Rome Newsroom, Oct 2, 2020 / 05:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
A diocese in northern Vietnam is expanding its seminary in response to an increasing number of priestly vocations.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Vietnamese diocese of Thái Bình will be able to house 200 to 300 seminarians once the construction of its expanded facilities is finished.
In recent years the diocese had to turn away seminary candidates or send them to seminaries in other dioceses, which themselves have limited spaces available.
The head of Nam Tiền Hải deanery told UCA News that of 40 seminary candidates in a recent year, only six were able to be sent to the seminary in the capital, Hanoi.
Catholics in the diocese of Thái Bình underwent decades of persecution when Vietnam was divided between North and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. Around 70,000 Catholics, including most priests and religious, fled to the south, while many of the local lay people, seminarians, and priests who stayed in the Communist north were sent to prisons or labor camps, and some were killed.