Since 2004, the Nam Dinh provincial People Committee has asked the Prime Minister to approve the opening of the second establishment of the Hanoi Grand Seminary in Bui Chu diocese, the establishment of 13 grassroots religious organisations, and meeting demand for nomination of 534 dignitaries of religions. The local authorities have allowed the restoration, upgrading and building of 138 Catholic churches.
Bishop Thomas Vu Dinh Hieu of Bui Chu diocese said that the diocese has 473,000 parishioners and 170 priests in 175 parishes. Catholicism in Nam Dinh has developed thanks to the attention of the VFF Central Committee, which plays a great role in promoting the great national unity.
“In the time to come, the diocese will continue to cooperate with the VFF’s Nam Dinh chapter to raise the quality of health and education in the locality, contributing to improving the living standards of people in general and Cathilic followers in particular,” said Bishop.
Expressing delight at the development of the majority of Catholics in Bui Chu diocese, President Nhan highly valued what the provincial Party committees and authorities have done to create a closer relationship between the authorities and parishioners. It is reflected in caring religious followers’ life and respecting their religious activities, thus helping them better their understanding about the Party and State’s attention to millions of Catholic followers in the country and in Nam Dinh in particular.
President Nhan said he hopes that Bishop Thomas Vu Dinh Hieu will further promote his prestige to make secular and religious life go abreast and develop together with the country. He also expressed his wish that the diocese will join hands with the local education sector to build pre-school establishments that meet standards and ensure conditions and requirements ruled by the education and health sectors.
“The activities of Bui Chu diocese will always be in the same direction with the development of the country so as to make the diocese not only a famous address for Catholics but also a pride of Nam Dinh province in socio-economic development”, said the President.
Visiting Bui Chu diocese and Kien Lao Saint Temple parish, VFF Central Committee President Nguyen Thien Nhan recorded priests and parishioner’s opinions expressing hope that the State will create more favorable conditions for charitable clinics in parishes, helping improve and protect the health of parishioners, especially the poor; assist Kien Lao parish in accessing clean water and building rural roads in the spirit of the newly-styled rural area building programme; create more job opportunities for Catholic students after graduation; and help farmers gain access to qualified agricultural materials. He also noted that the charitable clinics in parishes need to ensure working conditions as stipulated in the law.
VFF Central Committee President Nguyen Thien Nhan visits orphans at Thanh An Bui Chu Orphanage
Nam Dinh is one of the key localities on religion in the country with the presence of three major religions including Buddhism, Catholicism and Protestantism. In addition, there are some sects (new religions) and a dense system of communal houses, temples, shrines serving the diverse belief life of local people.
About Catholicism, Nam Dinh has Bui Chu diocese belong to Hanoi archdiocese with 141churches, 521 chapels, one bishop, 191 priests and 473,000 parishioners (accounting for 25 percent of the province’s population). Bui Chu Diocese alone boasts six religious orders with 39 establishments and nearly 1,000 nuns.