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Vietnam Catholics urged to take care of orphans

More than 1,500 children have reportedly lost their parents during the Covid-19 pandemic

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

Published: October 05, 2021 10:53 AM GMT

Updated: October 05, 2021 11:27 AM GMT

Vietnam Catholics urged to take care of orphans

Priests and sisters meet government authorities before serving Covid-19 patients at hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo courtesy of tgpsaigon.net)  

Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City has urged Catholics to provide loving care for those suffering, especially children who have been orphaned by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 68-year-old prelate, who serves as the deputy of Vietnamese bishops, said over 1,500 children were reportedly orphaned by the Covid-19 virus but the actual number could be much higher.

Archbishop Nang noted that some orphans were being taken care of with the cooperation of parishes and some families and said it would be wonderful if they could sponsor or foster orphans for a long time.

He called on all orders, parishes and associations to take part in the pastoral care of orphans, which is important for their future as well as for social stability.

“I would like to ask all priests, pastoral councils and lay apostolic groups to look for the flock by visiting or calling them to know their circumstances and count how many patients, deaths, orphans and people who are in need, alone and left parishes,” Archbishop Nang said.

He said it is time the shepherds searched for the sheep and looked after them as good shepherds know their flock.

Archbishop Nang called on local people to strengthen their faith life by attending services after religious activities resumed

Archbishop Nang asked local people to comfort, encourage and support those who are wrapped up in misery. “A few words of encouragement and frequent visits will give them strength and mental energy to get up and keep walking.”

He said the local Catholic Businesspeople Association was offering financial support to some families, especially orphaned students, and will continue their help in the long term.

Archbishop Nang called on local people to strengthen their faith life by attending services after religious activities resumed after over four months of suspension due to the pandemic.

“For now, we have to accept the low attendance in churches because although the majority of local people have been vaccinated fully, the risk of infection is still high,” he said.

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He said in the future when activities return to normal, they should attend Masses and receive the Eucharist that is their divine life. They should not let their hearts get cold because of the long gap.

“We implicitly trust in the loving providence of our Heavenly Father and put our hope in the Risen Christ,” he said.

He called on local priests to celebrate a special Mass on Oct. 17 to pray for victims of the Covid-19 virus. Parishes will also hold Eucharistic adoration, recitation of rosaries and Divine Mercy on that day.

He said all Catholics shall fast and make sacrifices on Oct. 22 to atone for their sins as well as those of mankind and do charitable deeds to help the poor.

The two special days have been set aside for prayers by Vietnamese bishops. 

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