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Saturday, March 25, 2017
Vietnam: Archbishop of Hanoi gives thanks for 'new Pentecost'
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¬†Following an agreement between the local authorities and Catholic Church on Friday, to end the prayer vigil and begin the return of confiscated Church property, Archbishop Joseph NgŰ Quang Kiet of Hanoi sent the following letter to priests, religious, seminarians, and lay people of Hanoi archdiocese Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, During the last forty days we have lived a new Pentecost. The community of believers has been of one heart and mind, focusing on prayers, devoting to preaching the Gospel of Peace passionately despite challenges and hardship, and living in a spirit of communion not limited within the archdiocese but extended worldwide. The sentiments of fervent devotion and deep attachment to the Church are more intense than ever before. The loving relationship between pastor and flock is more intimate, while amicable relations between faithful are stronger than ever. Devout prayers to the Lord for the common good of the Church are more earnest than ever. All are a great gift of Grace from the Lord. I do not cease giving thanks for God and my brothers and sisters for that precious gift. Your earnest prayers have brought about a great result. After tensions, there came a dialogue between the See of Hanoi, Vietnam Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Vietnam leaderships at the highest levels for a good solution. The solution will be carried out step by step under a mutual respect as suggested by the Vatican's Secretary of State. The first step has just been completed in which the restaurant was closed, and our ecclesial community removed camping tents and carried the cross in procession back [to the St Joseph Cathedral]. This step is in time as it is breezily cold now and you have to prepare for the celebration of Tet [(lunar new year)]. [Moreover,] I cannot stand seeing you braving cold in the freeze winter. Even if you are not sitting constantly close to the statue of the Virgin Mary [in the nunciature], please be persistent in your prayers. Please devote yourselves to the prayers insistently and persistently. You can trust that I and our brothers and sisters around the world always be with you. Through the letter of communion from the Vatican's Secretary of State, you also learn that Pope Benedict and the Holy See are always with you. And the final result will definitely beautiful as you have wished. I warmly praise your courage in facing hardship, your fervent devotion in prayers, your spirit of charity and peace, and your strong and lively faith. On the occasion of the new Mau Ty lunar year, I wish you a happy new year, a year filled abundantly with Lord's grace, a year of peace with the trust that the Lord will grant us all things we are praying earnestly. With my heartfelt good wishes! [signed] + Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, Archbishop of Hanoi Translated from Vietnamese by J.B. An Dang
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