Archbishop John Dew blogs from the gathering of the Federation of Asian Bishops in Vietnam. He is attending as President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania.
Greetings again from Vietnam, I write this post to you on Saturday, the last full day of the Assembly.
All has gone well and it has been fascinating to say the least to be with about one hundred Bishops form various parts of Asia and this FABC and representatives from other parts of the world. Today we will be looking at the paper which has been discussed over the last few days which reflects of the Mega trends in the Church and society affecting Asia today. We have been in small groups discussing these and the bishops have made some recommendations and some resolutions as to how these can all be reflected on and acted upon in light of the New Evangelisation.
Last night we were guests at a Vietnamese cultural evening, literally hundreds of people, took part in a ceremony outside before it all began which reflected on the Year of Faith, it was an amazing colorful and very loud experience. We then went into the Auditorium for the cultural events, they represented the North, Central and Southern areas of Vietnam, they were very beautiful and told powerful stories of the history of Vietnam.
This week there have been hundreds of people involved in hospitality here at the Pastoral Centre and Seminary (which has 400 seminarians), all have been outstandingly generous and keep thanking us for coming. This week has been very important for the Church in Vietnam and the people keep expressing that it is a wonderful opportunity for them to show society that the Catholic Church is an important and vital part of society. The people are so grateful and generous and all of us here as participants are privileged and honored to be here.
This evening we will travel into Ho Chi Minh City, about three hours away, we will have Mass at the Cathedral there tomorrow for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, then a Closing Ceremony in the afternoon.
With all good wishes and every blessing.