Vietnam to Austin: Connected by Faith
Religion is an important part of the Vietnamese American community and has played a significant role in restoring the faiths of many individuals and families in their new home. The two major religions are Buddhism and Catholicism.
Linh Son Temple
[Weekly worship], 2008, AR.2009.048(088), "Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community" Exhibit Collection
The largest Vietnamese Buddhist Temple is Linh-Son. It was established in 1983 and has two locations, one in Leander and a smaller temple in north Austin. On special events such as Lunar New Year, Buddha’s Birthday, Autumn Festival, and Buddhist Mother’s Day, there are over 500 people who gather to celebrate and worship at the 1,500 sq. ft temple in Leander. The main goals of Linh-Son Buddhist Temple are to provide Buddhist teachings and spiritual guidance and offer activities that teach Vietnamese language to kids and adults.
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church
[Father Joseph Van Anh Nguyen leads service], undated, AR.2009.048(207), "Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community" Exhibit Collection
The largest Vietnamese Catholic Church is the Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church. On September 2, 1975, Father Joseph Van Anh Nguyen was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Austin to take care of refugees in central and southern regions. In 1987, Father Joseph Nguyen was transferred to St. Joseph Church in Manor to serve the 120 families of the Vietnamese Catholic community. As the congregation grew, so did the need for their own facility, and in 1990, the church moved into their own building on across the street to accommodate the increasing number of parishioners.