present thanked God, because historical events have made Vietnamese priests messengers of the Good News around the world. At one time, the messengers of Good News came from Europe to Vietnam, now in the 21st century, the Vietnamese priests to have become messengers of the Good News in more than one hundred countries around the world.