The Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics on December 17 held its second plenary conference in the 2013-18 tenure, focusing on reviewing patriotic movements among the Catholic community in 2014 and drawing out plans for 2015.

A report at the event said that patriotic movements among the national Catholic community have become stronger and more effective in 2014, the first year that the committee has implemented the regulations and resolutions issued during its sixth National Congress.

Local committees in provinces and cities launched various movements designed to suit the specific characteristics of each locality, such as the drive to build “model parishes” in Hanoi, Quang Ninh and Ha Nam, a movement encouraging Catholic parishes and families to join hands in building new-style rural areas in Nam Dinh, and a campaign promoting the role of Catholic mothers in Dak Lak.

Religious dignitaries, parishes and Catholics nationwide have contributed tens of billions of VND and hundreds of thousands of working days to build infrastructure in their localities in response to the national campaign to build new-style rural areas.

In addition, charity continued to be a focus in the Catholic community’s activities, the report said, highlighting such examples as Father Huynh Cao Thuong in Ben Tre province’s Giong Trom district who donated more than 500 million VND to charity besides giving out one tonne of rice each month to the needy, or Father Phan Van Dien in Nam Dinh province who helped raise donations to build 50 houses and drill 20 water wells for the poor while providing 100 lonely elderly people in the province each with 100 kg of rice every year.

In 2015, the committee plans to continue enhancing patriotic movements among the community, and organize the fourth national congress to honour role models among the Catholic community.

Addressing the event, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Le Ba Trinh lauded the community for its active role in promoting patriotic movements, as well as the pioneering role of the committee’s members in the movements.

He said he hopes the committee continues to coordinate more closely with the VFF as well as other relevant agencies in order to convey the legitimate wishes of the Catholic community to the authorities, while popularising policies and laws of the Party and State as well as socio-economic plans to the churches, religious organisations, priests and followers, thus enhancing social consensus about the cause of national construction and defence.

The VFF leader pledged that the VFF will support and create all possible favourable conditions for the Catholic community to implement patriotic movements, helping raise the role and social prestige of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics in the nation and among Catholic community.-VNA