My Vietnam visit has now reached its end. It’s been a wonderful experience of hospitality and kindness, as well as the strengthening of friendships, making new contacts and now incubating ideas. I’ve also experienced cultural insights that sit within and I hope stretch my mind.
Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi is at 5.30 a.m. I’ve got used to the early rise and been able to watch the city awake after Mass.
I was also tracked down by Sisters Ahn and Mung whose convent of 120 Sisters is just around the corner from the Cathedral. I knew them when they were studying in Rome and I was at the Secretariat of State, as they were frequent visitors to Casa Santa Marta where I lived. I surprised them by knocking on their door some ten years later. They are dynamos of enthusiasm and joy. We laughed a lot recalling a few roman moments. Now they are Council members of their Order.
Soon it’s off to the airport and then back home via a Hong Kong stopover for the final preparations of Holy Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed something of the rhythm of my time here.