Vietnamese converts bring others to Christmas – UCA News

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Converts encouraged to invite non-Catholic relatives and neighbors to visit church on Christmas Eve.

Nguyen Van Hai walked around watching hundreds of converts from other faiths making different styles of creches with colorful lights, pretty stars, evergreen trees, Santa Claus figures and other decorations in the compound of Rach Vop church in Soc Trang province on Dec. 18.

Those people, who have been attending courses in catechism for years to join the church, annually erect nativity scenes to decorate the church and celebrate Christmas.

“I am too old to put up creches but I am here to encourage people to make beautiful nativity scenes to mark Jesus’ birthday,” Hai, an 85-year-old convert, said.

Fourteen creches erected by groups of converts and children will be displayed around the church to attract people to visit the church and watch Christmas vigil performances. Groups that create the most beautiful creches will be given awards as a way to foster the tradition of making nativity scenes.

“I will invite my neighbors to visit the church on Christmas Eve so that they can see our creches and feel Christmas joy and peace,” the old man, who attends a course for catechumens at the church, said.

Hai, who started to go to the church on Sunday mornings by boat five years ago, said he also takes five of his grandchildren to church on a weekly basis.

He is one of 300 converts who have been attending Masses and catechism courses on Sundays for years at the church. Only one-third of them enter full communion with the Catholic Church and the rest are catechumens.

Vietnamese converts bring others to Christmas – UCA News

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