Our Lady of Vietnam Parish in Silver Spring Celebrates 25 Years
April 12, 2015
WASHINGTON – The Catholic community of Our Lady of Vietnam parish in Silver Spring celebrates 25 years this year. Today, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington celebrated Mass with the parish faithful to mark the special milestone anniversary.
“The history of this parish is the story as well of the faith, courage and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese people who came to this country fleeing persecution and seeking freedom, including religious liberty to practice their Catholic faith,” said Cardinal Wuerl as he began his homily. He recognized and thanked the former pastors of the parish and the lay faithful who have supported the parish over the last quarter-century.
“Our Catholic faith teaches us that in hearing and accepting Jesus’ Gospel and message we do not do so just as individuals but as God’s family, his Church. It is precisely in his Church established by Jesus that we continue to find his presence today.” The cardinal referenced the first reading (Acts 4:32-35) which described what that early Christian community looked like: “It tells us that these first disciples of Jesus devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles, to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Our Lady of Vietnam Parish, we recognize that for the past quarter century, that is exactly what has happened here and what continues to happen in this parish.”
“When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the memorial of her Lord’s death and Resurrection, this central event of salvation becomes really present and ‘the work of our redemption is carried out,’” said Cardinal Wuerl, referencing Saint John Paul II’s 2003 encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. What is seen at Our Lady of Vietnam parish is seen throughout the entire archdiocesan Church and throughout the whole Church Universal. “We are God’s people. We come together to be formed by God’s Word. We come together to be nourished by the sacraments most particularly the Eucharist. And we come together so that out of God’s love for us and our love for God and one another we can care for the needs of one another. What we celebrate today, then, is the fidelity of this portion of God’s family to the mission of the Church, to God’s plan, to God’s Word, to God’s sacramental presence with us, and to the recognition of our identity as God’s family,” said the cardinal.
“We ask God’s blessings for the future. Who could have ever said what was to come as the Vietnamese Catholics gathered in this parish a quarter of a century ago? So with the same faith, perseverance and love we look to the future and ask God’s blessings on this parish. Congratulations on these 25 years as a parish. May God continue to bless you as together all of us proclaim, Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen,” said the cardinal as he concluded his homily.
Our Lady of Vietnam parish was established in 1990 for the Vietnamese Catholics in the area. The parish began with about 25 families, and today is the spiritual home to over 600 families (approximately 2,000 parishioners).
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
CONTACT: Chieko Noguchi