Written by: Marierose Hoang
The Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Church in Arlington, VA celebrated its 35th anniversary on September 6-7, 2014. The weekend celebration included several Masses celebrated by former pastors of the parish, two lecture/panel discussions (The Holy Martyrs of Vietnam and the formation of the Vietnamese faith; Direction of the Vietnamese Youth in the USA), a variety concert on Saturday, and a celebratory Mass followed by an outdoor picnic party on Sunday. An abundance of parishioners and special guests were in attendance to celebrate this joyful event. Grace and Unity were the chosen themes for this event.
The celebratory mass on Sunday was celebrated by the Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, Canada, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen Manh Hieu.
“With bountiful grace bestowed to our parish during the last 35 years, with deep gratitude to our Heavenly Father, to those who have helped to establish this parish, have been and continued to be the living cornerstones of this community,” Father Peter Hoang Van Thien, OP, said in a written statement to the parishioners, “Upon all, let us remember to live with the words of Pope St. John XXIII: “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”
A parish history DVD was also developed by committee members.
Holy Martyrs of Vietnam was founded in January 1976. The church was dedicated on August 19, 1979 by Bishop Thomas J. Welsh under the name of “Blessed Vietnamese Martyrs” in Annandale, VA. In July 1985, the church was moved to the current location in Arlington, VA and underwent some renovations. The first Mass was celebrated on March 15, 1989.
The English parish name was changed to The Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church by Bishop Keating of Arlington, following a petition of Father Tran Binh Trong on the occasion of the canonization of the 117 Vietnamese Martyrs on January 24, 1989.