Fulshear Priest Honored at Mamie George Community Center’s Mission of Love Gala

Father Dat Hoang, pastor of St. Faustina Catholic Church in Fulshear, is the winner of this year’s Mission of Love Gala. The Sept. 8 “Boots and Blessings”-themed event at the Safari Texas Ranch benefited the Mamie George Community Center, Fort Bend County’s Catholic charity service hub.

“Father Dat Hoang is tireless – almost like an Energizer Bunny,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. “He is a visionary priest.”

Father Dat is the founding pastor of the church, which began in 2014, when he was appointed by Cardinal DiNardo to solidify a congregation in the rapidly growing community of Fulshear. Since that time, the parish has grown to become one of the largest congregations in the region. “I was the only parishioner when I came here. And today the Lord has blessed us with over 5,000 families,” Fr. Dat said.

Dat Hoang’s remarkable life story includes how as a young child, while living with his large Catholic family in Vietnam, he wanted to be a priest. And because his father had served as an officer in the South Vietnamese Air Force, their bishop advised them to leave Vietnam to fulfill the youngster’s dreams. It took two years and grueling journeys to escape the country. Eventually, Dat Hoang reunited with his brothers in Houston, where he pushed himself to learn English in high school, then attended seminary and fulfilled his dream of becoming a priest.

“He is the most humble and spiritual man we know. We also know that the last thing he wants is to draw attention to himself,” said John Gillespie, president of the MGCC Advisory Board and parishioner of St. Faustina Catholic Church, as part of the tribute to Father Dat during the gala The Mission of Love Gala raises funds to provide social services at the Mamie George Community Center, which offers meals, gatherings and classes to keep seniors engaged and active.The center also provides essential services for people of all ages, a food pantry, financial assistance, assistance for female veterans and parenting education for young families.

“We are located in one of the poorest areas of Fort Bend County, so we see poverty every day,” said Gladys Brumfield-James, executive director of the center.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MGCC changed its food service delivery and converted its operations to home deliveries for meals and food to seniors, virtual interaction with other customers, and food distribution. food while driving. The center has reopened and is fully functioning, including in-person “shopping” for food items in the pantry – by appointment. Nearly five million pounds of food have been distributed, with the help of a dedicated corps of volunteers, since the start of the pandemic.

Jill E. Washington