02/22/2021, 13.23
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Hải Phòng Caritas helping people affected by the pandemic during Lent

by Peter Tran

Church organisations have mobilised to offer help and support. The total cost of charitable and social work to help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has reached VND 254,500,000 (more than US$ 11,000), not enough to help thousands of patients, but a show of sincere love and hope for the people in the epidemic areas.


Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Hải Dương Province reported seven new cases of COVID-19 as of 19 February 2021, bringing the total to 582, this according to Vietnam’s Health Ministry.

Currently, Hải Dương Province has five major outbreaks in the cities of Chí Linh and Hải Dương, and the districts of Cẩm Giang, Kinh Môn, and Nam Sách.

At midnight 16 February, provincial authorities have imposed social distancing. In addition, the authorities and medical experts have set up 949 checkpoints in the province. At the same time, the authorities and health workers blocked 64 residential areas, nine villages, two municipalities and two wards in the city of Chí Linh.

Faced with the dangers of the epidemic, and in the spirit of charity and love of Lent 2021, Caritas in the Diocese of Hải Phòng is providing material and spiritual support to poor and unfortunate children who have been infected or are affected in some ways by the pandemic, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

By 6 February, Caritas in Hải Phòng rapidly provided rice to the poor, the lonely, the disabled, the blind, the deaf, orphans, etc.

Through Father Joseph Nguyễn Văn Hội, the Catholic charity delivered 250 gifts worth VND  37,500,000 (about US$ 1,630) to families in the Catholic community of Trần Nội parish, Phú Tảo, where everyone must respect social distancing.

Many other charitable and social activities have been organised in pandemic “hot spots” in Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh provinces.

In Nam Sách District (Hải Dương province), the pandemic has been better controlled. Father Antôn Vũ Ngọc Thạch, head of Caritas in Hả Dương, and the lay pastoral committee provided  poor families with gifts worth VND 5,000,000 (about US$ 220).

In Cẩm Giang District, acting for Caritas, Father Joseph Pham Van Tuan provided 150 gifts worth VND 45,000,000 (about US$ 2,000) to the poor, Catholic and non-Catholic, in the villages of Chi Lê and Phú Lộc, municipality of Tân Trường, districts of Cẩm Giang and Phú Lộc.

In the heart of Chí Linh city, there are two collection points for gifts. Father Inhaxio Đoàn Như Quý gave gifts to some poor families in Đáp Khê parish worth VND 5,000,000 (about US$ 220).

Also in Chí Linh, Father Joseph Nguyễn Kim Cương, on behalf of the diocesan Caritas, provided 90 gifts worth VND 27,000,000 (about US$ 1,175).

The situation is very complicated because of the outbreak. The gifts were sent to the quarantine centre and handed out by local authorities and medical staff to people under quarantine.

In Đông Triều, a city in Quảng Ninh Province, Father Joseph Nguyễn Mạnh Kỳ, head of Caritas in the town of Mạo Khê, provided 150 gifts worth VND 30,000,000 (about US$ 1,300).

In Kinh Môn, a city in Hải Dương Province, Father Joseph Bùi Xuân Thắng, vicar of the parish of Mỹ Động, provided 150 gifts on behalf of Caritas worth another VND 30,000,000 (about US$ 1,300).

Following recommendations by provincial authorities in Hải Dương to prevent and counter the spread of the pandemic, Father Joseph Dương Hữu Tình, vicar of Hải Dương parish, in charge Hải Dương County, on behalf of Caritas Hải Phòng, donated 100 boxes of masks worth VND 50,000,000 (approximately US$ 2,200) as well as 50 gifts worth about 25,000,000 VND (US$ 1,100) to the poor.

Overall, the cost of charitable and social work for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has reached VND 254,500,000 (more than US$ 11,000), not enough for thousands of patients, but a sign of sincere love and hope for the people in the affected areas.

Father Joseph Nguyễn Văn Vang, director of Caritas Hải Phòng, praised parish Caritas for their meticulous work and great patience during this very dangerous situation.

For Father Joseph, “Caritas members in the parishes also engage in charitable and social work for poor and unhappy children, Catholic and non-Catholic”.

Especially during Lent, many Caritas in the parishes of the Diocese of Hai Phong have mobilised resources for the elderly, poor, orphans, unfortunate children affected by the COVID-19 epidemic in the provinces of Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh.

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