Our Lady of La Vang Church Aims to Bring Together Vietnamese and Latino Catholics

August 20, 2006

Source: Los Angeles Times


On August 20, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported, "The sanctuary of Santa Ana's new Our Lady of La Vang Church was designed to give worshipers a transcendent experience by mixing influences from East and West. In the center of the four-cornered building, a sleek altar sits under a large dome. Surrounding it are blond oak pews that seat more than 1,000. Light streams in from many windows, bathing the worship space. 'It's a round structure upon a square structure,' said Father Joseph Nguyen, pastor of the Roman Catholic parish that will offer Masses starting next week in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. 'The round and square in the East symbolizes heaven and earth, a harmony. In the West, the round represents eternity and perfection, [while] the square represents justice and strength.' Today is the official dedication of the 16,000-square-foot church, with Bishop of Orange Tod D. Brown expected to sprinkle holy water on its walls and rub oil on its altar. The structure is Orange County's first circular Catholic church, its first with a Vietnamese name and the first in the diocese designed specifically with multiculturalism in mind. Nguyen said most previous churches were built in mostly white communities, and slowly, when migration took place, the churches took on the character of the new group."