Diocese of Quy Nhon
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In a land area of 16,194 square kilometers, Quy Nhon diocese occupies a territory on the southern central part of the country, comprising three provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Quang Ngai. Quy Nhon city, capital of BInh Dinh province, is the see of the diocese.

The diocese is bounded on the north by Da Nang diocese, on the south by Nha Trang diocese, on the west by dioceses of Ban Me Thuot and Kontum, and on the east by the Sea.

Population

As of the end of 2009, the diocese had 3,780,700 people. Most of people are farmers and fishermen.

History

Quy Nhon diocese is seen the cradle of Catholic Church in Vietnam. First foreign Jesuits stationed at Nuoc Man in 1618 and expanded their work to other places. Jesuit missionaries romanized local language and conducted prayers in the quoc ngu or national language script used now. 12,000 local people were reportedly baptized in 1634. Later foreign Franciscans and missionaries from the Society of Foreign Missionaries of Paris and the Vatican also worked in the area. Members from the Society of Foreign Missionaries of Paris worked in the diocese from 1659 to 1975.

Bishop Lambert de la Motte, the first bishop of Dang Trong (Cochinchine) Vicariate that was established in 1659, visited Nuon Man and An Chi, now in Quang Ngai province, and founded first Lovers of the Holy Cross nuns in 1671. Bishop Etienne Theodore Cuenot (1840-1861) organized the synod of the vicariate in Go Thi and established seminaries and other Church facilities in many places. He also sent missionaries to work in the Cenral Highlands which is home to many ethnic minority groups. Bishop Cuenot was arrested and died in Binh Dinh prison on Nov. 14, 1861. Many foreign missionaries and local Catholics were killed or suffered from religious persecution in the centuries of 17th and 18th.

The diocese is mother of 15 southern dioceses. It was named Dong Dang Trong or Eastern Cochinchine in 1844 and Quy Nhon in 1924 before was elevated to diocese in 1960.

During the Vietnam War, many local parishes and Church facilities were destroyed or damaged and local Catholics had to move to other place. After the country was under communist rule in 1975, churches and educational and health care centers run by the Church were closed or confiscated.

In recent years, the local Church re-establishes old parishes and creates mission stations in remote areas so as to remark the 400th anniversary of seeds of the Good News introduced to the oldest diocese (1618-2018).

The diocese also provides basic education, scholarships, vocational skills and health care to underprivileged people.

The diocese is suffragan of Hue Archdiocese.

Its titular is the feast of Saint Joseph on March 19.

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Transportation

Main transportation in the area includes buses, motorbikes, bicycles, boats and airplanes. The majority of the road network of provinces is in poor condition except for some highways.

The national road and railways go through the three provinces. The national railways have stations at three provinces.

Quy Nhon city has major ports of Quy Nhon and Thi Nai. Other provinces also have seaports of Vung Ro, Sa Ky and Dung Quat.

Two local airports -- Phu Cat airport in Quy Nhon city and Dong Tac airport in Tuy Hoa city are domestic airports - have flights to Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh cities and in return.

Climate

The area has tropical monsoon climate with two seasons - the rainy season lasting from September to December and dry season lasting from January to August. The area has an average annual rainfall of 1,600-1,700 millimeters. Its average temperature is 25-27 degrees centigrade. Binh Dinh province alone, mountainous areas have 16.5-31.7 degrees centigrade and coastal areas have 15.8-39.9 degrees centigrade.

Economy

In 2009, annual per capita income was 13 million dong (US$650 as of December 2010) and 14 million dong (US$700) in provinces of Phu Yen and Quang Ngai. In Quy Nhon city, annual per capita income was US$1,255.

Education

According to government 2009 records, the three provinces had 722,172 elementary and high school students. Literacy rate (simple literacy) is reportedly 100 percent in the diocesan territory.

Religion

The diocesan territory has followers of Buddhists, Protestants, B'Hai, Hindu and indigenous faith of Tu An Hieu Nghia.

Culture

Tay Son Festival is the biggest annual festival in Binh Dinh province. The festival, that is held on the fifth day of the lunar January in Tay Son district, aims to remember King Quang Trung and his brothers who led soldiers to defeat 290,000 soldiers of Qing dynasty in 1789. During the festival, people perform martial art, play war drums and conduct fighting scenes.

Chua Ba Festival (Nuoc Man festival) is one of oldest festivals in Binh Dinh province. The festival dates back to the 16th century, when Nuoc Man port was a famous port in Cochinchine. Chinese traders worked with local people and built many pagodas.

Administration

Go Thi: Martyr Bishop Etienne Théodore Cuenot The (1840-1861) resided here as the see of the vicariate. The first synod of the vicariate was held here in 1841. Go Thi was also home to Martyr Andrew Nguyen Kim Thong (1790-1855), a lay leader who was expelled from his home and died on July 15, 1955 in My Tho. He was beatified on May 2, 1909 and canonized on June 19, 1988. He is the patron of lay leaders in the country.

Bishop Saint Etienne Theodore Cuenot The church was built on the foundation of the house of a local Catholic woman. Bishop Cuenot The had celebrated his last Mass at the house before he was arrested and died in Binh Dinh prison on Nov 14, 1861. He was beatified on April 11, 1909 and canonized on June 19, 1988.

Mang Lang Pilgrimage Center is home to Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen (1624 -1644), who is known as the first martyr of Vietnam. Baptized in 1641, he was a dedicated assistant to Jesuit missionaries and served as a catechist when he was arrested in the purge of Christians launched in 1644. He was executed on July 25, 1644 and was beatified on March 5, 2000. His feast day is July 26 and he is patron of Vietnamese catechists. His statue stands solemnly on a small hill in the compound of the 118-year-old church off Mang Lang.

Mang Lang church, built in 1892

The statue of St Andrew of Phu Yen.

Tomb of Saint Andrew Nguyen