By Father Stephen Perzan
Special to The CS&T
PHILADELPHIA – Father Joseph Logrip, pastor of Mother of spanine Grace Parish, and newly installed regional vicar for Philadelphia-North, made a pastoral visit to St. Helena Parish in the Olney section of Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 26 at a special 4 p.m. Mass. The visit coincided with the 11th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Vietnamese community at St. Helena Parish.
Eleven years ago, the growing Vietnamese community at St. Helena was served on a part-time basis by a young parochial vicar, now its pastor, Msgr. Joseph Trinh, who commuted to the parish from Visitation B.V.M in Philadelphia.
The Mass last Sunday also served as an occasion for the installation of the parish’s new Vietnamese council members. As Huan Tran, an acolyte studying for the permanent deaconate, called each member forward, Father Logrip made the sign of the cross on the forehead of each person signifying the call to the “service of leadership.”
At the conclusion of the Mass, celebrated in the Vietnamese language with reminders of Vietnamese culture sprinkled throughout, Father Logrip addressed the more than 400 attendees. In glowing terms he praised the beauty and the solemnity of the celebration, stating that this was his “first ever Vietnamese Mass.” He revealed to the onlookers that his own parents came as immigrants to this country so he understood some of the feelings that they encountered and the struggles they underwent to become successful and productive citizens.
Addressing the youth who had participated in the Mass by performing a traditional flower dance, Father Logrip said, “I want to thank you for you have taught me something today. You have shown me the love you have for your faith and how holy is your culture. I mean it. Your culture is holy!”
Father Logrip went on to say that it is not important what language you speak, but what is important is the language of your heart. He also urged young people to reach out to the call that God may have for them to the priesthood and religious life. “We need you,” he said. “The Church needs you, God needs you.”
At the conclusion of the vicar’s address, the Vietnamese community presented him with a gift of flowers. Following the Mass Father Logrip visited with the community in the school hall where there was music, socializing and Vietnamese food.
Father Stephen Perzan is the parochial vicar at St. Helen Parish in Philadelphia.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103