The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Phan Le: From Vietnam to Arkansas

18-year-old helps serve St. Patrick's roughly 50 Vietnamese families who emigrated

Published: September 5, 2022   
Phan Le said helping children feel like they are part of the community will lead them to know they have a place in the Church. 

Phan Le has been a member of St. Patrick Church in North Little Rock for just five years, but the 18-year-old has already made an impact.

Le was born and raised in Vietnam and moved to the United States in 2017. Since arriving, she has dedicated her Sundays to volunteering and helps to coordinate the Christmas pageant and May crowning. She said she was initially nervous about volunteering because she was not confident speaking English, but with the support of her family and the roughly 50 families that have emigrated from Vietnam to the parish, she took the position and hasn’t looked back.

“Back then, I was undecided if I should be a catechist or not,” she said. “At that time my knowledge of English was quite little. But now, my English has gotten better, and I really like to communicate with everyone to know more about them.”

Serving as a catechist is important, Le said, because it helps children feel like they are part of the community, will lead them to know they have a place in the Church and, hopefully, keep them engaged with the faith throughout their lives. 

“I think today many young people are leaving the Church because the temptations outside of society have made them lose their faith in God,” she said. “They also consider going to Mass no longer important.”

Le, a recent graduate of North Little Rock High School, is enrolled at Pulaski Tech Community College this year with hopes to transfer to a four-year university to prepare for a career in nursing.

“I have seen many people suffering with illness, and I am a person who is easily softened by the sight,” she said. “That makes me strive even more to become a nurse to help people and bring back their health again so that they can see the wonderful things that God has given.”

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