A Joyful Day for the Order in Vietnam

Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:15
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The Conventual Mission in Vietnam reached a significant milestone with the reception of 11 home-grown candidates into the novitiate.

The ceremony took place on April 11th, 2008, during the Eucharist presided by Fr Vincent Long Nguyen OFMConv., General Custos of Australia, concelebrated by several confreres and priest friends of the Mission. Even though the General Definitory had approved of the establishment of the first friary and novitiate in Vietnam, however, due to the inadequate space, the friars had to turn to the local Dominican Sisters who kindly hosted the event in their chapel near Saigon.

The ceremony was a moving one as everyone involved –not least the young candidates- knew the pain of this ‘birthing’, be it one of spiritual nature. Several years of planning, hard work and perseverance have taken us to this point. In a communist regime where religious organizations, particularly those with foreign connections are frowned upon, our emergence to the public domain through the establishment of the novitiate constitutes a risk indeed. But God has blessed us not only with good and generous young vocations but also with many supporters, from the local bishop to the kind neighbour. And so, despite the many challenges ahead, we are full of confidence that this sowing in silence and tears will lead to an abundant harvest.

Currently, there are three friars working in Vietnam: Fr Maximilian Tuan from California, Fr Martin Mai from Australia and Fr Miha Majetic from Slovenia. Apart from formation work, they are also involved in many local charity initiatives, for which they have gained respect and love from the people.

Fr. Vincent Long Nguyen
Assistant General FAAMC