ASIA/VIETNAM - Sixteen new deacons will accompany future pastoral care for ethnic minorities

Wednesday, 1 March 2023 local churches   mission   ethnic minorities  

Hưng Hóa (Agenzia Fides) - Sixteen new deacons from the Vietnamese diocese of Hưng Hóa are to accompany the proclamation of the Gospel and pastoral work in the most remote areas of north-western Vietnam, particularly in the three mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Lai Chau and Son La, where there are members of the Hmong ethnic minority, who are predominantly of the Catholic faith. Among the 16 newly ordained deacons ordained by Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien on February 14, three are of Hmong ethnicity themselves.
In recent decades, the number of Christians among the Hmong ethnic majority has increased, but the shortage of priests has hampered the mission of the local church in recent years. Today the diocese faces pastoral challenges, as well as problems such as early marriages and the spread of drugs among the population.
The Vietnamese Diocese of Hưng Hóa, which borders the Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan, was established in 1960 and comprises 10 provinces in the northwest and is a suffragan bishopric of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Today around 300,000 Catholics live in the territory of the diocese with a total of 7 million inhabitants. Almost 200 priests in 159 parishes and 700 chapels or mission stations provide pastoral care to Catholics from 31 ethnic groups with different languages and cultures.
The diocese of Hưng Hóa is led by Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien, consecrated exactly one year ago in the cathedral of Sơn Lộc. who chose the Latin phrase "Unitas et Amor" as episcopal motto. (Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2023)