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Musical deacon strikes note of charity in Vietnam

Composer John Mary Teresa Vu Thanh An uses all royalties from his tours and donations to provide rice for elderly people

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

Published: March 29, 2021 05:00 PM GMT

Updated: March 30, 2021 09:35 AM GMT

Musical deacon strikes note of charity in Vietnam

Deacon John Mary Teresa Vu Thanh An visits a family in Thua Thien Hue province. (Photo: Family of St. Teresa in Hue)

In the past Tran Thi Coi had to sell tea, cigarettes and sweets at a local market and her only son, whose wife abandoned him and their paralyzed daughter, worked as a porter to support their three-member family. They suffered hunger and could not afford to repair their ramshackle house.

Coi, an 80-year-old Buddhist, said she gave up her only business due to her age and has lived on rice provided by the US-based Teresa Charities since 2017. The charity was founded by Vietnamese-American Permanent Deacon John Mary Teresa Vu Thanh An.

“We got 20 kilograms of love rice from the organization per month for the past years. We would not know how to live without the generous donation,” she said. “We are deeply grateful to Deacon An, who is kind and gentle.”

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She said they still receive food on an irregular basis even though the pandemic disrupted the organization’s constant support. Local volunteers who are inspired by Deacon An’s work continue to raise funds and provide basic food for beneficiaries.

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