News News Friars, News Missions, News Nuns, News OCDS, News
16 September 2022

Vietnam: blessing of the first church of the Carmelites

July 13, 2022 was a day of great joy for the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Vietnam: the monastery was blessed and the altar of the first chapel of the Order in Vietnam was consecrated.

From the beginning, the history of the Carmelite friars in Vietnam has been a history of ups and downs and continuous challenges, even today. In 1961, the Carmelite Monastery of St. Joseph in Saigon celebrated its centenary. It was an opportunity for some young Vietnamese to discover the Order of Discalced Carmelites. They were sent to the Carmelite monastery of Montpellier, in the province of Avignon-Aquitaine (France) for formation. They made their solemn vows in 1968 and were ordained priests on the 6th of August 1971 in the Carmelite monastery in Saigon (Vietnam). The ecclesial and social crisis of post-May 1968 and the Vietnam War caused the end of the presence of the Friars in Vietnam.

On June 19, 1998, the Superior General, Father Camilo Maccise, and Father Charles Serrao, after a visit to Vietnam, decided to send new vocations to the Philippines for formation. To prepare for the foundation of the first community of friars in Vietnam, in 2002 the center of the Order purchased, with the help of the Discalced Carmelite nuns, a house in Cao Thai, large enough for four or five people and close to the local parish. The first Vietnamese friars returned to Vietnam on June 12, 2011. In December 2011, Cardinal Gioan Baotixita Phạm Minh Mẫn, of the Archdiocese of Saigon, authorized the installation of a new community in his diocese. Since the house had deteriorated and had become cramped, it was decided to rebuild the monastery.

On July 13, 2022, in the presence of Father Provincial Dan Lim, confreres and a large assembly, Msgr. Joseph Nguyen Nang proceeded with dedicating and blessing the altar of the chapel of the Discalced Carmelites. With hearts full of gratitude and remembrance, all the Vietnamese friars sang and praised the name of the Lord God. May the Lord continue to pour out his blessings on the Church and Carmel of Vietnam.