The Congregation of the Mission, Vietnam community was founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 1625 in Paris, France. It is popularly called Vincentians (Lazarists). The main charism is to evangelize and work among the poor in the countryside and the formation of the clergy. The Vincentians in Vietnam have been following their Founder’s intention since the first Missionaries came to Vietnam in 1955.
Following their objective of caring for the poor they dig village wells to provide clean and good drinking water and provide food for the young children. A bowl of chicken soup is like a party for them. They give importance to the education of the children. Providing bicycles, school supplies and scholarship is one of the activities. This in turn improves the lifestyle of the poor and simple people.
There is always a shortage of resources and funds for the activities. However, building village chapels and helping to construct houses have been one of their priorities. The children love to come to the Church on Sundays. Proper faith formation is given to them. Programs to care for the elderly have been started. Often transportation is one of the major issues. This is also being attended to the best way they can.
Rice cakes, boxes of noodles and a few kilos of pork-meat help the poor to celebrate the Tet (spring festival) and Lunar New Year because they deserve to have food at least during this special occasion.
As part of the preparation for the future missionaries they try to provide good and quality formation for the seminarians. As St. Vincent said “we need to do more; and love is inventive even to infinity.”
The Congregation of the Missions (VC) is assigned to St. Charles Borromeo, San Diego for Missionary Cooperation Plan 2021.
By Fr. John Doai Dang, CM