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Summary of the first pastoral visit of Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien in Son La province

March 20, 2022 12:52 pm
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(CGOL) Summary of the first pastoral visit of Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien in Son La province
Immediately after being appointed Bishop, Bishop Dominic Hoang Minh Tien – the new Archbishop of Hung Hoa diocese wanted to make a pastoral visit and greet the authorities of the relevant provinces. Therefore, from March 12 to March 16, 2022, Bishop Dominic went on a pastoral visit to Son La province, Northwest region – Vietnam. This is his first pastoral trip as pastor of the diocese in Son La province.

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First day (March 12, 2022):
The bishop came from the Bishop’s Palace to Moc Chau parish. He visited the parish priest, nuns and parishioners. On this occasion, he shared with everyone about the epidemic situation because Moc Chau is the most affected district in Son La province at the moment! According to Father Joseph Nguyen Cong Binh said: “Catholics in Moc Chau currently have about 60 – 70% are positive for covid”.
Goodbye Moc Chau, Bishop went to Yen Chau parish, Yen Chau town, Yen Chau district, had lunch here. Receiving the Bishop were the parish priest, the teaching officer and some parishioners. Yen Chau parish has just been established, but it has a pretty spacious church that was inaugurated in 2019 and more than a year ago there was the first parish priest, Father Peter Nguyen Xuan Doanh.
The next journey, the Bishop went to Mai Yen parish in Co Noi, Mai Son district, Son La province, at 14:30. The bishop was accompanied by parish priest Joseph Nguyen Tien Lien to visit and offer Mass for the relatives of the Dominican Long Hom family. Here, Bishop had dinner with representatives of 5 Hmong villages Phiem Chin and Na Not in Mai Son. He returned to spend the night at Mai Yen parish. End the first day on a good note.

Second day (March 13, 2022):
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Lent, Bishop Dominic celebrated Mass and gave the Sacrament of Initiation to 90 Hmong brothers and sisters at Mai Yen parish church. During the Mass, the Bishop thanked the fathers and those who have collaborated in the work of evangelizing the Hmong brothers and sisters. You are the “instruments” God uses to bring the Word of God to the ethnic minorities. He also expressed his joy when visiting and ministering to the Hmong brothers and sisters. This is the greatest gift that God has given to Mai Yen parish during this Lenten season.
Leaving Mai Yen parish at 14:30, Bishop went to Son La parish, Chieng Sinh, Son La City, nearly 40 kilometers away. Upon arrival, the Bishop entered the church to visit the Blessed Sacrament to give thanks to God and pray for the parish for many reasons. Firstly, although the parish has not been established yet, here with the efforts of all members of the parish, there has been a relatively spacious and spacious church. The second is to pray for the parish to quickly get approval from the government. Next, the parish priest and the Congregation led the Bishop to visit Our Lady’s Mountain and the grounds.
After dinner, the Bishop celebrated Mass of thanksgiving and prayer for the parish, for the work of evangelization. Concelebrating with him, in addition to the parish priest, the assistant priest of Son La parish, there were also the parish priest and the assistant priest of Mai Yen parish. Starting from the Word of God, the Bishop shared about the purpose of Jesus’ transfiguration on Mount Tabo to strengthen the disciples’ faith. God wants us to be transformed, too. Transformation by changing outlook and lifestyle to suit the requirements of the Gospel.

Third day (March 14, 2022):
According to the program, Bishop and a few priests went to visit the government of Son La province, but because of the widespread epidemic, in the morning Bishop and his team went to test for covid at the military hospital. Thanks God! All five members of the group tested negative. Therefore, everyone’s face looks fresher.
At 14:00, at the Department of Home Affairs and the Religious Affairs Department, Mr. Nguyen Minh Hoa – Director of the Department of Home Affairs welcomed the Bishop and the delegation. Because of the limited time, the two sides only stopped at greeting, introducing and getting to know each other. At exactly 14:30, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Cong – Vice President of Son La province welcomed the Bishop and the delegation at the large guest house of the Provincial People’s Committee. After the introductions of Father Joseph Nguyen Van Thanh, Bishop had greetings. The two sides exchanged for about 30 minutes and agreed to have more opportunities to meet each other. The meeting was open and promising!
Saying goodbye to Son La parish, the delegation visited Huoi Mot parish, about 100 kilometers away, in Pa Cong village, Huoi Mot commune, Song Ma district. Bishop celebrated Mass, had dinner and spent the night here. Concelebrating with the Bishop, there were the parish priest, the assistant pastor of Huoi Mot parish and the parish priest Co Hay. End the third day of ministry in God’s peace!

Fourth day (March 15, 2022):
After breakfast, the Bishop visited Co Hay parish, about 15 kilometers away, in charge of Fr. Joseph Vu The Bay. Here, he presided at Mass for about 130 attendees. In addition to the parish priest, there were Father Paul Hien and Father Tri concelebrating with Bishop. He had lunch with his fathers, aunts and parish representatives. Fun and intimate atmosphere.
Saying goodbye to Co Hay parish, Bishop returned to Mai Yen parish to celebrate Mass, have dinner and spend the night here. End the fourth day of visit in a good spirit.

Fifth day (March 16, 2022):
After breakfast, he went to visit Tan Thao, Deo Chen and Bac Yen parishes. These are new and unstable sects. Bac Yen is still a district without a church.
Only a few Catholics migrate economically from the lowlands to work seasonally. Bishop had lunch in Bac Yen. This is also a great encouragement for Catholics far from home.
The bishop also visited Phu Yen parish. This is a new parish without a church, with a parish house and with an assistant pastor in charge. Most of the parishioners are Hmong who have just followed God in the villages. However, Phu Yen parish is very promising in terms of mission because of many objective factors.
Goodbye Phu Yen, Bishop visited Kiet Son parish in Phu Tho province. This is also the parish where Fr. Joseph Nguyen Duc Khoai has been a pastor for many years and he himself served as well as opened up mission points in Phu Yen district. End of the pastoral visit to the parishes of Son La province. Thank God for His grace to help Bishop have a good first pastoral visit to Son La province! Because this is also a far and wide province of the Northwest, where many ethnic groups live, which only a few years ago was still listed as “religious white area”.
It is known that the bishop returned to attend the monthly retreat with the priests of the Southeast Phu Tho district!

Here are some photos of Bishop Dominic’s visit to Son La province

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Mai Yen 01 1

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Author: Pastor. Joseph Nguyen Van Thanh

Translate: Sr. Giacinta 

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