Tac Say Cathedral in Bac Lieu, Vietnam

Tac Say Cathedral is located in Hamlet 2, Tan Phong Commune, Gia Rai District, Bac Lieu Province, on Highway 1A leading Ca Mau City. The Cathedral was established in 1925 and in the present, there are about 3,000 Catholics.

The cathedral consists of 3 floors in which the first is for visitors relaxing. The second and the third have very extensive front halls to carry out ceremonies. The main point to attract tourist coming here is the place to bury Father Francis Xavier Truong Buu Diep. The place to put the tomb of Father is an extensive building with 3 rooftops of which the middle one is the highest and has a clock that makes the highlight of the building. Many wooden statues in the building are made from value wood including a big one with the height of 2.5m put on December 24th2008.

Father Truong Buu Diep was on January 1st1897 in My Loi Hamlet, My Luong Commune, Cho Moi District, An Giang Province in a poor and pious family. At the age of 12, he was sent into Nam Vang Seminary. In 1924, he has ordained Priest in Nam Vang and was appointed the leader of Ho Tru Parish, one of the parishes of Vietnamese people living in Kandal, Cambodia. In 1927, he was appointed a teacher of Gieng Islet Seminary. In March 1930, he was appointed Tac Say Parish Manager.

According to local old people, at the beginning of 1946, the situation in Tac Say was extremely complicated, so many local people had to move to the other places. Priest Tran Minh Ky, a Catholic leader of Bac Lieu Province and even French called him to have to hide till the situation was peaceful, then returned. He emphatically answered, “I live in amongst the sheep and if having to die, I also die in amongst the sheep. I do not go anywhere.”

On March 12th1946, Father Diep and over 70 Catholics of Tac Say Parish were pushed and kept at Su Teacher’s barm in Cay Dua (Coconut Tree) by some strangers. Here they piled straw around and intended to ted burnenvid all. Father Diep himself fought for the security of the Catholics and comfort them. After 2 times Father had been invited to work, the third time, the Catholics did not see he come back. Strangely, after Father had been invited the third time, the Catholics saw the gate of the barn open, so they all escaped.

Some days after, people saw the body of Father in a pond in Su Teacher’s garden with bare body and the slash on the nape of the neck. The Catholics picked it up and bury in Saint Room in Khuc Treo Church. In 1969, the body was moved back to Tac Say Cathedral, where Father Diep had used to manage for 16 years. The charnel house was restored and inaugurated on June 4th1989. In March 4th 2010 his body was disinterred for burial the second time, 10m from the old place and also in the cathedral campus. This place is more spacious and has many living rooms for visitors to take a rest.

People rumor that many people came to Tac Say Cathedral to ask Father Francis Xavier Truong Buu Diep for help and was helped. Good word travels farther and farther, people from everywhere came here more and more including Vietnamese overseas, especially 70% were not Catholics.

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