ASIA NEWS REPORT: by J.B. Vu
The faithful of Ho Chi Minh City welcome message from Benedict XVI’s in Vietnamese and dedicated to Assisi Word Day. Redemptorist Priest: Prayer is the means to contribute to peace. Christian activist: social work through the proclamation of the Good News.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - In the month dedicated to the Rosary, Vietnamese Catholics are praying to Our Lady for peace in the country and the world. The intentions of the faithful follow the indications given by Pope Benedict XVI - in a message in Vietnamese - recently read in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City and dedicated to the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, scheduled for October 27. Under the spirit of communion, the local community has initiated charitable and social activities, meetings devoted to promoting inter-religious dialogue between and organized joint activities among Catholics, government officials and citizens of other religions or atheists.
This year marks the 25th World Day of Prayer, celebrated for the first time in 1986 by Pope John Paul II. On the occasion of the anniversary, Pope Benedict will hold a special meeting to be attended by some representatives of major world religions. To meet the expectations of Benedict XVI, Vietnamese Catholics - priests and laity – are reciting the rosary with a special intention for peace and social justice in the country and around the world.
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr Vincent Pham Trung Thanh, Redemptorist provincial superior of the Ho Chi Minh City, said that "prayer is the means to contribute to peace and to lead us on the path of righteousness." Through prayer, the priest continues, it is possible to "strengthen the faith" and "bring peace to the world." "The love of God – he says - is the support of our spiritual strength. Prayer will help in the dialogue with our brothers and sisters. " And he concludes: "we can make our appeal for peace and justice in many ways," including "serving others, especially the poor."
Mrs. Grace a Christian active in social work, is committed to helping "street vendors, the disabled, elderly and poor." The woman, of U.S. origin, points out that by "loving one another, we may witness the Good News" because "one of the best ways to evangelize is to integrate with the Vietnamese culture." In recent days, a Buddhist nun named Thích nữ Hương Nhủ held a meeting at the Pastoral Center of the former Saigon, which was attended by 200 Catholics. The woman spoke richness of heart as an element that enhances everyone's life, a spiritual treasure, she added, that "is totally different from material goods."