Altogether 47 Hmong and Tay ethnic minority people received the sacraments of Christian initiation from Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri, Bishop of Cao Bang – Lang Son diocese, at Cao Binh church on Sunday morning, January 21, 2024.
Among the 47 who received the sacrament of baptism, there were 46 people of Hmong ethnic minority and 1 person of Tay ethnic minority. Over 10 of them were young children from families where both parents were also baptized in the Mass.
The Mass was celebrated in two languages – Vietnamese and Hmong.
Concelebrating the Mass with Bishop Joseph were Father JB Nguyen Thanh Bich CSsR, consultor of the Redemptorist Province of Vietnam; the superior and priests of the Redemptorist community in Cao Bang; the dean and several priests from the Cao Bang deanery, Cao Bang – Lang Son diocese. In addition to parishioners from Cao Binh parish, there were also guests from other areas attending the Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Joseph emphasized the joy of becoming God’s children through the sacrament of baptism. “This joy comes from God himself through His call for us to follow Him, not just following any other person.” Therefore, we need to “thank God for letting us know Him as a child who finds and knows his parents. Knowing God as Father, the loving and caring Father for us.”
After Mass, Bishop Joseph gifted each neophyte a crucifix and a rosary as souvenirs of this important day, but also with the meaning of entrusting these brothers and sisters to God and Mother Mary and inviting them to introduce God to their own villages.
It is known that the 47 who received baptism had been learning catechism for about 5-6 months. Every Sunday, they went to the mission stations under Cao Binh parish for catechism classes and to attend Mass. The Redemptorists and catechists also went to their villages to accompany and share the Catholic faith. All 47 neophytes live far from Cao Binh church, with families 50-60 km away and mission stations 10-20 km away where priests are present.
Cao Binh parish is located in Cao Binh ward, Cao Bang city, about 7 km from the city center. It has a long history since the 1910s. Cao Binh parish has been entrusted by Cao Bang – Lang Son diocese to the Redemptorist priests since 2009 until now. Currently there are over 200 parishioners.
Cao Binh parish is currently led by Father Joseph Nguyen Van Phuong CSsR, who is also the superior of the Redemptorist community in Cao Bang.
Thai Ha Communications
(Translated by Duc Trung VU, CSsR)