Tam Ha (Vietnam). On 12 November 2022, in Tam Ha, at St. Joseph House of Mary Help of Christians Province (VTN), the Provincial Mission Day was held on the theme “Witnesses of the Gospel – leaven and salt of the world”, inspired by the Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2022.
The Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by Fr. Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh, Salesian of Don Bosco, Councilor for Youth Ministry of St. John Bosco Province (VIE). In his homily, he underlined that whoever is sent ‘is’ a witness and ‘accomplishes’ the mission of evangelization. To be witnesses, one must first let oneself be touched by God’s love and experience being loved. Furthermore, the witness must always be open “to the periphery” and go “outside self” to be available to what God wants and to the needs of others.
Afterwards, the Provincial, Sr. Maria Hoang Thi Thu Ha, the Council, the Community Animators, the FMA, the young women in formation, the collaborators, and the representatives of the youth groups gathered in the hall to celebrate the Provincial Mission Day. Sr. Maria Lu Thi Thuy Nga, Provincial Coordinator for the Missions, illustrated the objectives of the meeting.
Through a theatrical representation on the theme of the Day, the story of the seed of the Gospel sown in the Church, in the Institute, and in the Province was presented. The missionaries sowed seeds of faith in Vietnam and today the FMA continue the mission like leaven hidden in the flour, to make the Gospel germinate – leaven of love – in all regions and in the peripheries.
Sr. Maria, the Provincial, then shared her thoughts and wishes on Salesian evangelization, Education for the Mission, and Mission for Education. The impetus of Don Bosco’s Da Mihi Animas Cetera Tolle and the mandate received from Mary Domenica Mazzarello on the hill of Borgo Alto, I entrust them to you, must be truly rooted, to help the sisters live the identity of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Present during the day was Msgr. Dominic Hoang Minh Tien, Bishop of the Diocese of Hung Hoa, new President of the Evangelization Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam, who shared experiences of proclaiming the Gospel in the north-western region of Vietnam of his Diocese. It is a vast mission field, which includes 10 provinces with parishioners of different ethnic groups. These significant experiences encouraged the participants in their commitment to carry forward the mission of evangelization.
This was followed by the viewing of the video, “What we have seen, heard…” on the first missionaries of the Province and on the sending of 35 Vietnamese FMA to the mission ad gentes.
The participants also listened to the testimony of Mr. Peter of the parish of Da Tong, Diocese of Da Lat, itinerant catechist and above all minister of the Eucharist. He has been nicknamed “The Eucharistic Bundle” because for 34 years he has been carrying the Eucharist in a backpack to people in remote villages.
The encounter concluded with a time for recollection and reflection on the “Rite of sending”. Everyone prayed that the missionary spirit would be nourished and grow every day in each of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and in all those who collaborate in the vast missionary field.