Hanoi, a new pastoral centre for the archdiocese
Inaugurated at theend of teh Bishops' Conference Plenary Assembly. A large building at the service of formation and evangelisation that will host the local Synod next month. The bishops also thanked the communities of the Vietnamese diaspora "for their love of the Church and the motherland".
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - In Hanoi, the new headquarters of the archdiocese's pastoral centre has been officially inaugurated, a large 12-storey building that will become the heart of the local Church's activities in the great metropolis of northern Vietnam.
The opening took place on 7 October, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, with a concelebration attended by all the country's bishops, at the conclusion of their 15th General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference, held in the previous days in the presence of the Pope's representative for Vietnam, Msgr. Marek Zalewski.
The Mass, celebrated in St Joseph's Cathedral, was attended by several thousand faithful, who followed the celebration from the outside through big screens. "The pastoral centre is a work of faith and solidarity in the big family of the archdiocese," said Hanoi Archbishop Monsignor Joseph Vu Van Thien, who leads a Catholic community of about 350,000 faithful.
The new facility - located next to the cathedral and the seminary - will be the focal point of the diocesan community, also hosting meetings and retreats for local priests, religious and lay people, as well as housing the diocesan offices. It is equipped with a 400-seat auditorium, a library and over 200 guest rooms precisely to foster the possibility of growing in the knowledge of Jesus and in solidarity in order to proclaim the Gospel to one's brothers and sisters.
The complex also exhibits some memories of the history of evangelisation and the life of Christian communities in Vietnam. For his part, Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City, who was elected president of the Bishops' Conference by the assembly, announced that in November, the pastoral centre in Hanoi will host a synod, which will take up the legacy of the Ke So Council, an event that marked the history of the Church in Vietnam 110 years ago.
The new pastoral centre in Hanoi is a sign of the vitality of the Vietnamese Catholic community. In this regard, the Bishops' Conference launched a three-year pastoral plan that will focus on three major issues: strengthening communion (2023); promoting participation in the life of the Church (2024); and proclaiming the Gospel together (2025). The bishops also approved the translation of the entire New Testament by the Biblical Commission; and a pilot project of a digital library of religious texts at the service of the local Churches.
Finally, in the final document of their Assembly, the Vietnamese bishops address an affectionate and grateful greeting to the diaspora communities. "Thank you for always having loved the Church and the motherland of Vietnam," they write, "expressing this love with concrete gestures. May the Lord bless you and sustain you in your daily life'.