(ThaiBinh, Vietnam) The ceremony of opening and blessing of the new Pastoral Center of Redemptorists took place at the Bong-Dien community at 9 am Thursday 28/11/2019. The mass was presided by Most. Rev Peter Nguyen Van De, bishop of Thai Binh Diocese. Among the concelebrants, there was Fr Joseph Nguyen Ngoc Bich, the provincial of Vietnam Province, and the presence of many priests, both Redemptorists and diocesan as well.
The Bong-Dien community was entrusted to the care of Redemptorists from 2006 until now according to the contract between Redemptorists and ThaiBinh Diocese. At present, there are four Redemptorists doing mission in this area. There are about 120 Catholics over the population of 9000 people here. This community is truly an evangelizing center, as Fr Joseph Pham Thanh Quang CSsR said: “Our pastoral priority is to serve the non-Catholics living in the surroundings.”
With many efforts, the New Pastoral Center is finally built up and ready to be used for the mission. To some extent, it is also a monastery where supplies the accommodation for Redemptorists. Fr Joseph Pham expressed: “This is a blessing of God who is the author of this building.”
In his homily, Bishop Peter Nguyen Van De invited the listeners focusing their views on Jesus Christ who bring humans back to reconcile with the Father. He also invited the faithful to follow the Redeemer and imitate HIM to become true witnesses of Christ wherever they live and work. The opening of the New Pastoral Center reminded everyone to become the alive house of God.
After the mass, the attendants shared the joy with Redemptorists in an Agape meal with the fraternal love and the love within the children of God.
According to the statistics, ThaiBinh Diocese has 135,000 Catholics over the population of 3.2 million (4,2% Catholics). There are 130 priests, including 100 diocesan priests and 30 religious priests. ThaiBinh Diocese is about 100 km to the Eastern South of HaNoi.
Bart Nguyen and Duc Trung Vu, CSsR