The story behind the catacombs where 70,000 fetuses were buried

In Hai Phong City, there are 2 Catholic cemeteries that bury short-lived fetuses in the vaults grave for the past 15 years. These are An Toan cemetery (Duong Kinh district), which buried more than 1,000 fetuses from 2006 – 2009, and the cemetery of Trang Quan parish (An Dong commune, An Duong district), which currently buries more than 70,000 fetuses.

The burial of the fetus was carried out by the Life Protection group under the Bishop’s House of Hai Phong City. Mr. Nguyen Van Dung – Head of the Life Protection Team said that the crypt has an area of ​​about 30m2 and 27m high, built half-submerged and half-surfaced, divided into compartments. Each burial is done in layers, then filled with sand until it is full and then poured with concrete. Small fetuses around 7-8 weeks old or more than 10 weeks old are buried together in a clay urn, while large fetuses such as premature babies are buried in a separate urinal.

Here, the volunteers of The Life Protection group often coordinates with the Catholic church to organize prayer services for the unfortunate souls. “Currently the catacombs at Trang Quan cemetery are almost full, we need to build another crypt. The group is campaigning for land to build but has not been able to” Mr. Dung said.

Burial of the fetus persuade pregnant women to give up the idea of ​​abortion

The story behind the catacombs where 70,000 fetuses were buried

Established in September 2006, the Hai Phong City Life Protection group has a special mission to receive short-lived babies from abortion facilities for burial. More importantly, the group defines the consulting mission of convincing pregnant women to keep their children, supporting them in getting pregnant and giving birth, educating and communicating to raise awareness for young people about the meaning of life and the problem of abortion. for health and morality.

In the beginning, a group of volunteers was sent to Thua Thien Hue to learn from experience. In the first year, the group only approached one private clinic and then gradually expanded to more clinics. At first, many clinics and hospitals were suspicious of volunteers when they asked for fetuses, fearing they had shady purposes.

Currently, the Life Protection group has approached private clinics and some Small public hospital. The number of fetuses is concentrated mainly in private clinics. According to Mr. Dung, the group has 50 members, including 20 organic members who specialize in receiving, burying fetuses, consulting and convincing pregnant women to give up the idea of ​​abortion. The remaining 30 members are collaborators participating in prayer activities to prepare for the mass. The group members are mostly men.

The story behind the catacombs where 70,000 fetuses were buried

Evening clinic If you call, the members in charge of that area will come to receive the fetus and then take it to the fetal room in the basement of the Hai Phong Bishop’s House to shroud it, read prayers and put it in the freezer for preservation. On the last Friday of each month, the group will hold a burial for an average of about 300 – 400 ill-fated fetuses.

The group has protective equipment such as gloves and masks to prevent the risk of contact with pathogens. . Mr. Dung said this job is not difficult, the important thing is whether you have enough courage to do it or not. There are people who join the group to receive the fetus, but there are also people who have been participating for a long time and still can’t do it because of obsessive fear.

“When I first started doing this job, I felt the same way, but I tried Gradually getting used to it. I have arranged my family’s business properly to maintain this volunteer activity,” Hai Phong City Life Protection Team Leader Nguyen Van Dung shared.

The remains The ill-fated child will be carefully buried in a clay pot before burial.

Children “considered orphans”

Joining the group since 2012, Mr. Dung shared that as a Catholic, he was taught from a young age that fetuses are human beings, so abortion is a very terrible act. Therefore, the group’s main activity is to save lives, sound the warning bell to everyone, encourage young people who mistakenly consider abortion and condemn illegal abortion activities.

” This is a volunteer activity, so our group does not ask for any support but contributes money to buy candles to pray for babies who do not have the opportunity to become human,” Mr. Dung shared. Currently, there is a business that supports the entire cost of buying urinals every year, and a member of the group who helps buy shrouds also has charity money that is often used to buy candles for the children.

The story behind the catacombs where 70,000 fetuses were buried

Through research It is known that the Life Protection group exists in all dioceses nationwide with a uniform operating principle. Mr. Dung emphasized the meaning of the Life Protection group’s mission, which is not to do a hired funeral, but to receive the fetus for burial as a human being.

“Doing this job is never There is a surplus of funds, but we don’t see any shortage. The activities always have full support from benefactors from near and far. The most important thing is the funding to care for pregnant women who decide to keep their children,” Mr. Dung said.

In many years of participating in this volunteer activity, Mr. Dung and the group have never been able to save a prematurely induced fetus. Last December 2021, a volunteer picked up an 8-month-old fetus, still alive, and rushed it to the Viet-German Children’s Hospital (Hai Phong) for emergency treatment but still could not save it.

However, there was joy. The most meaningful thing to the members of the group is consulting and convincing many pregnant women to keep their children.

The group has saved about 140 babies, some of which were raised by nuns at the Tu Phong open house under the management of Tu Phong. of Bac Ninh diocese. Here, any pregnant woman who chooses not to give up her child but has economic difficulties will be supported so that the woman can afford to give birth.

There are pregnant women who, for some reason, cannot raise their child. was welcomed to an open house to be cared for until the day of birth. In the process here, the nuns will continue to encourage and persuade the mother not to abandon her child, otherwise the facility will take care of the child who gave birth and takes care of the children considered orphans.

“Most mothers after After being supported, they all decided to take their children home to raise them. In the past few days, we have just brought two pregnant women to the Tu Phong open house to take care of them until they give birth. Every “escaped” life is a source of joy and encouragement big with us” Mr. Dung shared.