Truc Nguyen : Building a New Shrine

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Truc Nguyen is part of the leadership team for the St. Anthony Vietnamese community, serving as a liaison to the larger parish community. Truc has been a member at St. Anthony since 2000. His family includes his wife and two children, Eva and Kevan, who both received their First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation at St. Anthony. He also has a history of service, including working in RE & Language programs and leadership of the Vietnamese choir.

If you have visited the parish office lately, you may have noticed the shrine being constructed with its beautiful yellow tree sculptures surrounding a seating area where a statue of Our Lady of Lavang will be installed. The Blessed Virgin Mary comes to people around the world in their own images and interpretations. Our Lady of Lavang to the Vietnamese is like Our Lady of Guadalupe to our Hispanic community.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnamese community at St. Anthony. The community has come a long way from the beginning days, with just a handful families settled in Tigard in the early 80’s. Its membership continued to grow and by 1995, the need was enough to have weekly Sunday mass in Vietnamese at St. Anthony. Today, it is a vibrant community with about 200 registered families that plays active and important roles within the parish community.

Truc says, “We’ve been constrained by the COVID pandemic in so many ways and we thought building the shrine during this time would give the community an opportunity to focus the energy on something wonderful. Having her shrine at St. Anthony cements that this parish is truly our home. It speaks to the diversity of our parish, the recognition and the vision father John has about who we are as a parish. We want to celebrate this special occasion and also use the opportunity to introduce Our Lady of Lavang to the larger parish community. There will also be a smaller version of the statue in the cemetery where many Vietnamese deceased have been laid to rest.”

The shrine idea has been in the works for over a year, designed by Phiet Luong who is also the Choir Director for the St. Anthony Vietnamese community. The statue for the shrine was done by a sculptor from Vietnam and recently shipped overseas. Planning and preparation has been a whole-community event, with over 90 families contributing time and money to make the shrine and the 25th anniversary celebration a reality. We plan to have the statue installed by Thanksgiving. Our special thanks to Matt Studer and the Brothers of St. Joseph men group for their time and expertise in the construction.

Depending on COVID allowances, there are plans to have a ceremony of dedication and a big celebration for the 25th anniversary as a parish event. Timing and safety considerations are still being worked out.

If you would like to learn more about the shrine or participate in the dedication ceremony, please reach out to Truc, and he can get you connected to the person or information you seek:

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