Arlington Bishop establishes Mission
in western Fairfax for Vietnamese-Speaking Catholics

September 3, 2017


On September 1, 2017, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington formally announced the establishment of a new Mission in western Fairfax County to serve the Vietnamese-speaking Catholic community in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties.

The new Mission, Our Lady of La Vang, will initially hold Masses at Saint Veronica Church in Chantilly until a separate church facility can be built.  Its name commemorates a Marian apparition in Vietnam in 1798, a time when Catholics there were being subjected to persecution.

“Since arriving in the Diocese of Arlington, I have continued to be impressed with the vibrant and devout faith of the Vietnamese community,” Bishop Burbidge said. “So to be able to announce the establishment of Our Lady of La Vang Mission is a pleasure and privilege. I am grateful for the support of the Vietnamese community, especially for the pastoral support offered by the Vietnamese Dominican Regional Vicariate of St. Vincent Liem. Their work in this area is critical to our outreach to Vietnamese Catholics.”

Bishop Burbidge also announced that Father Luan Pho, OP, Parochial Vicar at Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Church, will have a special care for those to be served at the Our Lady of La Vang Mission.

The Our Lady of La Vang mission will be formed within the parish of Holy Martyrs of Vietnam, located in Arlington.  Like Holy Martyrs parish, the new Mission will be staffed by priests from the Vietnamese Dominican Regional Vicariate of St. Vincent Liêm, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Church was established in 1979 as a “personal parish” in the Diocese of Arlington for the Vietnamese community.  Under Catholic canon law, personal parishes are parishes established to serve Catholics of a particular language, nationality, or rite.

The decree establishing the new Mission takes effect today, September 3, 2017. Bishop Burbidge informed parishioners while celebrating the 2 p.m. Mass at Saint Veronica Church.

With the establishment today of the Our Lady of La Vang mission and the new Saint Gabriel mission in Manassas Park, the Diocese of Arlington now has 70 parishes and 6 missions which serve an estimated 550,000 Catholics in northern Virginia.  The diocese also provides priests to staff two parishes in the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic.