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WELCOME DISCOURSE of Msgr. Peter Mary NGUYEN VAN DE Sdb, Bishop ot Thai Binh Diocese.



of Msgr. Peter Mary NGUYEN VAN DE Sdb, Bishop ot Thai Binh Diocese.
His excellence, Archbishop Leopoledo Girelli
Representative of His Holiness Benedict XVI,
Dear Fr. Andrea
His excellence, months ago the whole Diocese of Thai Binh, Bishops, Priests, Religious, Seminarians and 136.000 Christians rejoice so much in hearing the good news of your coming visit, now we all are very satisfied, elated and gratified with our own eyes with your presence in persona of the Representative of His Holiness Benedict XVI.
“Benedictus qui venit in Nomine Domini e in Nomine Patris Benedictus XVI” 
“ Blessed are You who comes in the name of the Lord and in the name of our Holy Father Benedict XVI ”.
Hurrah - long life our Pope Benedict XVI !
Hurrah – long life our Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli , Representative of the Pope !
The whole Diocese of Thai Binh : Bishops, Priests, Religious, Seminarians, Sisters and 136.000 Christians – We love the Pope and His Representative – We Respect the Pope and His Representative – We pray for the Pope and for His Representative – We are faithful to the Pope and to His Representative.
His Excellence, please accept here the Spiritual Bouquet of flowers which represent the souls, minds and hearts of the whole Diocese of Thai Binh .
His Excellence, now a brief summary of the origin and development of Thai Binh Diocese is useful and necessary for your understanding and information :
Firstly, the creation of Thai Binh diocese in the present form was declared on November 24, 1960, but its foundation has been established already from 1936. The Diocese is celebrating within this year 2011-2012 its jubilee of 75th anniversary of foundation with the blessing and plenary indulgence of the Holy Father .
The whole Diocese has :
+  One hundred thirty six thousands (136.000) believers
+ 2 bishops – myself and bishop emeritus Francis Savier (who is now in Hochiminh City for heath checking))
+ 3 Monsignors : two are still working and one retired :
·            One is Hieronimus Nguyễn Phúc Hạnh, General Vicar
·            One is Thomas Trần Trung Hà, in charge of Thanh Minh Parish
·            Another one is : Joseph Nguyễn văn Cẩm (retired)
+ 7 Diocesan officials :
·            Vicar General : Monsignor Hieronimus Nguyễn Phúc Hạnh
·            Chancellor : JB. Nguyễn Sơn Hải
·            Diocesan council of consultors (10 members)
-             Chairman: Father Joseph Tran Xuan Chieu
·            Diocesan Presbyterial Council (14 members)
-             Chairman: Msgr. Hieronymus Nguyen Phuc Hanh
·            Diocesan Finance and Management Council (9 members)
-             Chairman: Father Francis Xavier Ngo Van Toan
·            Diocesan Pastoral council (43 members)
-             Chairman: Father Dominic Dang Van Cau
·            Economy : Francis Savier Ngô Văn Toan
+ Statistics :
·            Catholic Population
-             As of early 2010, Thai Binh diocese had about 136.341 baptized Catholics representing 4.48 percent of all 3,024,000 people in the territory.
-             The diocese has no ethnic groups.
-             There are 102 parishes and 342 sub-parishes in the territory covering two provinces of Hung Yen and Thai Binh.
-             The diocese recorded 1,600 baptisms, 3,200 First Communion receivers, 1,450 Confirmation receivers and 923 marriages including 23 mixed marriages.
·            People in the Diocese
-             Baptized Catholics: 135,341 or 4.48 %
-             Members of other Christian denominations : very few data not available
-             Followers of other religions : Buddhists as majority - data not available
·            Diocesan and Religious Priests :
-             Diocesan Priests : 67 (all Vietnamese)
-             Religious Priests : 10 (all Vietnamese)
·            Religious Brothers, Sisters
-             Religious Brothers: 15 (all Vietnamese)
-             Religious Sisters: 160 (all Vietnamese)
·            Catechists
-             Catechists: 1,450
·            Seminaries, Houses of Formation
-             Seminaries : 1 (My Duc Sacred Heart Seminary)
-             Major seminarians in Hanoi Seminary : 43
-             Elder seminarians : 30 in My Duc Sacred Heart Seminary
-             Major seminarians in My Duc Seminary (2011-2012) : 48
-             Total : 121 seminarians
-             Pre - seminarians – University graduated (2011-2012) : 30
-             Grand total : 151
·            Deaneries : the Diocese has 6 Deaneries :
-             Đông Hưng
-             Hưng Yên
-             Kiến Xương
-             Thái Thụy
-             Tiền Hải
-             Thái Binh
+    Diocesan activities :
·            5 major commissions and organizations
-             Vocations : in charge JB. Nguyễn Sơn Hải
-             Faith Education : in charge Dom. Đăng Văn Cầu
-             Catholic Associations and migrants : in charge Dom. Nguyễn Trung Lương
-             Service : in charge : Thomas Đoàn Xuân Thỏa
·            Catholic Educational Institutions
-             Kindergarten : 6
-             Vocational centers : 5
·            Catholic social welfare
-             Polyclinics : 1
-             Center for lepers, mental patients and people with HIV/AIDS : 1
-             Homes for elderly people, orphans, and people with physical disabilities : 3
+    Religious Congregations, Societies and Institutes
·            Religious Institutes of Men
-             Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (CSsR)
-             Congregation of the Mother Coredemptrix (CMC)
-             Congregation of Sacred Heart (CSH)
-             Congregation of Clergy of God’s House (CGH)
-             Congregation of Missionaries of Faith (MF)
-             Congregation of Missionaries of Mother of the Redeemer (MMR)
-             Congregation of Order of Preachers (OP)
-             Congregation of Salesian Don Bosco (SDB)
·            Religious Institutes of Women
-             Congregation of the Rosary (CR)
-             Congregation the Dominican Sisters of Thái Bình (DS/TB)
-             Congregation of Lovers of the Holy Cross of Tan Lập (LHC/TL)
-             Congregation of Missionaries of Mother of Redeemer (MMR)
-             Congregation of St.Paul de Chartres (SPB)
-             Congregation of Lovers of Holy Cross of Tn Việt (LHC/TV)
+    General and specific characteristics of the Diocese of Thai Binh :
·            The Diocese covers two provinces of Hưng Yên and Thái Bình in a land area of 2.466 square kilometers.
The land area lies in the Hong River delta and is crisscrossed by rivers. The Diocese is bounded on by 3 dioceses : Hà Nội and Hải Phòng in the north, Bùi Chu in the south
·            Specific problems of Thai Binh Diocese :
-             Thai Binh Diocese is one of the poorest dioceses of Vietnam Church.
-             95% of the 136.000 believers are living merely on poor rice fields.
-             Their income are very low not enough to pay for their daily needs.
-             Many young parents left their native village, moving to the cities looking for jobs and works with better salary.
-             Consequently : Many children were abandoned uneducated, dropped from the schools, soon becoming victims of vices and traps of the society. Families are easily broken. The rich, the learned, the capable men and women one by one run away from the parishes and the diocese. The vicious circle continue to repeat and repeat without any hope of an end.
+   Pastoral plan of the Diocese - points of priority     :
·            Fostering and educating the young seeds of vocations from the children of altar boys , future of the Church Diocese
·            Strengthening the spirit of loving and teaching the catechism in all the parishes starting from the parish priest and the religious.
·            Concrete plan of evangelization and re-evangelization for the old and new Christian believers, particularly the pagans and communist party members.
His Excellence,
That’s a brief description of the general picture of Thai Binh’s statistics and activities. We now would like to express our deep thanks and heartfelt gratitude to our most reverend and holy Father Benedict XVI . We humbly ask You to convey our best wishes and ardent prayers to Him. Please tell Him and assure Him that the whole Diocese of Thai Binh love Him very much, respect Him with filial love, and faithful to Him at any cost.
His Excellence,
Your pastoral visit to our Diocese is really a blessing, precious and enormous gift of God. We thank You most deeply and sincerely. May our Lord Jesus and his Blessed Mother protect You, help You and grant You all the necessary graces. Please remember all our Diocese in your daily prayers and please reserve a special place in your heart for Thai Binh Diocese. Thank You very much .
Sincerely yours in Jesus Christ.
Msgr. Peter Nguyen Van De Sdb,
Bishop of Thai Binh Diocese

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