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First Holy Week in 40 years for remote Vietnam Catholics

Catholics in four remote parishes in northern Vietnam were overjoyed to be able to celebrate Holy Week and Easter liturgies locally for the first time in 40 years.

Joseph Tran Thai Phong, head of the Vinh Quang parish council, said thousands of Catholics from three neighbouring parishes flocked to his parish for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses.

The 50-year-old lay leader said on Sunday that many Catholics including members of the Hmong ethnic minority group even stopped working for Holy Week to attend the ceremonies.

According to Dominique Tran Van Tri, 65, the parishes in the area had been priestless since 1963. He expressed hope the authorities will soon approve the new priest assigned to serve all four parishes, Fr Michael Le Van Hong, based for now in Yen Bai.

UCA News

24 Apr 2003