Family is Forever – you will always have a place at St. Lambert Parish

Family is Forever – you will always have a place at St. Lambert Parish

In the last few years, I have said to numerous people that once you’ve been to St. Lambert whether for years, months, or a few weeks, you belong – you will always have a place here.   I firmly believe it, but I recently was blessed with the opportunity to see this reality reach across more than 4 decades.

This July, Annie Nguyen from Vancouver, Washington called the office and spoke with Cheryl  about her parents’ connection to St. Lambert and asking if anything could be found in the archives regarding them.  Rosemarie went through some things and a bulletin from December 7-15, 1975 gave a snapshot of the family.

            “Two weeks ago a Committee of Concerned welcomed the Family of Biet Van Nguyen – parents, four little children, a brother and a sister of Biet – to the St. Lambert Family.  Then the blizzard came . . and we find this family in need of clothing for winter . . . . .”

 Two St. Lambert families sponsored the Van Nguyen family to come from a refugee camp at Ft. Chaffee, Arizona after escaping communism oppression and Christian persecution in Vietnam.   Annie was not one of the “four little children” mentioned in the bulletin but one of the 4 children born after coming to the US.  Her parents were returning to South Dakota on a trip and wanted to stop at St. Lambert and she was helping facilitate the trip.  The visit was to occur on a Saturday and we exchanged contact information and I made plans to greet them.

When they arrived, it was clear that though a great many years had gone by, Biet and Lac  felt a deep connection to the St. Lambert family and spoke with great animation and joy about Fr. Ryan and the friends they made here.  In a serious moment, Biet stated that if it weren’t for St. Lambert, they would not be here.  They were very excited to see the growth and numerous changes of the whole facility.  Though a wedding was taking place at the time, requiring them to look into the main church through the windows and chapel rather than entering, they were struck by the beauty of the sanctuary.  The tour ended in the Mary garden where pictures were taken and hugs and well wishes were exchanged.

They are hopeful to one day return for a longer visit and attend Mass.  The Van Nguyen’s proved once again that Family is Forever – once you come to St. Lambert, you belong and will always have a place.   “Church” was never intended to mean a building, but a people.   St. Lambert is more than a community of believers, we are a family – a people changed by Christ.


Lac Nguyen and Lori at St. Lambert


Biet and Fr. Ryan


Biet and Lac with Sheila and Gerry Lotten


The Legacy:

Biet and Lac, all 8 children and their own families currently live very close to one another in Oregon…..cities of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard and Clackamas.   The driving distant of no more than 30-40 mins apart.



Biet and Lac Nguyen: Biet is currently working at EDT (Engineering Design Team).  When his mother got ill from bone cancer – Lac quit her job to stay home and cared for her.  When she passed in March 1993 Lac permanently became a stay at home mom.  She has now transitioned  to stay at home grandma.  She is currently caring for Annie’s daughter Audrey, age 2.5 and  Beckham, age 11 months.



Oldest Son: Son Nguyen Age 46 – works for USPS

Spouse: Iris Garvilles Age 44– works for Kaiser Permanente

Daughter: Selene Nguyen – Age 18. Will be a freshman in college this Fall

Son: Jordan Nguyen – Age 13

Son: Conner Nguyen – Age 9


2nd – Son: Phong Nguyen Age 44 – works for USPS

Spouse: Khanh Nguyen Age 45– nail technician

Daughter: Desiree Nguyen – Age 23 – works PT for FedEx and FT student at Portland State University.  Graduating this year with her B.S.
Nguyen – Age 20 – FT student of University of Portland

Son – Darren Nguyen – Age 18 – will be freshman in college this Fall


3rd – Daughter: Elaine-Loan Nguyen Age 43 – rank of SMSgt (Sr. Master Sergeant).  She’s an AGR Manager, Air Component for Oregon Air National Guard

Spouse: De Bui Age 49– works for USPS

Daughter – Emma-Jade Bui – Age 12

Daughter – Mia Bui – Age 9



4th – Son: Hoang Nguyen Age 41– self employed


5th – Daughter: Rosemary (Rosie) Nguyen  Age 40 – owner of Lush Salon and Spa.  Our family’s very own hair and make-up stylist.

Spouse: Kenny Yang Age 43– works USPS

Son: Christian Yang – Age 18 – freshman in college this Fall

Daughter: Isabelle Yang – Age 15


6th – Daughter: Annie Thao Nguyen Age 35 – Sr. Payroll Coordinator for Banfield Pet Hospital – Corporate Office

Spouse: Vu Nguyen Age 38 – self employed

Daughter – Ave Nguyen Age 5. Started Kindergarten this year!

Daughter – Audrey Nguyen Age 2.5


7th – Daughter: Trang Nguyen Age 31 – Team Lead Reception for Banfield Pet Hospital – Corporate Office

Spouse: Khoa Nguyen Age  – self employed

Daughter – Ella Nguyen Age 4

Son – Beckham Nguyen Age 11 months



8th – Son: Minh Nguyen Age 29 – works at Kaiser Permanente