Tam Ha (Vietnam). On 26 February 2022, in Tam Ha at the headquarters of the Province of Mary Help of Christians (VTN), Provincial Missionary Animation Day was held on the theme, “150 years FMA – Missionary Synodality”.
Convinced that the “missionary dimension is an essential element of the FMA Institute” (cf. Cost. FMA, no. 75), the VTN Province celebrates this Day every year to nourish the missionary spirit of the FMA of the Province and favor a greater openness to new horizons of the evangelizing mission.
The encounter began on 25 February with Vespers and the Good Night of the Provincial, Sr. Maria Hoang Thi Thu Ha, who invited the sisters to participate in a virtual missionary trip through a video that presented the missions of the Vietnamese FMA missionaries in Laos.
On 26 February, the Vicar of St. John Bosco Province (VIE), Fr. Joseph Nguyen Kim Khanh, SDB presided at the Eucharistic Celebration in gratitude for the 150th anniversary of the FMA Institute and for its development on the five continents trough the missionaries.
The Day began with the welcome of the Provincial to the Provincial Councilors, the Community Animators, to the participating FMA, and the guests of the round table: Fr. Dominic Tran Xuan Thao, Ex-Director of the Evangelization Sector of the Diocese of Xuan Loc; Sr. Maria Tran Thi Nha of the Institute of Lovers of the Holy Cross of the Diocese of Hung Hoa; Louis and Anna, a couple of the Evangelical Group of the Diocese of Xuan Loc.
The Province Coordinator for the missions, Sr. Maria Thuy Nga, introduced the theme, in harmony with the Church in the actual climate of the World Synod of Bishops, “Towards a synodal Church: Communion-Participation-Mission” and in response to the call of the FMA Institute of General Chapter XXIV to assume, among the other priority choices, missionary solidarity as a life style.
Subsequently, the participating FMA returned together to the sources in Mornese, to the first House of the FMA nourished by a fervent missionary atmosphere, through the representation of the “step of evangelization in the early days of the Institute”.
In her intervention, the Provincial then presented the missionary face of the Founders and exhorted the sisters to manifest the missionary spirit through the attitude of the Salesian “I will go” in every situation and in every task entrusted to them.
The testimonies of Fr. Dominic, Sr. Maria Nha, and Ms. Anna helped the FMA to touch the reality of evangelization in Vietnam and the passion of the missionaries. What they heard aroused admiration in the participants and a desire for more active commitment in the mission.
Another moment lived was that of the “step of evangelization in the Covid pandemic”. Sr. Teresa Kim Duyen shared some experiences of the FMA who gave their service during the Covid Pandemic. The spirit of charity gave them the courage to push themselves as missionaries towards the new frontiers.
With the “celebration of departure” the FMA went aboard the ‘missionary boat’, to symbolically place their footprints on the map of the continents, expressing their determination in prayer and the desire for commitment to that land. The Missionary Animation Day ended with the hope that every Daughter of Mary Help of Christians in Vietnam will be confirmed in her missionary identity and keep the spirit of service alive.