Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Susan J. Huber, Ed.D, Margaret T. Reif, Ed.D. and Eleni Roulis, Ph.D.

Abstract

The focus of this historical ethnography is a Vietnamese American Catholic parish community in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota. When the Church of Blessed Joseph Hein was canonically erected in 1987, its mission was to meet the spiritual needs of Vietnamese Catholics who desired to worship in the Vietnamese language and preserve their cultural traditions. The parish is now merged with a 125 year old parish with French Canadian roots. The parish‟s name is now Church of St. Anne and St. Joseph Hien; it is located in Minneapolis. The primary focus of the study was to document how this particular Vietnamese American Catholic community came into existence, and evolved into the thriving parish that it is today. Initially, a parish-wide survey, available in both Vietnamese and English, was designed to discern the most important questions that needed to be explored. Twelve Vietnamese American Catholic parishioners were then interviewed. Six interviewees were randomly selected by age and gender from those who had volunteered at the end of the parish-wide survey. Two additional volunteers were asked for interviews to meet age and gender goals set for the study. There was one male and female interviewee from each of four age groupings. Another four individuals were interviewed for their lay leadership insights. In order to remain true to the primary focus of the study, parishioners‟ stories of their Catholic experiences while growing up in Vietnam were recorded, as well as parishioners‟ reasons for leaving Vietnam and their stories of flight. The study includes a history of how the Vietnamese Catholics began worshiping together in Minnesota, formed an incorporated Vietnamese Catholic Community within the Archdiocese, and eventually became a parish. Parishioners also shared their ideas about the present and future church, and the study concludes with recommendations for faith communities and social services as they attempt to meet the needs of newer refugee and immigrant groups.

Keywords

Vietnamese Americans, Asian Catholics, Vietnamese American Parish History, Vietnamese American Catholics, Asian Catholics in Minnesota, Vietnamese Catholic Refugees

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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