Priests and lay people engaged in mission in the Mekong River Delta
Before the epidemic, the Diocese of Mỹ Tho held a day of Mass and prayers for 1,200 catechumens in the local cathedral. Mr Chính is a unique case. A former secretary of the local party committee, he was baptised and became a Catholic. He said he gave up all his material interests to become a Catholic. Today, his family is happy to be in God's grace.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – Four Catholic dioceses in the Mekong River Delta region continued their missionary work with enthusiasm and humility in July and August despite the COVID-19 epidemic.
As part of this, the Evangelisation Committee of the Vietnamese Episcopal Council organised a two-day seminar on missionary work for the dioceses in the so-caller Water Area. many people came from the dioceses of Long Xuyên, Vĩnh Long, Cần Thơ and Mỹ Tho.
Before the epidemic, the Diocese of Mỹ Tho held a day for Mass and prayers for 1,200 catechumens in the local cathedral. It was an opportunity to meet Bishop Phêrô (Peter) Nguyễn Văn Khảm. The catechumens were helped to learn and come close to Catholicism.
Mr Võ and Mr Andre Andreng from Vạn Phước parish expressed joy at learning and understanding Catholicism and talked about the blessings of praying to God and Our Lady.
Mr Chính’s case is unique. A former secretary of the local party committee, he was baptised and became a Catholic. He said he gave up all his material interests to become a Catholic. Today, his family is happy to be in God's grace.
In the Diocese of Cần Thơ, priests and lay people share in the missionary work. Father Ngô Phúc Hậu serves at the Cái Rắn missionary centre in Cà Mau, Diocese of Cần Thơ where he celebrated the baptism of more than 2,000 people.
During his ministry, he helped people build more than 4,790 concrete roads, 20 canal bridges, 60 homes for the poor and a medical room, dig 200 wells for clean water, at a cost of about US$ 5,000. He also provided scholarships to poor students worth US$ 10,000 per year.
Thanks to his past missionary activities, Bishop Phêrô (Peter) Huỳnh Văn Hai of Vĩnh Long positively evaluated the missionary work in the Diocese, in the spirit of baptism: “Here I am, I said; send me!” (Is 6:8).
The prelate offered his thoughts about how to integrate into the community, stressing the missionary work of local Catholics.
The missionary work begins when neighbours see how Christians live with their faith.
“The mission starts with proclaiming the Good News so that people may believe, live with faith, with the word of God, be saved by Christ and return to Christ,” said Bishop Huỳnh Văn Hai. To achieve this, “we must have patience and engage in dialogue.”
In the four large dioceses, local Catholics share the same farming-based culture with members of other religions.
Over the recent past, missionaries have been planting the seeds of the Gospel in the area. They expanded many mission centres, and got involved in works in the public interest.
They visited local communities, built schools and taught young people whilst maintaining friendly relations with local authorities.