Saturday, May 29, 2010

No boring homilies for Vietnam’s ‘listening bishop’

Boring homilies are a turn-off and bishops need to spend longer listening to parishioners’ needs, Da Nang Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri says.

He is putting his words into action, personally welcoming and listening to pilgrims to the cathedral of his central Vietnam diocese for the Jubilee Year 2010, reports.

Each Sunday he stands in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral with a welcoming smile.

“I shake their hands and talk with them about their health, jobs, faith life and their own parishes’ pastoral and charitable activities,” Bishop Tri, 53, told UCA News. He also provides meals for people who live far away, he added.

“The jubilee year is an opportunity for me to develop close relationships with local Catholics,” Bishop Tri said, adding that he lacks time to talk during pastoral visits to the 50 parishes of the diocese.

Meeting 1,000 Catholics from Con Dau parish who visited the cathedral on May 23, Bishop Tri consoled and urged them to bravely practice their faith and pray for justice and truth to be respected.

As well as the cathedral, local pilgrims visited the nearby mother house of Da Nang’sSaint Paul de Chartres nuns who are also celebrating the 150th anniversary of their establishment.

Catherine Nguyen Thi Tuyen, a Con Dau parishioner, said that people feel peace of mind after their pilgrimage to the cathedral following recent conflicts between parishioners and security officials.