Mamie George Community Center honors Fulshear priest

Contributed Report
Posted 9/15/22

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

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Mamie George Community Center honors Fulshear priest

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

Father Dat, pastor of St. Faustina Catholic Church in Fulshear, was honored Sept. 8 at the annual Mission of Love gala, benefitting the Mamie George Community Center, the hub for Catholic Charities services in Fort Bend County.

The priest is the founding pastor at the church, which came into being in 2014 when DiNardo appointed him to solidify a congregation in fast-growing Fulshear. Since then, the parish has grown to become one of the largest congregations in the area.

“I was the only parishioner when I came out here.  And today, the Lord has blessed us with more than 5,000 families,” Dat said.

Dat Hoang has a remarkable life story. As a young child living with his large Catholic family in Vietnam, he wanted to be a priest. Because his father had served as an officer in the South Vietnamese Air Force, their bishop advised that they leave the country to realize the youngster’s dreams.

It took two years and harrowing journeys to escape. Eventually, Dat Hoang was reunited with his brothers in Houston, where he pushed himself to learn English in high school, and went on to attend seminary and realize his dream of becoming a priest.

At the Mission of Love gala, John Gillespie, chair of the MGCC advisory board and a parishioner at St. Faustina Catholic Church, paid tribute to Father Dat: “He is the most humble, spiritual man we know. We also know that the last thing he wants, is to draw attention to himself.”

The Mission of Love Gala raises funds needed to provide social services at the Mamie George Community Center, which provides meals, gatherings and classes to keep seniors engaged and active. In addition, the center provides vital services for people of all ages: a food pantry, financial assistance, help for women veterans, and parenting education for young families.

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

During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, MGCC converted to home deliveries of meals and food to seniors, virtual interaction with other clients and drive-through food distribution. The center re-opened after the worst of the pandemic and is fully operating, including in-person “shopping” for food items in the food pantry—by appointment. Nearly five million pounds of food have been distributed, with help from a devoted corps of volunteers, since the pandemic began.

For more information about the Mamie George Community Center, visit the website CatholicCharities.org.

Mamie George Community Center, Fulshear, Roman Catholic Church

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