Vietnam recognises Catholic parish after thirty years
Authorities in Son La province in Vietnam, a province which used to reject and purposefully fail to recognize all religious activities, have come around to recognizing a Catholic parish in the region which has existed informally for thirty years.
The parish is Moc Chau Parish in Son La province, located in the northwest of Vietnam. This is the first parish in Son La—a province with eight parishes—to be officially approved and recognized by the government.
To commemorate the occasion, a special Mass was held on November 6. Bishop Peter Nguyen Van Vien, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Hung Hoa, presided over the mass. Also present at the Mass were Emeritus Bishop John Marie Vu Tat, 21 priests, and many congregants, including local authorities as well as Buddhists who came to honor the occasion and pay their respects.
Bishop Vien’s homily during the Mass discussed God’s providential work in guiding the parish to its current state. He said that the parish, which was established in 2015 by Bishop Tat, owed its existence to priests, religious, and local people who steadfastly pursued Catholic community in the face of numerous difficulties. During the ceremony, Bishop Vien also appointed Father Joseph Nguyen Cong Binh as the first parish priest of Moc Chau. Father Binh has served Moc Chau since 2018, but now he will be formally recognized by the government as the parish priest.