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First Hmong priest in the Anglican Communion

Posted on: July 1, 2013 4:50 PM
Toua Vang at his ordination service
Photo Credit: ENS
Related Categories: Asia

From the By Haddayr Copley-Woods of the Diocese of Minnesota

Toua Vang was ordained June 27 by Diocese of Minnesota Bishop Brian N. Prior as an Episcopal priest.

It looked very much the same as the other ordinations; Prior placed his hands on Vang’s head, saying: “Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to Toua; fill him with grace and power and make him a priest in your Church.”

But it was not the same.

Vang, a member of the Hmong-majority Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in St Paul, Minnesota, is not only the first Hmong Episcopal priest — but also the first Hmong priest in the entire Anglican Communion.

The Revd Winfred Vergara, Episcopal Church missioner for Asiamerican Ministries, believes the significance of this ordination goes beyond simple demographics. “It demonstrates that the Episcopal Church welcomes all people,” says Vergara. “The Hmong, Nepalese, Cambodians, and the Laos in the United States are probably some of the most marginalized, underprivileged communities here. So it demonstrates our passion and our commitment to empower people. We do not simply speak about it.”

Read the full story and watch the video here