ASIA/VIETNAM – The precious contribution of consecrated life to evangelization and charity
Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) – Consecrated persons in Vietnam are called to a constant renewal of spiritual life and to a joyful missionary ministry to manifest the teaching of Jesus, present his face and spread the Gospel to others. This is what emerges from the meeting “Religious in the parish community” held by Father Alphonso Pham Hung, within the framework of the pre-synodal process, organized in recent days in the Archdiocese of Hanoi. Many members of religious institutes and congregations from across the Archdiocese attended the meeting, in the presence of Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien. Those present shared the difficulties encountered in parishes and in relations with religious institutes, indicating ways to harmonize the rhythm of life of the religious community and that of the life of the parish community. The participants called for full cooperation between religious, priests and laity to “serve together salvation and the proclamation of the Gospel in the parish”. In particular, the missionary perspective emerged, and all those present expressed the desire to develop missionary ministry more effectively. Bishop Joseph Thien thanked the consecrated persons and shared the expectation of the Archdiocese of Hanoi for greater involvement of men and women religious in apostolic activities. Bishop Joseph called on men and women religious to “show the world that God exists through their life and their mission”. And he continued: “The current social context is marked by great challenges and suffering. In this context, each religious person accomplishes his mission with joy. As Pope Francis said: where there is a consecrated person, there is joy”. The clerics have made a valuable contribution in times of pandemic, Archbishop Marek Zalewski, Nonresident Apostolic Nuncio in Vietnam, recalled in another meeting at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Hochiminh during one of his pastoral visits. The Nuncio mentioned the many priests, religious and volunteers who served the Covid-19 patients. “What you do for the sick, the vulnerable, is for Jesus Christ himself,” he said.
The Archbishop of Hochiminh city, Mgr. Joseph Nguyen Nang observed that “the suffering and the sick, in addition to care, need spiritual comfort and the work of volunteers and religious has given them hope. It is an authentic Gospel witness. God uses his Church to bring his love to humanity”.
Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang received the pallium on February 19 in the cathedral of the city of Hochiminh during a celebration presided over by Bishop Zalewski within the framework of the pastoral visit of the Nuncio to Vietnam. (AD/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 02/23/2021)