In the 1930s, Father Victor Barbier, in charge of Thakhek‘s Christianity, composed mainly of Vietnamese who had come from Vinh, where he had been pastor, asked the women’s congregations of Europe to come and work in Laos. After 26 negative responses, the Superior General of the Sisters of Charity, Mother Anna Lapiere, accepted the appeal on January 14, 1934. The same day in Rome Pius XI proclaimed foundress Mother Thouret a saint.
In 1975 the pro-Western regime was replaced by a Marxist-Leninist one in tune with other Asian states. Power passed into the hands of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, which still holds it today. Foreign missionaries were expelled, church buildings nationalized, even the Sisters of Charity had to disperse to the villages, going to share the simple lives of the rural people.
In this still difficult context, the church continued its work, forging good relations with the ruling Party, but always ensuring that the rights of the weakest were safeguarded. Some bishops, priests, and lay people in the country have experienced years of imprisonment. Therefore, the presence of the Sisters of Charity in Laos is also very delicate.