The Catholic Vietnamese community in Tampa celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on November 25, 2020, in gratitude for their new church, located at 5601 Hanley Road, in Tampa. Previously, St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission shared space with Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in Tampa, but it now has a church home all its own.
Despite being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, enough money was raised for the new church after just a few months of identifying a location that would meet the needs of this growing community.
“With Bishop Parkes’ blessing and the assistance of diocesan staff, we were able to purchase and transition to the new Church location in five short months,” said Father Chien X. Dinh, S.V.D., administrator of St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission.
The community is largely comprised of Vietnamese refugees and their descendants.
Speaking on behalf of his parishioners, Father Dinh shared, “We are thankful for this country and the Diocese of St. Petersburg for taking us in as refugees, for adopting us as brothers and sisters in faith, and for now allowing us a new church location as our own spiritual home.”
At the new location, the St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission will continue celebrating Mass in Vietnamese with traditional hymns. Faith formation will be offered from first through ninth grade, along with preparation for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, and Matrimony. Members of the community who are ill, preparing for surgery or in danger of death may receive the Anointing of the Sick.
A vibrant Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement is also offered for the youth of the Mission. This movement teaches and inspires young people to serve others and spread the Good News. Additionally, there are classes for children and adults who want to learn how to speak and write in Vietnamese.