Social Justice Ministry:  Phu My Orphanage - Vietnam

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In October 2005, Monsignor Bigelow traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to officiate at the marriage of his oldest Asian nephew. 
While touring the city with family and friends, Monsignor took the opportunity to visit the Phu My Orphanage. Moved by the children's situation and the dedication of the men and women (religious and lay) who tend them, the orphanage is now a part of SCJV's social ministry.
This orphanage was established in 1875 by the Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres. The orphanage specializes in caring and educating physically and mentally disabled children who were abandoned by their parents. There are 391 children at Phu My, a majority of whom are bedridden. 

Pictured above is the physical therapy room.

The dedication of the care givers is magnificent.  The facility is clean and well managed by the Order. In 1976, the new government came into partnership with the sisters in running the orphanage under the Social Welfare department.

Twelve sisters and a staff of paid and volunteer people care for the children.  The staff includes two doctors, a physical therapist, nurses, etc.  There are a lot of diaper changes!

Here is Monsignor with some of the staff.  God has blessed these children with those who care for and love them.

"It was heart-breaking to see how many children have been abandoned by their families because of the hardships of poverty in caring for these angels!", said Monsignor Thomas. 

"It's not unheard of for families to drop off a child unannounced at the front gate at 3 AM."

Picture here is one of the smaller infant rooms.

They have a sewing workshop to make their own clothes and take in outside projects. There are also classrooms and a domestic science program.. 


Some of the residents are mentally challenged.  Others simply have a physical disability.  

Notice the young lady on the right. She is wearing a brace that runs the length of her left leg.

Here is the exterior of Phu My Orphanage.
In consultation with the Sisters, Monsignor will attempt to raise monies for their special ministry. 



"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me..." 

Mark 9:37*

The orphanage's chapel.
* Quest Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984).

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The Reverend Monsignor Thomas Knopf-Bigelow
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Original text and certain graphics and photographs 2006 Thomas D. Knopf-Bigelow.  All rights reserved. Certain graphics 2003 Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited, and its licensors. All rights reserved. Certain graphics 2003 Hemera Technologies, and its licensors. All rights reserved. Maps 2006 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Website designed and created by Will Beauchemin, Minneapolis, Minnesota.