2019, a busy year for Vietnamese Dominicans
In 2019, the General Chapter of the Order of Preachers was held in Vietnam, and it was a busy time for friars of Queen of Martyrs Province. Since the General Chapter was held in the summertime, there was no summer English language program at the House of Studies and therefore no D.E.E.P. volunteers from the U.S. Western Province. We are grateful to Brother Duy for photographs from the 2019 General Chapter.
2020, along comes a virus
In early 2020, brothers from Holy Rosary Priory were able to visit their homes for the Tet holiday, and that was a good thing, because right afterwards, the COVID pandemic struck the world. In 2020, the pandemic did not strike Vietnam as ruthlessly as it did some other countries around the world, but life was certainly disrupted, as of course was travel.
Early 2021, return to normal life?
In early 2021, the ferocity of the COVID pandemic seemed to subside, but this did not happen fast enough to make a summer English program viable. D.E.E.P. would have to wait another year.
Meanwhile, under less than fully normal conditions, Vietnamese Dominican life proceeded. We are grateful to Brother Duy for photographs of the ordination to the transitional diaconate in January 2021.
After his ordination to the diaconate, Duy preaches at a Mass in a nearby convent. Congratulations, Brother Duy.
Summer 2021, COVID grows fierce
Most southeast Asian countries had avoided any strong outbreak of COVID, until the summer of 2021. A wave of infections hit Malaysia in May and Indonesia in June. By July, waves of infections were striking Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.
In Ho Chi Minh City, this wave of COVID infections was economically disruptive. Dominican friars devoted themselves to bringing relief to the victims of the crisis. Food donations poured in from elsewhere in the country. (Below, we see a shipment arriving from the diocese of Vinh.) The friars received these shipments and distributed food to people in need.
Unfortunately, by August 2021 we can report that the pandemic has also struck the Vietnamese Dominicans themselves. Please pray for the swift recovery of those suffering from the disease and for the repose of the souls of those who have lost their lives.
Even in the midst of bleak circumstances, the Lord beckons new disciples to serve in the building of the Kingdom. On August 8, 2021, Queen of Martyrs Province was blessed to receive the profession of vows from thirteen new Dominicans. Praise be to the Lord!