Catholics were urged to uphold the spirit of “Living the gospel among the nation” in 2011, and join in national construction, especially for the sake of the poor, at a meeting in Hanoi on March 15.

Priest Phan Khac Tu, Vice President and General Secretary of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics, highlighted Catholic patriotic movements in 2010 at the meeting of the Committee’s expanded presidium. He said Catholics joined the entire nation in achieving socio-economic targets for prosperous people, a strong nation and a democratic, equal and civilised society.

A number of bright examples in production, business and poverty reduction, especially in charity, have emerged from the Catholic patriotic movements.

Almost all Catholics have strictly followed the Party and State guidelines and policies, contributing to the fight against social evils and keeping socio-political stability, the priest said.

The Catholic community raised almost 71.4 billion VND (roughly 3.5 million USD) for the poor, Agent Orange/dioxin victims, disabled and orphaned children, helpless elderly people and national disaster victims last year.

The committee has set a target to speed up a movement named, “The entire nation unites in building residential quarters of quality cultural lifestyle, living the gospel among the nation”.

Catholics were urged to take part in all movements launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front, focusing on the movement, “The Day for the Poor”.

The Committee pledged to work with the Vietnam Fatherland Front in sending the best candidates for the elections of the National Assembly, the 13 th term, and the People’s Councils of the 2011-16 tenure at all levels./.