UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News


Vietnam diocese to offer pastoral care as virus eases

Lang Son-Cao Lang Diocese will launch a Week of Reconciliation on Good Shepherd Sunday

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

Updated: May 01, 2020 10:33 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Vietnam diocese to offer pastoral care as virus eases

Catholics attend a service in Holy Week at Lang Son Cathedral. (Photo courtesy of giaophanlangson.org)

Share this article :
Vietnam’s smallest diocese in terms of Catholic population is planning to offer pastoral work to Catholics as the government relaxes Covid-19 preventative measures.

Lang Son-Cao Lang Diocese will launch a Week of Reconciliation starting on May 3, Good Shepherd Sunday.

During the special week with the theme “On Shepherd Jesus’ Shoulder,” parishes will organize contrition rites and private confessions, and priests from one deanery can gather and hear confession at each parish. Catholics granted general absolution at Lent are required to go to private confession by canon law.

Father Vincent Vu Van Cong from the Lang Son Bishop’s House Office called on Catholics to increase charitable activities in the post-Covid-19 period as many families have had their trades and jobs severely affected, while patients, the disabled and the elderly are not given proper care, and students have problems in their studies.

The priest asked parishes to involve and train Catholic youths in carrying out charitable work as their mission.

Father Vincent Nguyen Van Nghiem, who is in charge of training pre-seminary students at Lang Son Bishop’s House, said that on May 1 all churches in Lang Son-Cao Lang Diocese rang bells at 5am and celebrated special Masses giving thanks to God and to one another for their survival of the pandemic.

Father Nghiem said many Catholics attended Masses and kept themselves one meter from one another. Each Mass lasting 30 minutes was attended by fewer than 20 people to help with social distancing.

The priest said catechism classes and other activities remain suspended.

Father Cong said Catholics also celebrated the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 and opened the traditional month of offering flowers to Mother Mary. They no longer attend online Masses provided by other dioceses.

Father Cong said the 107-year-old diocese, which is home to various ethnic groups in the two provinces of Cao Bang and Lang Son and part of Ha Giang province which borders China, did not hold online Masses during coronavirus measures imposed in late March.

The diocese on the periphery of northernmost Vietnam, serving 6,000 Catholics in 14 parishes and 13 mission stations, published a weekly booklet called Church at Family, which directs Catholics on how to reflect on the Bible and say prayers at homes. They daily gathered for prayer at 8pm and their householders offered the Eucharist to other family members.

Last week the dioceses of Da Lat, Ha Tinh, My Tho and Vinh resumed normal Masses with some restrictions.

On April 29, the Pastoral Institute in Ho Chi Minh City announced that it would reopen its classes on May 4. Students are asked to wear masks, wash hands and keep social distancing.

On April 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam had fundamentally driven back the pandemic. The Southeast Asian country has recorded no new community transmissions for the past 12 days.

He said the government would relax social distancing regulations for businesses to tackle unemployment for growth.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution