Bishops reiterate challenge of evangelization in families
The bishops said that a moment of silence before going to sleep is "an effective way" to educate children and for bringing together the whole family, thus "bringing happiness".
2014 will be dedicated to the evangelization of family life, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam said in a pastoral letter at the end of its 12th Plenary Assembly held in Ho Chi Minh City recently.
The prelates wrote that family "is the first educational centre for children; it is the cradle where vocations are nurtured, the faith is strengthened and people are trained to become adult, devoted and responsible Christians. In a period of great economic, social and cultural changes, the family plays a central and fundamental role in passing on ethical values from parents to children.”
A survey of 120 Catholic parents in Ho Chi Minh City found that only a few families were able to recite evening prayers together after a tiring day. The bishops said that a moment of silence before going to sleep is "an effective way" to educate children and for bringing together the whole family, thus "bringing happiness".
Bishops regretted that more and more people were drawn to alcohol and to television and movies from Korea and China that now "occupy at least 70% of air time" in Vietnam's TV. “Hence, it is necessary to revitalize the role of the family with a particular focus on the role of the mother, who plays a crucial role in the educational process, together with the father, who serves as an example for children.”
Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Saigon said that each family must actively participate in the mission of evangelization through prayer and practical action. The Archbishop noted, “Parents are responsible for passing the faith onto their children. They are tasked with teaching them to pray, love the Word of God and follow the spirit of the Bible. And the best way to do this is by example.”
In Ho Chi Minh City, where most residents are Buddhist with a large contingent of atheists and unaffiliated, Catholics are just 7% of the population. Hence, the prelate called on the faithful to turn to "our brothers and sisters, who do not know Jesus or do not believe in Him."
"Catholic families have a duty to pass on the love of Jesus to their neighbours, by example within the family. In particular, we have to show support to non-Catholic families and talk to them about Jesus," the cardinal concluded.
Source: Vatican Radio