My dear sisters and brothers,
The Passionist Mission Vietnam began in 2005 with three Passionist missionaries, quietly, nervously, arriving in a war-torn country run by the communists, hoping to be of service to the brave local church, the church of martyrs. Around the world, the Passionists sit by the Cross of Jesus, and in their spiritual mission bring hope and joy to many suffering people, the crucified of today. Few places on earth have known persecution, war, and oppression like Vietnam, surely the land of the cross.
Today, thanks to the support of many kind people, especially generous congregations in the US through the mission Coop, 13 local native Passionists have been ordained priests or deacons, and 35 others are in seminary training. We train missionaries, for Vietnam and for the world!
Paul is a Vietnamese Passionist seminarian supported by mission funds. He went to serve last summer in a remote place. He wrote, “I remember standing as if already dead when first seeing a truly poverty-stricken family. We all stood in silence looking at them. It was not that we were afraid of approaching and talking to them. It was because we had just experienced something speechless. Both of us were born in poor families, but we had never experienced anything like that. The family lived in a torn-pieces tent erected on the stagnant wastewater area. The smell of the stagnant water was so terrible that I could vomit. The husband had a stroke and could not work. The wife, so thin, could only help people with washing, sweeping, and carrying things for 1 or 2 dollars per day to buy a little food. On days nobody calls her the family could have nothing to eat. Many people were living in such conditions.”
The poor are teaching us, transforming young men like Paul into true apostles and moving us closer to being indeed a church for the poor. We have a project in development to lift up that tragic neighborhood, aiming at self-sufficiency by supporting the kids to stay in school.
This year our mission is doing it tough with our income in tatters due to the global pandemic. Our plans to set up an urgently needed permanent Passionist community in a similar remote area are on indefinite hold till our funds can be replenished.
Peace to you in the Lord who gave all for us,
Fr Jefferies Foale CP, Passionist Mission Vietnam
The Harvest is Ready! Training Apostles.
Jesus is alive in Vietnam, and His work is spreading! In fifteen years the Passionist Mission has survived many
threats to the Gospel dream in this beautiful but afflicted country. Vietnamese recruits have become a strong
team of Passionists, and finally the first of them are out on mission to the poor and deprived. Their idealism
and holy energy is an inspiration. An old bishop said to us, “Hurry up and get those young men ordained. The
people are waiting for them.” With your help, we can do it.
Our missionary founders here discovered ways, even under communist restrictions, to work behind closed
doors, forming the church of the future. As foreign priests, they were not allowed to minister in the church. But,
this did not stop them from quietly training young Vietnamese men who are allowed to minister. Our seminarians,
busy at school, also help out pastors in every task, in city parishes and in remote and difficult places, on
weekends and during the summer break. They are much loved serving the disabled. They befriend everyone.
Seven Vietnamese Passionist seminary graduates have now been ordained, with six deacons soon to follow.
They are all serving, most in parishes in the remotest locations, all over Vietnam, lifting up the poor by their
loving service, others are in the seminary training those who follow. For the Bishop of Can Tho, we are
running a parish, reaching out to impoverished isolated people, and establishing a spiritual centre.
Thirty-five more are “in the pipeline” for the priesthood. They inspire all they meet. Sadly the pandemic has
largely wiped out our income, while food and other costs are up, and more of the poor depend on us to survive.
We have learned to cope with less, but suffering people cannot wait forever. We turn to you for help. Through
the Mission Cooperative Plan, we can tell our story to the wonderful people in your parish who have shown
great generosity even in tough times. Their solidarity will bring joy and life to Vietnam!
Yours sincerely in the Passion of Christ,
Fr Joseph Tuấn cp, Passionist Mission Vietnam
To support the PASSIONIST MISSIONS, VIETNAM, please click on the button below to donate and either select your parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or type Group 1848 in the memo box. God bless!