Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh (center), Buddhists and other participants watch a cultural performance at the anniversary event on Dec. 31. (Photo supplied)
Government officials and people of other faiths have commended nuns and health-care givers from a charity clinic for giving love and care to poor patients in central Vietnam for the past 25 years.
Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh of Hue, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, along with several priests concelebrated a special Mass to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Kim Long Charity Clinic run by the Daughters of Mary Immaculate in Hue City on Dec. 31.
Around 200 physicians, patients, volunteers, benefactors, sisters, Buddhist monks and nuns, and representatives of the local government and NGOs attended the ceremony.
The clinic cares for the elderly, disabled, and people in remote areas. It trains teachers in simple medical treatment from local day care centers, looks after people with HIV/AIDS in their homes, and offers free food to patients at hospitals.
Archbishop Linh said “The clinic serves as a meeting place where people of goodwill work together to console patients and marginalized people.”
Doctor Le Thi Gio, who has worked for the clinic since 2006, said it creates an atmosphere of love among doctors and patients.
“We respect and treat patients like our relatives. I am deeply grateful to the nuns who offer us opportunities to work with poor people here,” Gio said.
As well as the nuns, 40 health-care givers from various faiths serve the clinic. They provide medical treatment including acupuncture and physiotherapy to 150 patients per day.
Sister Benedictine Nguyen Thi Dien, one of two sisters who founded the clinic in 1992, said at first they used three living rooms in the mother-house to look after patients. Later the government returned their convent and they built the clinic. Foreign benefactors helped install medical equipment.