The archdiocese of Vietnam resumes religious services
South Vietnam’s most active archdiocese has resumed some of its public religious activities after a four-month suspension to fight Covid-19.
Father Peter Kieu Cong Tung, Chancellor of the Archbishop’s House of Ho Chi Minh City, announced that the city government has relaxed social distancing measures to gradually restore economic and social activities and bring back the lives of people to normal. Public gatherings can be organized with limited attendance under strictly controlled conditions.
Father Tung said parishes and local religious communities could offer pastoral activities and liturgical services to up to 60 participants from October 1. keep safe distances from each other.
He asked the priests to organize many masses on the weekends so that the faithful could attend. Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Ho Chi Minh City allows priests to celebrate up to four masses on Sunday.
Father Tung called on people aged 65 and over, people with basic illnesses, children and those who have not been fully immunized to stay away from churches. They can be in fellowship with the prayer life of the church by attending online services.
As adolescents under the age of 18 have not been vaccinated, parish priests should organize online catechism classes to strengthen their piety. They are encouraged to attend Masses themselves online on Thursdays and Sundays.
We fervently pray to God that he will end the epidemic quickly so that the city can return to normal life and we can find jobs to earn a living.
“We all thank God gratefully and continue to make sacrifices and do good deeds every day to pray that the world will overcome the contagious pandemic soon,” Father Tung said.
The local Church had suspended all activities since May 22 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic at the request of the government.
The Vuon Xoai Parish Ministry Council in the city said the parish would hold masses on its regular schedule and without choir services.
He said parishioners are required to attend one mass a day and sit in marked rows in the church. The elderly and children should not go to church.
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Mass participants must obey health protocols to protect their own health and the safety of the community as the disease remains complicated and spreads rapidly in the Covid-19 epicenter in Vietnam.
Catholic associations in the parish are not allowed to have activities until further notice.
Anthony Nguyen Hoang Dung of Bach Dang Parish said his family members follow Masses online at home, as his parish church can only accommodate 60 people.
Dung, who has been fully vaccinated, said a funeral with a few attendees was held at the church on October 2.
The man, who works for a local daycare center, said he had no job for the past five months as the center was closed for Covid-19.
“We fervently pray to God that he will soon end the epidemic so that the city can return to normal life and we can find jobs to earn a living,” the father of two said, adding that schools premises were still closed.
The Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City has 690,000 Catholics in 200 parishes served by 900 priests and 6,900 religious.
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