Catholicism was introduced to Vietnam at the beginning of the 16th century by the European missionaries. In 1658, Pope Alexandre VII appointed Father Francois Pallu and Father Pierre Lambert de la Motte, the first two Bishops of Vietnam. Since then, the Church in Vietnam grew rapidly despite massive persecutions. After the fall of Saigon on April 30th of 1975, many people left Vietnam for freedom. Among the Vietnamese immigrants were a small number of people sponsored by the late Monsignor Michael Duffy and some parishioners at St. Bonaventure Parish. Since then, the Vietnamese Community at St. Bonaventure grew and become a community of Vietnamese Catholics committed to living out and passing on to the next generations the faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, sacraments, education, and service upon the faith of the Vietnamese Martyrs. Our goal is to live and enrich the Vietnamese Catholic faith and identity and abide by the culture and faith of the Catholic Church at St. Bonaventure.
We have a variety of Catholic Movement organizations such as Catholic Mothers, Sacred Heart League, Legions of Mary, and other smaller groups such as Cursillo Movement, Charismatic Renewal, Helping Hands, Sacred Heart of Mary, that meet to pray and serve those in need such as the homeless, the poor, and the lepers in the third world countries and visit the sick at the nursing homes. We also have a Vocation Association group to pray for and support vocations. The Vietnamese community also participates along side of St. Bonaventure’s pastoral care ministries such as the Wedding and Bereavement Ministries for the Vietnamese parishioners. We also have the festival committee that coordinates the Vietnamese participation at the Parish Festival. We also have programs that help children to learn and practice their faith along with the Vietnamese culture and tradition. These programs are Vietnamese Bilingual Religious Education, Vietnamese Language, and Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth that meet every Saturday on a regular basis during the school year.
We also have special celebrations along with other celebrations of the Church. For instance, Tet, Vietnamese New Year, is celebrated on the first full moon of the Lunar Calendar. Another celebration is the Moon Festival celebrated in mid autumn. As May and October are the months especially dedicated to Mother Mary, the Eucharistic Youth Group has a special liturgical dance in the Vietnamese Masses. We also remember and pray for the rights and dignity of the Vietnamese who are still living under the control of the communists on the 30th of April of every year. One of the highlight celebrations of the Vietnamese Catholics is the Vietnamese Martyrs Feast celebrated on November 24th. We believe that it is through the blood of the Martyrs, poured out for their faith in Jesus Christ that the faith of the Vietnamese Church continues to grow strongly.
Faith must be lived and shared. With heartfelt gratitude, we thank the late Monsignor Michael Duffy, Father Joseph Knerr, all the former pastors, other communities, and all the parishioners at St. Bonaventure Church for allowing us to live and share our faith and be part of the St. Bonaventure Catholic Family.
Communication & Coordination for the Vietnamese community:
Deacon Son Hoang
Saint Bonaventure Catholic Parish
16400 Springdale Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92649