Evangelisation promoted in tiny sub-parishes


Evangelisation doesn’t depend on big parishes, says Hanoi’s Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien. Even tiny ones, like those with just 70-200 parishioners each, can still evangelise others.

The way Catholics live out their faith is what’s important, he says. They should trust in God, who always loves and blesses them. They should also try to bring divine love to people around them.

“We should try our best to promote charity work and give witness to the faith in our daily lives,” he explained during a pastoral visit to four tiny parishes last week.

“Evangelisation does not mean to do major things but to live a good and simple life.”

Build happy families, offer faith education to children, be honest in your livelihood, stay clear of drug abuse and treat drug abusers with love and respect.

Thien is the first archbishop to have visited one of the sub-parishes for a century or more. Welcomed with drums and trumpets, the 160-member Catholic community swelled so much that Thien had to celebrate an open-air Mass: the church was too small to accommodate the hundreds of visitors.

He praised the local people for properly maintaining their faith during decades of hard times and for producing a priest. This is despite hardships such as when their part of Vietnam was under communist control, the land reform system, religious restrictions and the Vietnam War were the order of the day.

“We come here to profess the faith and I am here to encourage all of you to be brave in your life of faith,” he said.

Thien’s pastoral visits are part of this year’s archdiocese-wide programme for “year of evangelisation”.

Other plans include introducing the Legion of Mary at parishes. Thien is calling on all parishes to have the Marian association do evangelisation work.

Hanoi Archdiocese, serves 330,000 Catholics out of a population of 10 million.


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News category: Palmerston, World.

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