Redemptorists in Saigon: we help veterans, abandoned for 41 years
by Trung Thanh

Over the past three years, the congregation has given support to over 3 thousand former soldiers of South Vietnam, wounded or maimed. "It is not a political choice: we help them because of our faith." Since their arrival in Vietnam in 1921, the Redemptorists work in favor of the poor and marginalized.


Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - In the last three years, the Congregation of the Redemptorists in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) has taken care of more than 3 thousand former soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam, wounded and maimed during the civil war. "We do not help the wounded soldiers out of  a political choice - said Fr. Vincent Pham Trung Thanh - but because of our faith. These maimed soldiers have been abandoned for 41 years [since the end of the Vietnam War, 1975 ed.] In addition, their families and children have been discriminated against by society. Now they are happy because they are treated as human beings. "

Since their arrival in Vietnam in 1921, the Redemptorists have been active in proclaiming the Gospel and in society, working on behalf of the poor and marginalized, and despite the attacks and the restrictions imposed by the government in Hanoi. Following Pope Francis, according to whom "the faith and the poor are two inseparable entities", the religious have especially taken to heart the needy and the destitute of society.

In addition to activities with the veterans of the Civil War, the congregation organizes small protection of life projects in various dioceses. In particular, says Fr. Vincent, "we meet young women and single mothers, to discuss issues related to respect for life and human protection. We appreciate and respect the 'single mothers'. They had the courage to have their children: for this we have no prejudice against them nor do we judge them. When these young people (aged 15 to 18 years old) feel afraid, hey risk throwing away their innocent children".