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Vietnam's indigenous order marks 75th anniversary

Daughters of Miraculous Medal Congregation spreads the gospel among minorities in the Central Highlands

Vietnam's indigenous order marks 75th anniversary

Daughters of Miraculous Medal sisters sing hymns on April 17. (Photo courtesy of giaophankontum.com)

Published: April 19, 2022 05:08 AM GMT

Updated: April 19, 2022 11:10 AM GMT

The only congregation for ethnic women in Vietnam's Central Highlands is celebrating 75 years of bringing God's love to ethnic communities.

On April 17, Bishop Aloisius Nguyen Hung Vi of Kontum presided at a special Mass to open the jubilee year marking the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Daughters of Miraculous Medal Congregation, the only religious order designed for ethnic minority women in the country.

Some 30 priests joined the ceremony attended by hundreds of people and the sisters’ relatives.

Bishop Vi said the congregation based in Kontum City took the road of the Cross for decades since its establishment in 1947, when the country was in great difficulties in the aftermath of World War II, and during the following war and political disorder in Vietnam.

He said its members suffered a severe lack of food, training, young vocations and facilities but God offered them necessary graces to develop as they are today and bring happiness to other people. 

Sister Miryam Y Ai, superior of the congregation, said the ceremony was an opportunity to look back on their ways of walking with the local Church and drawing salutary lessons to prepare plans for local evangelization.

The nun said all members are called to be signs of love and Christ’s resurrection in their daily life to bring happiness and peace to local ethnic groups

She said the jubilee year, which will conclude on Nov. 27, the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, is a good time for them to express their deep gratitude to the ancestors who dedicated themselves to build and develop the congregation.

The nun said all members are called to be signs of love and Christ’s resurrection in their daily life to bring happiness and peace to local ethnic groups.

Founded in Easter 1947 by the late Bishop Jean Sion Kham, the order gathers ethnic women to do evangelization work, improve the material and spiritual life of ethnic groups, and offer proper education and health care to children, lepers, women and people with physical disabilities. They also teach traditional music and weaving to young people as a way to protect their traditions and cultures.

They care for some 650 orphans and abandoned children at six centers.

The congregation now has 191 ya — the Bahnar word meaning sister — in 31 communities. They are from seven ethnic groups.

Kontum Diocese serves 250,000 ethnic people out of 359,000 Catholics in the provinces of Gia Lai and Kon Tum.

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