May’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated in 1978 when a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The week was expanded by Congress to a monthlong celebration in 1992.

Learn about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (U.S. Census Bureau website)

Asian and Pacific Islanders are among the fastest-growing minority groups within American society and the Catholic Church. The diversity in language, customs, traditions, and values enriches and at the same time challenges the Church in the pastoral care of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Vibrant and active Vietnamese and Burmese Catholic communities are present in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. 

We pray for our Asian and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters, especially as their communities have faced increased  incidents of racism and xenophobia.

News & Updates:

Cardinal Tagle, Pro-Prefect at the Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization, will be a special guest at Asian and Pacific National Encounter in July (USCCB, May 20)

Additional resources:

From the USCCB:
Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters
Asian and Pacific Island Affairs & Ministry Offices (USCCB)

Pastoral letter against racism: Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love (bilingual)
Responding to the sin of racism (pdf)

Catholic News Service Commentary: Sharing the stories of Asian Saints by Sarah Hoyoung Ku (@asiancatholicwoman on Instagram)

From FAITH Grand Rapids magazine:
‘How can you not give back?’ – Welcomed as refugees, An and Traci share their blessings (March 2021)
They were strangers and she welcomed them – Prisilla Baldwin helps Burmese Catholics find a spiritual home at IHM (September 2017)
From Vietnam to Michigan – Father Lam Le’s journey with God (March 2014)