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HomeLocalMultiple cultures at All Saints offer a glimpse of the ‘Universal Church’

Multiple cultures at All Saints offer a glimpse of the ‘Universal Church’

When Monsignor Peter Quang Nguyen looks out into the pews during Mass, he is inspired by the diversity he sees.

“It’s giving me a true sense of understanding the universal church,” said the All Saints Catholic Church pastor.

“Different backgrounds give me a true sense of appreciation as the people of the holy mother Church gather throughout the world.”

All Saints, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Nov. 18, is made up of a mosaic of cultures — from Vietnamese and Hmong to Hispanic and Anglo.

For the parishioners, that variety makes their worship experience even richer.

“It’s exciting that we all come from so many different backgrounds, but we all share the same beliefs,” said John Altman, who has been a parishioner at All Saints his entire life.

“It especially struck me during the anniversary Mass when we were saying the Creed,” he said. “I was looking around, and we’re all from so many different backgrounds and countries. And we’re all standing here reciting the same words and believing the same things.”

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila presides over the 50th anniversary Mass celebrating the dedication of All Saints Catholic Church on Nov. 18. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila celebrated Mass for the parish’s anniversary, which was followed by a reception. The archbishop also blessed the parish’s new prayer garden, which includes statues of different saints, and parishioners enjoyed seeing the new 17 Stations of the Cross in place right outside the church.

Barb Serpa, who joined the parish two years ago, is grateful for Msgr. Quang’s leadership and the upgrades to the parish.

“Monsignor has a lovely way of pulling us all together and making us feel like one family in celebrating our diversity as opposed to struggling with it,” she said. “It’s a very comfortable place to be.”

Although Serpa is newer to the parish, she already feels right at home and spends one to two days a week volunteering for the music and bereavement ministries.

“Since the day I walked in the door, I have felt very welcomed,” she said. “Whatever services I can contribute, I always feel appreciated by the staff.”

Altman, who recently joined the finance council, has also felt closer to his parish family since taking on the role.

“I always felt like I belonged,” he said, “but because I’m involved more, I feel a sense of ownership.”

One of the things that strikes Serpa about All Saints is the liveliness she’s discovered there.

“I feel that there’s life here,” she said. “I’ve been at parishes in the past where you get a sensation that there’s stagnation or a lot of ritual, but not a lot of heart. I have to give the compliment to Monsignor for his vision that we are all brothers and sisters. It’s lovely.”

They can see that after 50 years, the church is still alive.”

The parish is thriving enough to offer three daily Masses — 6:30 a.m. in English, 7:30 a.m. in English and 6 p.m. in Vietnamese. Monsignor Quang even learned the Hmong language and says Mass for the community on Sundays at 1 p.m.

All Saints has around 1,500 registered families, and according to Msgr. Quang, that number continues to increase.

“All I can say is I’m grateful,” he said.

Monsignor Quang believes more parishioners are drawn to the parish because they “find some of those people that share the common faith and the culture and hopefully the zeal for evangelization.”

To keep up with the growth, the pastor is constantly working to enliven the parish both physically and spiritually.

“I believe that the people are so happy,” said Msgr. Quang. “They can see that after 50 years, the church is still alive.

“They were so proud and continue to pass on the flame of faith to the younger generation — not only for a small group of people, but a group of people from many different cultures.”

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