Local Hmong Catholic appointed to USCCB subcommittee

| November 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

Khamsy Yang of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul became an adviser for the Hmong ministry for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs in October.

“I am very blessed,” said Yang, who hopes to address the main concerns facing Hmong Catholic communities around the country.

Yang, 52, a recent president of the St. Paul-based Hmong American National Catholic Association, will serve a one-year term on the subcommittee. He said that California, Minnesota and Wisconsin have the largest Hmong Catholic communities in the U.S.

“We are scattered all over the United States,” said Yang, who came to the country as a refugee with his family through the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services during the Vietnam War in 1975.

A woman receives Communion from Bishop Andrew Cozzens during Easter Sunday Mass April 5, 2015, at St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul.  Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Yang said it’s his job “to be a liaison for the Hmong ministry, to communicate from a national perspective and pastoral ministry perspective to the Hmong Catholic community.”

Ethnic ministry advisors such as Yang maintain relationships with dioceses around the United States in order to serve as a resource to the USCCB subcommittee. That includes ongoing contact with clergy, religious and lay leaders who serve their ethnic demographic. Advisers provide an annual report to the USCCB subcommittee regarding their respective ethnic group.

Yang has worked with Hmong Catholics nationally for the past four years as president of HANCA, a religious non-profit formed by Hmong Catholics in the United States in the early 1980s. HANCA works to build Hmong Catholic communities through developing faith formation materials, leadership training and helping parishes reach out to Hmong families.

Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Sister Myrna Tordillo, assistant director for Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, invited to Yang consider the role on the subcommittee. Archbishop Bernard Hebda endorsed Yang for the USCCB, and Father John Ubel, Yang’s pastor, recommended him. Father Ubel serves as rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul and in St. Paul, which has St. Vincent de Paul, a Hmong congregation, as a mission.

Father Ubel serves as rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul and in St. Paul, which includes St. Vincent de Paul, a Hmong congregation, as a mission.

Yang received confirmation of the appointment Oct. 5.

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Category: Local News