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Vietnamese based congregation welcomes all to attend services in their temporary building

Posted at 5:46 AM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 06:46:39-04

CORPUS CHRISTII, Texas — A large room with red, blue and white walls with chairs spaced out facing a small alter.

This is what the morning service at St.Peter Catholic Church in Rockport look like.

Only you would never know what this community has been through since Hurricane Harvey.

“The church was completely destroyed , everything collapsed,” says community member, Thao Nguyen.

Diocese of Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey recalls the scene after Hurricane Harvey hit these small communities.

The force of nature, took out the walls in all the buildings that I saw throughout the diocese, the one thing that struck me was the insulation that we have behind our walls it’s just torn apart," he says.

As a Vietnamese based congregation, Father Tran says some members at St.Peter Catholic parish have lived through other storms in their life.

“The older ones they migrated multiple times even when they were in their old country, from the North of Vietnam to the South,” says Father Tung Tran.

THE 2019 United States Census Bureau shows the Asian population in Rockport is 2.2%.

Here's a look at the population across the Coastal Bend:
Nueces County 2.2%
Kenedy County 1.7%
Jim Hogg County 0.6%
Brooks County 1.1%
Klebeg County 2.4%
Duval County 0.5%
Jim Wells County 0.6%
San Patricio 1.2%
Aransas County 2.1%
Refugio County 0.9%
Bee County 0.6%
Live Oak 0.8%

However, St.Peter Catholic Church welcomes all to attend.

Ugina Kowalik has been a apart of this parish since its establishment in 1983.

“We need to bond as a community, I don’t care if you’re pink, black, green, yellow or Irish,” says Kowalik.

One thing this community at St.Peter Catholic parish is missing is a new building.

Since July 2019 services have been held in what was once used as a gymnasium says Father Tran.

“That’s why many people here they expect to have the new church,” says sister Anna Le.

A community adapting and coping. The diocese of Corpus Christi has helped.

“Its been a long process but we had to go through mitigation then the insurance and then we had to tear the building down," says Bishop Michael Mulvey.

More progress has been made now with Bishop Michael Mulvey's signature of approval.

This is exciting news at Saint Peter Catholic parish.

Everybody is so happy to see the new church be built,” says Nguyen.

If things go according to plan the new church will be ready by September of 2022.