New Chapter – New Life: General Chapter Meeting of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hanoi, Vietnam
By Ngoc Nguyen, LHC
The Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross (LHC) was founded in 1670 by Bishop Lambert de la Motte, a French missionary. Through 353 years of existence in Vietnam, the congregation has faced many difficulties because of the social situation and persecution by the government. However, with God’s grace and the faithfulness and bravery of the sisters, the congregation continued to develop and flourishes today.
The Congregation did not hold a General Chapter meeting until October 2007. The first General Chapter remarked an important milestone in the history and development of the congregation. Since then, the Congregation has held a General Chapter every four years to reflect, update, and adjust the mission, charism, spirituality and communal life to fit with the demands of the evolving Church and society.
The Fifth General Chapter of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hanoi was held at the Mother House of the Congregation in Hanoi, Vietnam from September 04 – 14, 2023. The meeting was accompanied and guided by Rev. Anselm Minh Hai Nguyen, OFM. According to Father Anselm, “the General Chapter is the time in which memory and hope encounter. Memory makes us become stronger people because we are aware that we have the same historical roots and we will never walk alone on this journey because we walk with other sisters. And hope helps us trust in God toward a new horizon. Therefore, do not lose the memory, do not live in hopeless but have courage to walk together in the grace of God.”
In the opening of the General Chapter, there is a rite of remembrance to the Founder-Bishop Lambert de la Motte.
The rite of remembrance for Bishop Lambert de la Motte, the Founder of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross (Courtesy of the LHC).
In this General Chapter meeting, the outgoing Superior General gave a presentation to describe the many areas of development as well as issues which could not be done in her term. Then the various group representatives reported on their work during the 2019-2023 term. There were fifty sisters present to serve as representatives for the 465 sisters in the Congregation. The Chapter meeting was highlighted with an election of the new Superior General and Counselor team.
The representatives who participated in the General Chapter (Courtesy of the LHC)
The rite of ending the term of the current Superior General Teresa Nu T. Tran followed the reports and preceded the election. With this rite, she returned the Congregational Seal to Rev. Anthony Thang V. Nguyen who is the general representative of the Archbishop Joseph Thien V. Vu, Archbishop of Hanoi.