Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — In 2009, Sr. Mai Thanh of Our Lady welcomed a practical suggestion from the France-based Fraternité Chrétienne Vietnam Cambodge Laos that has made a difference in how people in Ho Chi Minh City receive health care.
The nonprofit, which also provides scholarships for young doctors from northern Vietnam to further their studies in France, proposed that she look for a local partner to help set up a charity clinic.
Mai Thanh and some local priests involved in interfaith activities and dialogue got together to discuss it. They decided to work with dignitaries from Minh Ly Dao, which is a sect of Cao Dai, a syncretic belief system founded in early-20th-century Vietnam. One of the Catholic priests, Fr. Peter Joseph Ha Thien Truc, has a mother who is Buddhist and a father who is a Cao Dai dignitary.
"They [Minh Ly Dao officials] appreciated our project and cooperation with them in giving free health care to poor patients," Mai Thanh said.