His Excellency Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hai Phong celebrated a special Holy Mass on November 6, 2017, to begin the construction of the new church, at the Hai Duong Martyrs Shrine in Hai Duong City. The church is dedicated to the Dominican martyrs replacing the ruins of an earlier one destroyed during a US air raid in 1967.
As reported by ucanews.com, His Grace Bishop Thien remarked that “Today, 50 years after the destruction of the martyr shrine, we are happy to begin the construction of the new church and this is a historic landmark of our diocese.” Further, His Excellency added, “The event is the end result of diocesan officials who patiently had dialogue and cooperation with local government levels for years.”
Seventy priests concelebrated at the Holy Mass, attended by 7,000 people from throughout the country. Representatives from government agencies and Buddhists were also present at the event with many offering congratulatory flowers.