Nearly 260 people came to the provincial house for the gathering of lay collaborators and supporters on 5-6 May 2017 at Nha Trang. They are mostly benefactors, acquaintances, people assisting the confreres, helpers in a mission, catechists and so forth. This gathering was organized by the versatile Mission Secretary, Fr. Nguyen, Hiep Hoang Ignatius who has personal contact with most of these lay persons and travels widely to keep contact with them.
This is the third meeting of such a nature;, the previous gatherings had a small number of participants, but the number is growing now. The province is trying to instill in the lay people the elements of SVD lay spirituality, introducing to them some social projects and mobilizing them to be connected with our Society and its charism. This is just the beginning, given the socio-political situation as well as Church situation. The initiative of gathering them together is itself a significant achievement.
Fr. Lazar T. Stanislaus, General Mission Secretary, presented the situation of SVD Lay Partners and gave examples of other lay partner groups working in various provinces. They got to know the international aspect of our Society. Some of the leaders of the groups shared their activities and initiatives in their local places. Holy Eucharist and Prayers added the more spiritual aspect to this gathering. The confreres introduced to the lay people the upcoming building projects on the campus. The second day was a picnic, and it was more for relaxing and keeping the group together. One can see the sense of spirituality and willingness to reach out to one another. Much appreciation is to be given to the confreres and the postulants, they did a fantastic job of planning and organizing this conference with all the details.
Fr. Lazar Stanislaus, SVD