Ho Chi Minh City (Agenzia Fides) - The mission towards the poor, the sick or towards ethnic groups who do not know Christ, and dialogue with all sections of society: in the Year of Faith, this is the commitment of the Franciscan friars in Vietnam. As reported to Fides by sources in the local Franciscan communities, on November 6 at the Franciscan seminary in Ho Chi Minh City a conference on the theme of faith, which is inseparable from that of the mission will be held: the conference is entitled, in fact, "Mission and interreligious Dialogue in the evangelization in Vietnam" and provides the report of a well-known Vietnamese-American theologian Peter C. Phan. Planned for 2013, there is also another important moment of encounter and reflection, always in relation to the themes of the Year of Faith.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of the Year of Faith, the Minor Friars of Vietnam have strengthened their involvement in the pastoral activities of diocesan parishes, across the country, engaging in work with the poor and the sick (especially lepers) or in the evangelization in areas of the country inhabited by ethnic groups. All parishes in Vietnam celebrated the Mass for the inauguration of the Year of Faith, on 12, 18 or 21 October, according to the recommendations of the different Bishops. The Bishops sent individually pastoral letters addressed to the priests, religious and faithful to their communities, to raise awareness in order to "rediscover and renew their faith." The President of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam, Mgr. Phero Nguyen Van Nhon, Archbishop of Hanoi, has recommended priests and laity to engage against the erosion of faith through the "re-evangelization" of the territory, and to help young people who turn away from faith and are immersed in a secular world. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2012)