Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, May 6, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

catholic charities appeal

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
4/3/2011 6:26:00 AM
Portland pastors tour Vietnam
Photo by Nguyệt Le
Fr. Bình Hoang with one of the children of Gia Hưng, a town that had been severely impacted by a flood the previous year. 
 
Photo by Nguyệt Le

Fr. Bình Hoang with one of the children of Gia Hưng, a town that had been severely impacted by a flood the previous year. 

 

+ view more photos
Kim Dung, of Portland, founder of the Southeast Asian Relief Association, visits a mother of a disabled child in Thanh Hóa. 

Rich and poor, north and south, city and countryside – Father John Kerns, pastor of St. Juan Diego Parish, witnessed it all during a visit to Vietnam thanks to his guide, Father Petrus Bình Hoang, pastor of St. Stephen Parish.

Father Hoang, whose homeland is Vietnam, is chaplain of the Southeast Asian Relief Association, a Portland organization that provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid for the leprosy inflicted, needy and poor Southeast Asians.

“Everything is two way street,” Father Hoang said. “Helping the people in Vietnam is also helping myself.”

It helps him overcome the individualism and materialism, he said, and reminds him how fortunate his life is, blessed by God, family and people at St. Stephen.

Years ago, Father Hoang invited Father Kerns to travel with him to Vietnam, which he left at age 16 when his mother woke him in the middle of the night and said: “Go with your uncle and do whatever he tells you.” They boarded a boat with other political refugees and eventually made it to Portland, where the rest Father Hoang’s family eventually joined him.

For a month this winter, the two priests toured and conducted charity work. They celebrated the Vietnamese New Year “Tet Nguyen Dan” there in early February.

During the trip, the two priests carried out work for SARA, founded by Portland resident Kim Dung. They delivered food, clothing, medicine and gifts to children in orphanages, residents of leprosy communities and patients in clinics.

“It was heartwarming to see the gratitude,” Father Kerns said. “And it was inspiring to see the dedicated sisters, priests and lay Catholics who spent themselves in tireless service for those in great need.”

The seamstress from Portland started the non-profit after visiting in 1994 and seeing the plight of the people who live in leprosy camps throughout the north and south.

“It broke my heart to see the condition of the lepers. Some with no hands, some without legs or feet, and many with other facial and bodily disfigurements,” Dung said. “When I tried to approach the people, they all stepped back and often hid because of their embarrassment over their personal disfigurements that were a result of leprosy.”

Upon her return, she began collecting whatever extra money should could from her seamstress job, eventually saving $10,000, which she used to buy and distribute medicine, clothes, food, and other supplies. Since 1998, Dung has returned every year.

Dung was also in Vietnam at the time of their trip, so the priests traveled with her for parts of their stay. They visited a clinic built on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Our Lady of Unity in Bắc Ninh, coordinated by SARA, with the help of benefactors like Archbishop John Vlazny.

During their trip, the priests also visited Gia Hưng, a town that had been severely impacted by a flood the previous year.  The flood was so deep that water rose to the keyhole on the town’s Catholic church door, a building that is at a higher elevation than the village, where many parishioners were severely impacted.
“Especially impressive was the tenacity of the Catholic people of Vietnam,” said Father Kerns. “For example, it appeared that every church is full of men, women and children for 5:30 a.m. daily Mass.”

Father Hoang travels to Vietnam twice a year to volunteer at leper colonies and orphanages. On this trip, he said his most notable moment was visiting an orphanage, where a teen girl sang a song she had composed.

The lyrics told her story of being born blind, about wishing she could see the sunrise and sunset, wanting to see the faces of animals or the color of flowers.

She sang that one day she could see these thing through the eyes of her heart that was fully filled by the loving and caring of people like the Sisters at the orphanage, Father Hoang said.

Father Kerns shared photos and narrative of their entire trip on his blog, http://frjohninvietnam.blogspot.com/.





Advanced Search













Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved