| St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi on 2022 Christmas Eve. (Photo: Quyet Thang/VOV2)
Pham Van Diem is known in Ngoc Hoi commune of Hanoi’s Thanh Tri district as an outstanding parishioner.
As a member of Hanoi’s Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics, Diem has motivated local laypeople to follow Party guidelines, State laws, and the local regulations.
He also owns a mechanics business that employs 50 workers. Diem has been a liaison between parishioners and functional agencies, between Catholics and non-Catholics, participated in charity activities, and helped other locals in economic development.
“When Hanoi’s Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics launched a program to raise money for the poor or people affected by natural disasters, my family donated 200 to 700 USD. Every year we set up a fund for the poor,” said Diem.
Catholics in suburban areas have responded to the policy of developing large-scale paddy fields and restructuring crops and livestock.
Parishioners in Phu Xuyen, Thanh Oai, Thach That, and Chuong My dioceses have invested in new breeding models, helping them earn between 8,500 and 17,000 USD a year.
Hanoi’s Catholics have persuaded their peers to donate land to build roads and have gotten their communes recognized as new-style rural areas ahead of schedule. They have also led in securing public order and protecting the environment.
Le Danh Lam, head of Thuong Tin district’s Committee for Solidarity of Catholics, said an environmental protection model in his locality has produced encouraging results.
Lam recalled, “Since the first model was implemented, the environmental protection movement has encouraged Catholics in the capital city to implement socio-economic goals.”
Pham Huy Thong, Vice Chairman of Hanoi’s Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics, praised patriotic emulation movements among Catholics, saying that they have been widely deployed, with many outstanding models.
According to Thong, religious and non-religious people in different localities have not only cooperated with each other and shared joy during the traditional Lunar New Year Festival and other holidays, but have also supported each other in development.
“Non-religious people, for example, are willing to contribute money to help parishioners build churches. In return, Catholics are ready to help non-Catholics,” said Thong.
There are more than 200,000 Catholics living in more than 420 parishes in Hanoi.