07/14/2014, 00.00
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Evangelizing the family and contributing to society: the mission of Thanh Hải Catholics

by NH

A reality with almost 6 thousand faithful, active in the children’s education, support for the poor and the sick. A father stresses the importance of parents' example of "strong faith" for their children. In 40 years, the parish has given the Church 16 local priests, nine Religious, 17 nuns and 10 seminarians.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - The father of the family must be "of good example of strong faith" and, together with their wives, educate their children, "to the humanities and religion". This is what Mr. Son, a parent from Thanh Hải Catholic parish in the Diocese of Phan Thiet, the capital city of the province of Binh Thuan, in South Vietnam told AsiaNews.

The man has seven children: "Together with my wife we have guided them in the love of Jesus, always helping them in their material and spiritual needs. Now my oldest son - he adds with a surge of pride - is a priest, dedicated to the pastoral care of a parish in a remote area of the Diocese of Phan Thiet. In this way parents can be an integral part of the mission of the local Church".

The parish of Thanh Hải, founded in 1955, has a population of at least 5,936 faithful, many of whom originate in the community of Ba Làng and Sầm Sơn (Thanh Hóa diocese), who fled to the south after the Geneva Accords of 1954 that marked the division in two of Vietnam. Today there are also Catholics in di Quảng Binh and Kiến An, Vinh diocese. Their contribution is valuable both in the process of economic development, as in the task of evangelization in the parish and throughout the diocese.

Many associations have been established by the Church: the Association of Catholic mothers, the Association of Family Father's, youth committees, educational centers for children, groups of catechists, the Legionaries of Christ and many others . Each year, 40 members of the Pastoral Committee organize catechism classes and courses for baptismal candidates, pre-marital courses for future couples in the lead up to their marriage

Thanks to the contributions of the parish, at least 3 thousand poor children and young people in the area have had the opportunity to study. And, despite the atheist socialist system, promoted by the state, in 40 years the same parish has "contributed" to the mission of the Church producing 16 priests, nine men religious, 17 nuns and 10 seminarians.

Mr. Anh, a local administration official, reports that "the majority of the inhabitants of Thanh Hải is Catholic and I'm proud of them." In addition to being "good Catholics" they are also "good citizens" who have many skills which they make available to the local community, to contribute in particular to the needs of the rural poor.

Today there are small projects targeted for fishing villages, schooling programs, initiatives to prevent diseases and social problems, especially among young people. The parish pastoral Commission has set up charity services to help children in need, the poor, the sick, the elderly and abandoned people.


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