Dong Da Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, as the property of the Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery, has recently started repairing the inside and outside of the building. Since the Redemptorists have not authorised this action, it is considered an attempt to appropriate the building that is the Redemptorists’ property. Father Joseph Nguyễn Văn Hội, CSsR, superior of the Redemptorist community in Hanoi, has circulated the letter to all confreres, sisters and partners in the world, asking for prayers and solidarity in their efforts to reclaim the historic monastery building and restore its original function.
Below, you can read the entire text that the Scala News has received:
In recent days, specifically around November 6th, 2023, Dong Da Hospital has undertaken major renovations and repairs to our old Redemptorist monastery (seized decades ago and used as Dong Da Hospital), both interior and exterior. During this time, almost all Redemptorists were away on our annual retreats (and I was on a week-long retreat from November 6-11 with the clergy of the Hanoi archdiocese). Thus, I sent a Thái Hà Parish Pastoral Council representative to urgently meet with hospital administrators and demand they halt the repairs and renovations.
Previously, on two occasions, the Hospital Director and Board visited our Parish and met with us to discuss badly needed repairs to neglected sections of the Hospital. We implored them to petition higher authorities to construct a new hospital elsewhere, explaining that the building was originally built as our monastery and is wholly unsuitable to function as a hospital. We said that for any urgent repairs needed immediately (such as ceiling cracks or peeling paint that could harm patients), they must provide clear written requests detailing the precise nature and location of repairs, and we would submit these to higher Church authorities.
However, they have gone ahead with massive renovations without any consultation or written notice to us. When our Parish Council representative went to demand the halting of the work urgently, the Hospital provided only a vague notice from the Director.
We are drafting an official letter of protest to authorities and considering legal action to stop this unauthorised appropriation of our monastery.
Dear confreres, the monastery seized for this Hospital is the material and spiritual heart of our Congregation in Vietnam, built and prayed in by generations of our Redemptorists over the past century. As we rapidly approach the 100th anniversary of our ministry in our nation, we desperately hope the Congregation can unite to demand its return. We humbly ask for your prayers and advocacy as we fight to reclaim our sacred home.
Thank you, dear confreres. Please share this urgent appeal with all our confreres.
In Christ the Redeemer,
Joseph Nguyễn Văn Hội, CSsR, and the Redemptorist community of Hanoi
Pictures above: Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery was built in 1929 and contained the novitiate and studentate (left: archival photo; right: photo taken on 08.11.2023)