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Caritas Japan quake appeal in full swing

Vietnamese Catholics gather to provide spiritual and material assistance

Massgoers donating money to earthquake victims at Notre Dame Cathedral on April 3 Massgoers donating money to earthquake victims at Notre Dame Cathedral on April 3
  • ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh city
  • Vietnam
  • April 6, 2011
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Catholics in southern Vietnam are contributing and encouraging others to contribute to an ongoing Caritas campaign to provide spiritual and material support to earthquake victims in Japan.

Caritas in Ho Chi Minh City launched the campaign on March 23 and will continue the effort up until Easter.

Local Catholics are urged to pray and donate money for the quake and tsunami victims during this time.

Donation boxes have been placed in 200 local churches where local Catholics have been gathering to pray.

Marie Vy Thi Theu from Thanh Da parish said local Catholics attended a special prayer gathering for victims, lit candles and put flowers on the church’s altar recently.

“We prayed for the dead to be with God and for the survivors to overcome challenges and their lives to return to normal soon,” Theu, 73, said.

“We also offered money to victims as a show of our solidarity with them, our brothers and sisters,” the mother of 10 said.

Many more people started putting money into the church donation boxes after recent weekend Masses.

Marie Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhung, a businesswoman, said she donated money after attending Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral on April 3.

“We have to help Japanese victims who badly need support,” Nhung said.

She said she is also inviting other businesspeople to make donations.

Nhung, 57, said the campaign is giving Vietnamese people an opportunity to show their love and express sympathy for people regardless of their nationality or faith.

Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man said the Catholic Church in Japan has provided great support for the local Church in the past so “it is time we expressed our solidarity and gratitude to our friends.”

Cardinal Man said the local Church plans to hand over all donations to Caritas Japan soon after Easter.

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