Fr. Luke Nguyen HungDung was born on the 14th of April, 1964 in a small city of Phuoc Thanh, Vung Tau, Vietnam during Vietnam's Civil War between North and South. During the War, his father died in the Tet Offensive 1968 when he was 4 years old. As a result of the Fall of Saigon in 1975, which left hundreds of thousands of people fled away from the country and from the communist regime, Fr. Luke, too fled by boat with his grandmother, together with his brother and his sister. They were picked up by American ship to settle in Guam Island, then to Fort Chaffe, Arkansas, and then to Orange Country, California. Upon discerning God's call, in 1981 Fr. Luke entered the religious life and became a professed brother at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix in Carthage, Missouri. However, in 1992, Fr. Luke returned to California, stayed with his family and tried to finish his studies. After graduating from California State of Fullerton University in 1998, with a double degree in Religious Studies and Sociology, he discerned again his vocation. With a deep desire to become a priest, he came to Louisiana and studies for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He was accepted by the vocation office. Then the rector of the seminary, Most Reverend Gregory Aymond at the time, permitted him to study theology at Notre Dame Seminary. On June 1, 2002, Fr. Luke Nguyen was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Alfred Hughes and was assigned at St. Charles Boromeo in Destrehan. And on July 1, 2004, Fr. Luke was reassigned at Mary Queen of Vietnam. He served there six years, and in 2009 he was reassigned to St. Ann Church and Shrine Church in Metairie. July 2012. Archbishop Aymond assigned him as pastor of two churches, namely St. Bernard Catholic Church and Our Lady of Lourdes, in Violet. These two became independent of one another in 2013. Fr. Luke has been serving solely as pastor of our Lady of Lourdes since the split.
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Here's a bit of my history - a St. Bernard bit. After some time in E. Plaquemines my family settled into Lourdes Parish in St. Bernard in 1946. After High School I spent six years at LSU, majoring in Music. The real big change came with my contact with the Newman Center, students and Fathers Tracey and Borders at LSU. Seven years in the Seminary was followed by Ordination, June 2,1962, and First Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, June 3, 1962. Fr. Schneider assisted and Fr. Roy gave the sermon, with a little joking about my singing. Assignments led me in different directions across the Archdiocese until I came to rest at St. Hubert Church as pastor, almost forty years. But I also had an assignment at St. Louise de Merillac in Arabi as pastor. When retirement time came I naturally planned to settle permanently in St. Bernard. Surprised? Then the Big Storm came bearing down on my house in Chalmette. But it took more than that! After a year I was back at Our Lady of Prompt Succor for three and a half years, then to my present home on Bayou Road. It begins to look like gravity! My memories are with the old church, which has seen its day. It's a pleasure to celebrate again at the new church for the folks at Our Lady of Lourdes, and other churches in the Deanery. SEE YOU AROUND!