Although all religious schools, including Catholic and Buddhist ones, have been banned from providing educational services for nearly 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, Catholics in southern Vietnam unite to provide material and emotional support to candidates taking annual college entrance exams.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In 2009, Sr. Mai Thanh of Our Lady welcomed a practical suggestion from the France-based Fraternité Chrétienne Vietnam Cambodge Laos that has made a difference in how people in Ho Chi Minh City receive health care.
The nonprofit, which also provides scholarships for young doctors from northern Vietnam to further their studies in France, proposed that she look for a local partner to help set up a charity clinic.
A diocese in southern Vietnam has excommunicated a young priest who was accused of teaching false beliefs against the Catholic faith.
At his installation today, the new archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese said bishops need to meet Jesus so as to serve the church effectively.
Some 650 catechumens from 32 parishes attended a special ceremony led by Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese at the pastoral center on March 30. Over 350 people among them are expected to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation to become Catholics on this year’s Easter Vigil, April 19.
Some of them shared their faith experiences with NCR.
Major seminaries are erecting new buildings and upgrading basic facilities to meet the growing need of giving priestly formation to students in Vietnam. This comes amid a relaxation of seminary enrollment rules by the government.
Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese told NRC that in recent years the government has eased its limitations on recruitment, priestly ordination and the reshuffling of priests.
Healthcare in Vietnam is difficult to access, especially for the poor, but an interfaith clinic co-founded by Catholic sisters in Ho Chi Minh City helps meet the needs of people who otherwise struggle with the services provided by state-run hospitals.
At the age of 80, Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man resigns from his post and is remembered by colleagues as a sympathetic leader whose work to build the church in Vietnam was marked by balance and reconciliation.
Vietnamese bishops are urging their priests to reach out to people who have problems in their marriages while asking Catholics to pursue family values.
The place of women in Vietnamese society is complex. Due to long-standing cultural traditions, most women still face a difficult time in terms of achieving gender equality. Since the adoption of the Gender Equality Law, effective July 2007, some progress has been made, and the Catholic church is playing a role in helping women gain confidence and respect.