The non-resident pontifical representative has urged Catholics in Hai Phong dioceseto study Church teaching and witness the Good News. About 3,000 Catholics in traditional dress welcomed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli at the Cathedral in Hai Phong yesterday. The visiting archbishop concelebrated Mass with Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hai Phong and 50 priests. People have the duty to do missionary work, especially laypeople, he said. “To evangelize people effectively, you all should study the Bible and Church teachings and bear witness to Christian values in your daily life,” he said. The Vatican envoy also met 50 priests and 150 seminarians and Religious at the bishop’s house. He urged them to live a holy and humble life by following the examples of the late Vietnamese Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who was imprisoned for 13 years by the communist government. Archbishop Girelli urged priests to pray hard and regularly, recite the Divine Office, and regularly go to confession. He also encouraged them to fulfill their religious duties and take active part in pastoral activities to serve people. Bishop Thien said he hoped Archbishop Girelli’s visit would revive the spirit of evangelization among local Catholics and promote solidarity and understanding between the diocese and the Holy See. During his visit to the diocese June 9-12, Archbishop Girelli plans to visit four old parishes, a martyr shrine and Ha Long Bay.
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