Ho Chi Minh – Heeding the words of Pope Francis in his Papal Bull “Misericordiae Vultus”, Our community went on a pilgrimage during this Jubilee Year of Mercy to Our Lady of Ta Pao Mountain. On June 11th we traveled about 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City for our spiritual retreat. During the pilgrimage we prayed for our sins and for the sins of the whole world and to rededicate our lives to God as Religious. A thanksgiving mass was also offered to God for His miraculous providence we have received over the past seven years in Vietnam. May God continue to help us through the His beloved Mother, Mary.
Ho Chi Minh – Br. Hoang made his first Religious vows in Legazpi on June 3rd and returned to Vietnam for Philosophy studies. His family arranged a Thanksgiving Mass for him in their village in the Dong Nai Province. The priests and all the students attended the Mass celebrated by the Parish Priest with Br. Hoang’s spiritual Father concelebrating and preaching the homily. We had a chance once again to introduce our congregation to his parish. The family prepared a wonderful breakfast and lunch and we enjoyed the day.
Saigon – This was the first Christmas in our new house and to celebrate, the community organized a small program for the street children of the area on Christmas day. Not all the children are Catholics, some are Buddhist and some don’t follow any religion. The students played party games with the children on a football court near the house. The place was beautiful and more safe. After the games and dancing Christmas gifts were shared with all the children. Most of them are from a simple and poor families. The new students were very happy about sharing their time, energy and gifts with the children. May this year of mercy be full of sharing little things with others.
Saigon – On December 18th, Ben Hai Church, the local parish of the Servants of Charity, hosted a Christmas carol celebration. It was a grand function organized by the parishioners. The Guanellian students performed a dance program at the event. The music is Indian but the lyrics were written in Vietnamese and sung by the students. Their performance was one of the most popular among all the programs.
Saigon – Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, Provincial Treasurer, visited Vietnam September 27-30th. His visit was a blessing and especially enriching for the students. The Vietnam community thanks him from the bottom of their hearts for his hard work in finding money to build the House of Providence in Saigon. Thank you also to the American benefactors who contributed to the new house. May God bless all the generous hearts who help to build His Kingdom.
Saigon – The Academic Year 2015-2016 was inaugurated on September 4th with Mass presided by Rev. Fr. Hien, SdB, Superior of the Salesians BanCat community. He celebrated the Holy Mass and gave an inspirational sermon to start the New Academic year. This year two students, Tuan and Dung departed for the Philippines on September 6th to further their formation. This year there are 14 students who are in formation in Vietnam. Thanks be to God for the gift of Vocations to the Servants of Charity in Vietnam.
Saigon – A benefactor of the Vietnam Community organized a pilgrimage to some of the Marian shrines of Vietnam. He invited the priests and students of the House of Providence to join the group. It became a journey in honor of the Centennial Birth into Heaven of St. Louis Guanella. Throughout the five day pilgrimage they continued to thank God for the blessing of St. Guanella and prayed for their own intentions and those of the congregation.
Saigon – Sometimes God surprises and inspires us with regard to charity. This month as we entered our usual place of ministry with the elderly and the sick, a young man in his 40’s was carried into the house on a stretcher. We helped to place him on a bed. Both of his hands looked very bad and he couldn’t move his arms or legs. Practically speaking he is 100% dependent on others to survive. At the age of 30 he fell from a wall and broke his spinal cord while he was working. For ten years the parents have completely cared for him; like a new born child the parents had to dress him, help him with his hygiene and feed him. We simply praised the parents for their life of sacrifice and dedication to their son.
Saigon – After a 3-year absence, Br. Khiet took part in a meaningful thanksgiving Mass at his hometown parish. The Servants of Charity confreres also participated in this joyful celebration. Br. Khiet’s spiritual Father was the celebrant. It was an opportunity to introduce the congregation to the parish; encouraging others to discern a call to serve. After Mass we had a wonderful time with his family.