| The 5th National Emulation Conference to honor Catholics' good deeds from 2015-2020, September 10, 2020. (Photo: VOV/Ngoc Anh)
There are currently around 5.9 million Catholics in Vietnam who are an inseparable part of the country and contribute greatly to national unity.
Patriotic emulation movements launched by the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics over the years have helped improve the cultural and spiritual life of Catholic people nationwide while promoting national unity. One of them is a campaign encouraging people to stay united in building new style rural and civilized urban areas while living a gospel life.
"In response to such emulation campaigns, many Catholic communities have achieved outstanding results in boosting production, eliminating poverty, promoting cultural lifestyles and doing good deeds, including charitable activities. Many Catholics, including Vietnamese mothers, relatives of war martyrs and those rendering great services to the nation, priests, and dignitaries, have set bright examples for living a pious life," said Priest Tran Xuan Manh, President of the Vietnam Committee for Catholic Solidarity (VCCS).
|Priest Tran Xuan Manh, President of the Vietnam Committee for Catholic Solidarity. (VCCS). Photo:VNA
During the past 5 years, a total of 78 collectives and individuals have been presented with certificates of merits for their contributions to patriotic emulation campaigns launched nationwide. These activities have also helped strengthen bonds between Catholics and non-Catholic Vietnamese.
“In October of 2017, we organized a ceremony to tighten bonds between two residential areas of Thanh Binh 3 hamlet and Noi Hai hamlet of Bo Trach district. We did a lot of communication work to spread the ceremony on our hamlets’ Facebook pages. After the ceremony, people from the two hamlets organized exchanges on their villages’ festivals, Christmas, Easter Day, and lunar New Year festival,” said Cao Viet Thanh, a local officer of Thanh Binh 3 hamlet, Hung Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province.
“Thanks to such activities, the local people can share experiences and support each other in both life and work, contributing to national unity and civilized lifestyles.”
Catholic people have been in charge of important tasks and appointed key leadership positions at both local and central levels. Over the past 5 years, the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics has awarded 2 Labor Orders, 7 Great National Unity Orders, and 13 Prime Minister’s Certificates of Merit to Catholic individuals.
Priest Nguyen Van Rien, Vice President and General Secretary of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics, told VOV, “Compared to the previous period, patriotic emulation movements among Catholics over the past 5 years have achieved more practical results with excellent examples promoted nationwide. This is attributed to drastic changes in both content and organizing such movements.”
“Dioceses in provinces of Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Dong Nai, Phu Tho, Quang Nam, Binh Duong have built new communal houses, recreational areas for the local people to practice sports and cultural activities. In the next 5 years, we have set a target for the full engagement of cities and provinces promoting emulation movements to encourage all people, including Catholics, to live a pious life and do more good.”
Vietnamese Catholics nationwide are encouraged to stay united, contribute to national development, and live the gospel among the nation as stated in the Vietnamese Bishops’ Council called Common Letter 1980 which was sent to all Catholic priests, clergymen, and parishioners throughout the country. The letter highlighted the Catholics’ responsibility and sentiment toward the nation: “For Catholic followers, love for the nation and compatriots arises both from genuine affection and from the requirement of Evangelicalism.”