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Warsaw. Psychological help for Vietnamese people affected by the fire at Marywilska Street

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Vietnamese who lost their jobs in the fire at the shopping center on Marywilska Street can benefit from pastoral and psychological help. It is offered by the Fu Shenfu Migrant Center, run by the Congregation of Verbist Fathers. Many people contacted the monks already on Sunday. – They are not always Catholics – said the director of this center, Father Eric Hounake SVD.

In a burnt hall at Marywilskie Streetas above, there were over 1,400 shops and service points in Warsaw. There are many Vietnamese among their owners and employees.

– The fire in the merchant halls is a great human and pastoral challenge for us. We know many of the people who lost their belongings personally because they belong to the Vietnamese Catholic community that we care for. We got to know them by helping them deal with various official and health matters, said Father Eric Hounake SVD, director of the Verbist Fu Shenfu Migrant Center in Warsaw, which has been helping Vietnamese and migrants from other countries integrate into society for over 20 years.

– Three of our confreres from Vietnam and a Vietnamese nun from the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary are constantly at the disposal of the injured, providing them with pastoral conversation and psychological help – said the monk.

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Read also: There will be support for merchants from Marywilska. But “it's not easy” >>>

Not only Catholics

The director of the Verbist Migrant Center admitted that many of the victims contacted priests already on Sunday. – They are not always Catholics. They constitute only 10 percent. the entire Vietnamese community, most of whom are Buddhists, said the director of the Center.

He stressed that it would be necessary to offer them specific support, including material support.

He informed that there are two communities of Vietnamese Catholics in the capital. – One of about 150 believers gathers at the Verbist parish of St. Jadwiga Śląska in Żerań, where every Sunday at Holy Mass is celebrated at 6:30 p.m. in Vietnamese. The second community – numbering nearly 300 believers – gathers in the parish of St. Stanisław Kostka in Mroków, where the Eucharist in their native language is celebrated every Saturday at 15.45 – said Father Eric.

Read also: Fire in the hall at Marywilska Street. “Unfortunately, a very large number of people only had third party liability insurance” >>>

There are also Vietnamese Catholic communities in Łódź, Gdańsk and Poznań. In Łódź, the Eucharistic liturgy in Vietnamese is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month, said the monk.

As the SVD pointed out, “the service among them is not limited only to the celebration of the sacraments, but also supports the legalization of stay, assistance in finding a job, learning Polish, assistance during visits to the doctor, and broadly understood pastoral and catechetical matters.”

He said that not only Catholics use the Migrant Center, run by the Verbists.

Burnt hall at Marywilska Streettvnwarszawa.pl

Read also: She had eight stalls. She has 100 zlotys left. “There is nothing, there is nothing” >>>

“The Vietnamese are a very united nation”

– The Vietnamese are a very united nation. They help each other. Those who follow other religions also participated in the renovation of the chapel in Mroków, which cost over one million zlotys, said the monk.

He admitted that the Vietnamese had so far lived in a hermetic environment. – The situation changed when a regulation was introduced in Poland regarding the obligation for foreigners to learn the Polish language – said Father Eric.

He emphasized that, contrary to popular opinions, migrants coming to Poland become involved in the life of our society. – The Vietnamese not only actively participate in the initiatives of the Polish Episcopal Conference, but also try to help the local community – said the monk. As an example, he pointed to the systematic cooperation of the Vietnamese Catholic community with Caritas of the Warsaw-Prague Diocese.

Read also: “Women were crying on the sidewalks in the morning. They wanted to go there, even though the fire was blazing from all sides” >>>

– The initiator of this was a Vietnamese woman who is a Buddhist. Other people joined her and thus a group of volunteers was created who cook a meal once a week for those using the Caritas soup kitchen, said director Fu Shenfu.

He also mentioned that “the Vietnamese participated in the renovation of St. Hedwig's Church in Żerań, and after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, they collected over PLN 16,000 in support for the inhabitants of this country.” This – as he estimated – was a large amount, considering that the Vietnamese community there consists of only 150 people, including children.

Fire in a shopping center at Marywilska Street in Warsaw's Białołęka districtTVN Warszawa

They have been coming since the 1970s.

Larger groups of Vietnamese appeared in our country in the 1970s. The SVD fathers began pastoral service among them over 20 years ago, when the Tenth Anniversary Stadium was still functioning, where many of them worked.

In 2003, the Vietnamese priest Joachim Vo Thanh Khanh SVD became the parish priest of the personal parish for Vietnamese Catholics in Warsaw. September 12, 2005 ok. the congregation opened the Fu Shenfu Migrant Center, which has been operating from the beginning at the Mission House of the Holy Spirit in Warsaw at 98 Ostrobramska Street. Its first director was the late. Father Antoni Koszorz SVD, assisted by Father Edward Osiecki SVD, Father Jacek Gniadek SVD and Father Joachim Vo Thanh Khanh SVD.

Read also: They lost their fortune. Sellers from Marywilska talk about their difficult financial situation >>>

The Migrant Center employs: Father Eric Hounake SVD from Togo, director of the Center, Father Józef Them Nguyen SVD, Father John Baptist Nguyen Van Thuat SVD, Father Joachim Trinh Son Thach SVD from Vietnam and sisters Małgorzata T. Bukowska FMM and a Vietnamese woman , Teresa Bui Thi Le FMM, both of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary.

Main photo source: tvnwarszawa.pl

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