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Catholic Writers in Vietnam Focus on Ecumenical Issues

Some of the award winners at the 2017 Catholic short stories writing contest with a priest (center) during the award ceremony event held in a Vietnamese seminary. (ucanews.com photo)

Annual Writing Contest Celebrates Uplifting Stories Focusing on Relationships Between Catholics and Protestants

Writers creating short stories focusing on unity and harmony between Catholics and Protestants were recognized for their efforts at an event held at a seminary in south central Vietnam, Sept. 21-22.

As a part of an annual short story writing contest, 26 writers were awarded prizes by Qui Nhon Diocese’s Ministry Committee on Culture and Education during a ceremony held at Lang Song Seminary in Binh Dinh Province.

The contest – this year marking the 100th anniversary of Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – drew nearly 100 writers under the age of 40 who sent in 175 works from around the country.

Among those winning a prize was Anna Duong Thi Thai Chan, who wrote about her mother becoming a Catholic.

Chan’s mother was a Protestant who became a Catholic to marry.
In her story, she wrote that her father, a Catholic, helped her mother overcome bigotry from her relatives and friends and helped teach her to embrace the Catholic faith.

Her parents built a happy marriage and a strong family which impressed others, revealing what it means to be Catholic.

One of the event’s organizers, Father Peter Vo Ta Khanh, said the competition is held to offer young Catholic writers opportunities to create work that helps integrate Christian values into the national culture.

Through their writing, the young people will also strengthen their faith and encourage them to seek humane and religious values in a society where materialism and consumerism are prevalent, said the priest. The contest has been running since 2013.