Vietnamese Chaplains from across Australia came together in Sydney recently to discuss their ministry and to consider how Vietnamese Catholic communities can contribute their experience of faith life in Australia to the 2020 Plenary Council.
Fr Joseph Vu SVD, who is Chaplain to the Vietnamese community in Brisbane Archdiocese, says the chaplains gather every year to share with one another their activities, to listen and learn from each other, and to plan for the future.
“It’s a good time for us to see each other and to nurture, support, listen, and share our pastoral ministry,” Fr Joseph says.
This year they were joined by a visiting Vietnamese bishop, Bishop Emmanuel Hong Son Nguyen from the Diocese of Ba Ria. The chaplains were able to share the success of their Assumption Day appeal which raised money to help build the La Vang Centre shrine – a shrine to Our Lady in Vietnam.
A major focus of the meeting was the organisation of a big Marian Day gathering in Sydney from October 5-7, where all the Vietnamese communities are invited to send representatives to gather together for workshops and prayer.
“For the first time, all the Parish Council representatives of the Vietnamese communities around Australia will meet together to share their experiences and challenges,” Fr Joseph says.
“It’s an important gathering for supporting each other in Vietnamese Catholic life.”
Fr Joseph says the Vietnamese Catholic communities are also committed to being a part of the local church and the 2020 Plenary Council is seen as a big opportunity to share in the life of the church at all levels.
“We want people to know we are, so we’re looking forward to representing ourselves and engaging with the Plenary Council, to report the experience of each community and share with the broader church about the Vietnamese way of living our faith in this country,” he says.
“It will be a grassroots exercise of listening and sharing about living in the Church at the moment, but also working together with the local church for the future.”
PHOTOS: Fr Joseph is pictured top right at a Vietnamese Catholic community First Holy Communion in Brisbane and bottom left officiating at a Vietnamese community Marian Procession.