By VIE SC
K'Long Retreat Center, Vietnam, 21 April 2022 -- At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in the front yard of the K'Long retreat house (Duc Trong, Lam Dong Province), the Bishop of Thai Binh diocese Peter Nguyen Van De SDB, presided at the Mass to pray for the proclamation of the Good News to ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. Concelebrating at the Mass were the General Councillor for East Asia - Oceania Region, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, Fr. Provincial, Barnabas Le An Phong, some priests of Da Lat Diocese, and about 50 Salesian priests who would be participating in the provincial chapter the following day. Attending the Mass were brothers and aspirants in the Salesian Post-novitiate, and a large number of parishioners, especially young people from the parishes of K'Long, Dinh An, K'Ren, Tu Tra, Diom and Lang Biang. Most of them were from different ethnic minorities. The Mass was attended and sang by the choir of Binh Thoi parish, Archdiocese of Saigon.
After the Mass, there was a cultural exchange festival with the theme “Evangelisation and Gong Culture”. There were speeches from Father Provincial, Father General Councillor of the EAO Region, Father Thomas, the Provincial Delegate for Mission and Rector of the Post-novitiate, Father Joseph Tran Van Hien, the Rector of K'Long Community, a government representative, and especially the speech of Mr. K'Len from the K'Ho ethnic group, the leader of K'Long A village. The festival was interspersed with performances by young people from the parishes of K'Long, Tu Tra, Lang Biang and Binh Thoi parish choir and animating group. Especially the gong dances showed the cultural identity of the ethnic groups in the Central Highlands. The brass band of the Post-novitiate under the direction of Fr. Thomas played to welcome as well as add vibrancy to the program. The festival also had the presence of representatives from the Lam Dong Provincial Committee for Religion and authorities at some levels.
After the Cultural Exchange Festival, the inaugurating ceremony of the Salesian Traditional House, which stores and displays missionary information and memorabilia of the Salesian missionaries in Vietnam, as well as of Vietnamese Salesians who have been living and working in missions around the world. There is also a very precious collection of gongs, typical for the culture of ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. After that, everyone shared dinner together in a joyful family spirit.
It is hoped that the missionary work of the Church in general and of the Salesian Congregation of Don Bosco in particular, with its efforts to understand, integrate and preserve the cultural values of the peoples of the Central Highlands, will be reaped fruitfully and more and more brothers and sisters accept and live the faith fervently and vividly.