St. Anne Parish and Vietnamese Catholic Community of Lancaster Merge with Official Decree [photos] | faith and values

St. Anne’s Parish and the Vietnamese Catholic Community of Lancaster have united as one body of believers and will henceforth be known as St. Anne’s Parish and Our Lady of La Vang.

The merger was made official in a ceremony on Saturday, January 29, at Lancaster City Church, located at 929 N. Duke St.

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg, read an official decree during Mass to unite the two communities into one.






Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg, applauds after the reading of the official decree that unites St. Anne Parish and the Vietnamese Catholic community of Lancaster into one body of believers on Saturday, January 28, 2022.




Lancaster’s Vietnamese Catholic community was formed soon after they arrived in the area after the fall of Saigon in 1975, according to a church press release. The group was recognized by and provided pastoral care under the Diocese of Harrisburg. Over the years the group was assigned to various parishes in Lancaster as a place of worship, but never had a parish home.

In 2015, the Rev. Sorting. Mr. Luong was appointed parish priest of St. Anne’s parish. At the same time, he was entrusted with the pastoral care of the Vietnamese community in Lancaster.

For the past seven years, the Vietnamese community of Lancaster has worshiped alongside the parishioners of St. Anne. According to a press release from the church, the arrangement turned into a celebration of everyone’s traditions and bilingual masses. They were so consistent, according to the press release, that many St. Anne parishioners thought the members of the Vietnamese group were also parishioners.






Saint Anne

Gainer’s official decree that will join St. Anne’s Parish and the Vietnamese Catholic Community of Lancaster into one body of believers. The outward sign of this union will be the new title given to the parish of Sainte-Anne and Notre-Dame de la Paroisse La Vang.




Each group had its own leadership council, and in 2021 a conversation began about St. Anne becoming the permanent home of these parishioners. Luong approached Gainer, who gave his approval to proceed with the merger.

The name Our Lady of La Vang was chosen by the Vietnamese community of Lancaster, after a community in Vietnam to which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in 1798, when Catholics were persecuted and killed in Vietnam.

According to a church press release, there is only one other parish in the country that has completed a similar merger – in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.






Saint Anne

Congregants listen as Reverend Tri M. Luong read the official decree, in Vietnamese, which joins St. Anne’s Parish and the Vietnamese Catholic Community of Lancaster into one body of believers before mass inside the church at 929 N. Duke St. in the city of Lancaster Saturday, January 29, 2022. The outward sign of this union will be the new title given to the parish of St. Anne and Our Lady of La Vang Parish.




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