Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, 2 September 2020 -- The Salesians of Vietnam have bid eternal farewell to one of their beloved members, 63 years old, Fr. Joseph Vu Dinh Liem SDB. With love for Christ and the young, for a whole year he carried within himself a multi-symptom disease which became terminally critical over the last two weeks.
Fr. Liem made his first profession in 1977 and perpetual profession in 1987, and was ordained in 1994. As we can see, his initial formation as a senior aspirant [pre-novice is the term now] and in particular as a novice took place in a tumultuous period of Salesian history in Vietnam, half of which was under the guidance of Servant of God, Fr Andrew Majcen [to be expelled from Vietnam in early 1977] and the other half under the guidance of a Vietnamese young priest [Fr. Peter De, now, the bishop of Thai Binh Diocese]. Then, as a young Salesian without entering post-novitiate, he was placed for one year in a labour-cooperative and drafted into military service for another 4 years.
His love for Don Bosco and the young was evidenced by his fidelity to consecrated life under irregular life-situations as a labourer and a soldier. Upon returning to community life after labour and military service, he was able to complete the rest of his initial and specific formation. He served in various ministries in the Province as assistant and then parish priest. His last service was meaningful for him as he accompanied one youthful centre of Salesian Cooperators in the Tan Cang community.
The Salesians, the Salesian youth, the parishioners and in particular, the Salesian Cooperators miss him very much. May God reward him with infinite mercy and eternal love.
We give thanks for another Salesian consecrated life witness lived with the personal motto: "For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord" (Rom 14:8).
Short life time-line of Fr Joseph Vu Dinh Liem:
Born in Tien Giang - VIETNAM on 16.06.1957
- Aspirant in Tram Hanh - Da Lat 1970-1971
- Aspirant in Thu Duc - Sai Gon 1971-1976
- Novitiate in Thu Duc - Sai Gon 1976-1977
- First profession on 14.08.1977 (Sai Gon - Vietnam)
- Post Novitiate in Thu Duc, Sai Gon 1977-1979
- Worked in labor-cooperative 1979-1980
- Military service from 1980 to 1984
- Philosophy and Theology study in Sai Gon 1984-1992
- Perpetual profession on 22.04.1987 (Sai Gon - Vietnam)
- Priestly Ordination on 08.12.1994 (Sai Gon - Viet Nam)
- Cau Bong Community from 1994 to 1998
- Hoc Mon Community from 1998 to 2010
- Tan Cang Community from 2010 to 2020.