A diocese in Vietnam is marking its first Chrism Mass in decades. More than 4,000 attended the event. Church activities have been banned for decades in Vietnam and only recently have policies eased. Many church properties had been destroyed in war and many church properties had been taken over by the government. Despite persecution, Christianity is continuing to grow in Vietnam as the government eases its controls. A 77 year old attendee said, “This is the first time in our life we have attended the Chrism Mass.”
4/13/2017 Indonesia (UCA News) – A Chrism Mass in Vietnam’s largest diocese has inspired thousands of Catholics, many of whom attended the special priests’ service for the first time.
Some 120 priests concelebrated the Chrism Mass, presided over by Bishop John Mary Vu Tat, at Yen Bai church in Hung Hoa Diocese. Some 4,000 Catholics attended the service and many more watched it broadcast.
“I would like to invite all you to rekindle and renew your enthusiasm for service, proclaim the Good News, forgive sinners, visit people on the peripheries and strengthen your faith,” Auxiliary Bishop Alfonse Nguyen Huu Long of Hung Hoa told the priests.
Father Joseph Nguyen Dinh Tuyen, pastor of 119-year-old Yen Bai parish, said this was the first time local Catholics attended the Chrism Mass since they embraced Catholicism in the 19th century. Some 19 parishes in Yen Bai province serve 40,000 Catholics.