Vietnamese Catholics inspired by special mercy concert

Catholics in Vietnam were inspired to be witnesses to mercy in their daily lives by a special concert that was part of a series of events to commemorate the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Oct 20, 2016

HO CHI MINH: Catholics in Vietnam were inspired to be witnesses to mercy in their daily lives by a special concert that was part of a series of events to commemorate the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Some 500 people attended the concert, themed Contemplating the Countenance of Mercy organized by the Vietnamese bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Holy Music at Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese’s Pastoral Centre on Oct 10.

The event featured 15 hymns in English and Vietnamese reflecting on God’s mercy. The hymns were performed by Catholic singers and the archdiocese’s Pius X Chorus.

“The concert strengthens our faith and urges us to bear witness to mercy in our daily activities,” said Joseph Le Van Oanh, a pilgrim from Hanoi City.

“Hymns raise me to God’s mercy and touch my heart. I have a duty to bring mercy to other people,” he said. Oanh and his wife attended the concert as part of their 20-day pilgrimage to many parish churches around the country.

The former journalist, who converted to Catholicism, said that to be a witness to mercy means “people should share their belongings with the disadvantaged.”

“We plan to give money to repair a church in a state of dilapidation in a remote area to express mercy to poor people,” Oanh said.

Fr Rock Nguyen Duy, secretary of the commission, said the concert was one of a number of events held by the Vietnamese church to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

“The event also aimed to encourage Catholics to continue contemplating the countenance of divine mercy and living out mercy in their daily lives during the Year of Mercy,” the priest said. The jubilee year concludes on Nov. 20, the feast of Christ the King.

Vietnamese bishops have called on Catholics to go on pilgrimages to parish churches and involve themselves in charitable activities.

Since May, parishioners from St Martin de Porres in Ho Chi Minh City have offered lunches costing 2,000 dong (10 US cents) to students, street lottery sellers, motorbike taxi drivers, elderly people without relatives and disabled people, serving about 350 people per day.

“The meal costs at least 20,000 dong at small restaurants. But it is important that we, poor people, feel loved and respected,” a lottery seller said. -- ucanews.com

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