Franciscan’s Visit to Vietnam Is a First

ROME, MARCH 6, 2006 ( For the first time, a top superior of the Order of Friars Minor visited the Province of Vietnam, thanks to a special visa given by the Hanoi government.

Franciscan Minister General, Father José Rodríguez Carballo, was accompanied by the order’s definitor general, Ambrose Van Si, during the Feb. 23-28 visit.

According to a communiqué from the General Curia of the Order of Friars Minor, the minister general met the solemnly professed friars and other religious, and visited nine of the province’s 17 religious houses.

His other visits included two convents of the Poor Clare Sisters, as well as a meeting with Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Mân of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Franciscan province of Vietnam, founded 77 years ago, has 120 solemnly professed friars. It also has 53 temporary professed friars, 13 novices and 13 postulants. Among their activities, the friars take pastoral care of ethnic minorities.