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    Vietnamese the “new Irish” in US priesthood

    By Noreen Bowden | May 28, 2007

    Vietnamese priests in the US are being referred to as the “new Irish”, according to an article in the California Catholic Daily. The article points out that the Irish-born accounted for 80% of the priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s; their places have now been taken by Latin Americans, Nigerians, and people from South and Southeast Asia.

    ‚ÄúVietnamese priests are filling the gap,‚Ä? Ryan Lilyengren, a spokesman for the diocese of Orange, told the Los Angeles Times. ‚ÄúPeople are calling them the new Irish.‚Ä?

    Vietnamese Catholics number only about 300,000 (or about 1% of US Catholics), but they along with other Asian seminarians make up 12% of the nation’s seminarians.

    Read the article on the California Catholic website.

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