Updated: September 06, 2021 05:03 PM GMT
Caritas workers offer items of food to people in need in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo courtesy of tgpsaigon.net)
Catholic businesspeople in Vietnam's southern commercial hub are helping Covid-19 victims as a way to heed the Church's call to assist people in misery during the pandemic.
The Catholic Businesspeople Association based in Ho Chi Minh City said members were deeply moved by a letter from Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City calling on local Catholics to walk with and take tender care of those who have lost loved ones or been seriously affected by the pandemic.
"We are invited to fervently pray and actively live in close communion with the pastoral atmosphere in the archdiocese and together work to take hold of the hope before all people," they said in statement.
They called on association members, although their trades have also been hit by the recession caused by the outbreak, to make generous contributions to support people in need.
They plan to offer 3 million dong (US$132) each to families whose relatives have died of Covid-19 and to continue to provide free rice to families stricken by the pandemic.
"We all believe that our donations that are small but full of love will give strength and courage to poor people to overcome challenges in these hard times," they said in an announcement signed by Peter Do Tien Si, head of the association, and Father Joseph Ta Huy Hoang, who serves as its spiritual director.
It will take a long time to bring life back to normal even when the contagion is stemmed
The letter, published on Sept. 5, asked local parishes to provide the amount of food they need for the poor and lists of poor families who have lost their loved ones.
Since launching the program of spreading love among people hit by the pandemic in June, the association has provided 6.7 tonnes of rice for families each week. They also offer instant noodles, fish, medicine, face masks and bottles of disinfectant to people in need.
In his letter to the association, Archbishop Nang said he feels a great sense of elation as local entrepreneurs continue to give emergency aid to poor people during the pandemic.
The archbishop said many families have been aided to survive the hard times.
He said the coronavirus remains a high risk and no one knows when it will be contained. It will take a long time to bring life back to normal even when the contagion is stemmed.
He encouraged all people to work with one another to deal with serious problems as a direct consequence of the outbreak in the past months by caring for orphans and elderly people whose relatives have succumbed to Covid-19.
Founded in 2004 by Emeritus Cardinal Archbishop John Baptist Pham Minh Man, the association aims to assist businesspeople to do business based on Christian values and contribute to building the local Church into a family of love and service after divine mercy.
Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s Covid-19 epicenter, is home to 4.5 million people affected by the outbreak needing humanitarian aid in coming months. The city has recorded 251,414 infections and 10,320 deaths since the Delta variant outbreak started in late April.