(DMNC) I love you so much Saigon! – Letter of appeal from the President of the Bishops’ Conference to the Vietnamese Catholic compatriots
Dear Cardinals, Reverend Fathers and all members of the Vietnamese People of God.
Hue Bishop’s House, July 9, 2021
Ho Chi Minh City has become the country’s largest outbreak with thousands of infections every day. The Prime Minister has issued Directive 16, placing Ho Chi Minh City in a state of social distancing within 15 days from 0:00 on July 9, 2021. Having to be so drastic may be able to partially contain the spreading catastrophe. But this is a situation with many potential risks.
Never, not even during the war, has the city experienced such pressing challenges as it does today. Many tragedies are taking place more and more serious: community infection, overcrowded hospitals, exhausted doctors and medical staff, stress prevention teams, production shutdowns, limited circulation, limited materials. The city was once known as the “Pearl of the Far East”, the “economic locomotive” in danger, with a shortage of personnel, a shortage of rice, a lack of vegetables, a lack of money, a lack of medicine and a lack of future. future… Tens of thousands of old people and children selling lottery tickets, iced tea, street vendors, taxis, motorbike taxis, what will they eat if they can’t go out in the coming days? Where will factory workers dig up money if one day the factory reduces payroll or closes?
Brothers and sisters, remember: it is the people of Saigon who are in trouble today, used to rush to the road every time they heard that their compatriots here and there were in trouble… Central provinces, through the storm and flood in 2020, still record the footprints of Saigon people throughout the caves and alleys. The Vietnamese heart always whispers: a piece when hungry is equal to a packet when full; Government interference that takes the mirror; People in a country should love each other together. Good leaves cover torn leaves, less torn leaves cover more torn leaves.
More than ever, I urge my compatriots in the country to look to this lovely city, which was once a center of love before it became an outbreak. I urge overseas people to remember the commemorative sky that once echoed the song “Saigon is so beautiful, Saigon”. I call on Catholics, all members of the People of God, dioceses, religious orders, parishes, charity organizations, Charity – Caritas, unions, professions, and groups of friends to consider this a real opportunity. practice charity according to the Word of God. I urge media organizations and online communities to quickly convey this information to every known address. Please act urgently. Let’s do all we can to save our fellow brothers and sisters who are struggling with the harsh reality. Let us be silent to hear again this golden word of Jesus: “You have received freely, freely give” (Mt 10:8b).
Specifically, each diocese or community cluster, especially the Caritas levels, should urgently set up a hotline, an address to gather supplies and relief money in the area. The necessities Saigon is in need of are vegetables, agricultural products, dry food, epidemic prevention equipment (masks, antibacterial water, ventilators, oxygen tanks, rapid test kits). In addition to food, people in the city also need financial support for the poor, homeless, sidewalks, medical examination and treatment, etc.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the place to receive relief goods is: Office of the Bishops’ Conference, at 72/12 Tran Quoc Toan, Ward 8, District 3. Please contact Father Joseph Dao Nguyen Vu via the line. hot number 09.04.24.11.60. After receiving, this office will be responsible for distributing goods and money from the provinces. The office will also contact the authorities to help carry out procedures for transporting goods into the city. Account: Office of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference, VND 0602.5831.4789; USD number 0602.5831.7699; Sacombank – Go Vap branch.
It is not known how long the current crisis will last and how it will develop. But for Christians, this is a sign of the times that requires us to stay awake to recognize the Will of God. The pandemic is devastating, but we, together with Vietnamese compatriots everywhere, at home and abroad, will build a new city and a new highway system with loving materials.
Pope Francis has directed that 2021 be the year in honor of Saint Joseph. We pray that our common father (who is convalescing at Gemelli hospital after colon surgery) recovers soon, especially with him, we entrust humanity and our people to his helping hands. Saint Joseph.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Bishops’ Conference, I wish everyone a safe passage through the pandemic.
Kind regards and best regards.
Signed and sealed
+ Joseph NGUYEN CHI LINH
Archbishop of Hue
President of the Vietnamese Bishops’ Conference