Prayer vigils for Van Nguyen

Christians in cities across Australia will pray today for Van Nguyen, the Australian in Singapore's Changi Prison who is scheduled to be executed tomorrow.

CLICK HEREThe Age reports that prayers have continued at Melbourne's St Ignatius Catholic Church, Richmond, where Nguyen and his twin brother Khoa went to kindergarten and primary school.

Parish priest Fr Peter Norden said the church would open at 6am on Friday, with a short service at 8.30am followed by a 10-minute silence leading up to 9am.

"Just a time for quiet, a time for prayer and then the big bells of St Ignatius, which often wake people up in the morning anyhow, will sound at nine o'clock to symbolise the 25 years (of Nguyen's life)."

He said people had been drawn to Nguyen's case because he and his family represented the type of people "who aren't powerful", that commonly end up on death row.

"Van Nguyen is born in a refugee camp in Thailand after his mother fled Vietnam as a refugee," he said.

"This is the sort of person that is executed in most situations around the world in the US and other countries, and I think that is why people have sort of seen the futility of it."

Meanwhile the Australian Catholic Students Association has been publicising masses and vigils in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, in addition to organising a petition for late clemency.

No silence for Nguyen hanging (The Age/Australian Associated Press 29/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Students Association | Background
Parish of St Ignatius, Richmond

Priest says Australia 'galvanised' against death penalty (CathNews 29/11/05)
Statement from bishops urges compassion for Nguyen (CathNews 28/11/05)
Rome group set to mobilise world against death penalty (CathNews 25/11/05)
Commission urges Catholics act on death penalty (CathNews 23/11/05)
Pell gives details on papal plea for Nguyen (CathNews 21/11/05)
Catholic Students unite to help death row Aussie (CathNews 18/11/05)
Catholics and Buddhists pray to cheat hangman (CathNews 7/11/05)
Centacare Melbourne urges Govt to save Nguyen (CathNews 28/10/05)
Papal intervention for death row drug trafficker (CathNews 25/10/05)

International Day of Prayer and Petition: Singapore you can still show mercy (Australian Catholic Students Association / National Union of Students / World Youth Allicance 28/11/05)
Prayer vigils across the country (Australian Catholic Students Association / National Union of Students / World Youth Allicance 28/11/05)
Community Prayers for Nguyen Tuong Van (Archdiocese of Sydney 29/11/05)
Cardinal Keeler appeals MD governor to stop scheduled execution (Catholic News Agency 29/11/05)

30 Nov 2005