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Vietnamese community Catholic church eyes I-205 megachurch for purchase

Our Lady of Lavang Parish, founded in 1975, has 5,000 congregants and has outgrown its current church at 5404 NE Alameda Drive.
Credit: Catholic Sentinel

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Catholic church in Northeast Portland that serves the Portland area Vietnamese community is considering a dramatic move with the purchase of the New Hope Community Church in Happy Valley, according to a report in the Catholic Sentinel.

Our Lady of Lavang Parish, founded in 1975, has 5,000 congregants, according to its website. It has outgrown its current campus at 5404 NE Alameda Drive, the Sentinel reports. It has 8 Masses a day to serve all parishioners.

The New Hope property is considerably larger that the parish. It has 123,866 square feet compared with LaVang's 60,000 and three times as much acreage, important to solve a parking squeeze that spills out into the streets of the Rose City neighborhood during worship events, the paper reported.

The massive church can easily be spotted from I-205 near Sunnyside.

Archbishop Alexander Sample recently visited the church and encouraged the move, the Sentinel reports. He told parishioners in that “you’re land-locked here.” Several parishioners offered donations for the move, including one of $50,000.

Two other properties considered by the parish were a former K-Mart building at 122nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard for $38 million and a former landfill/empty lot at 82nd Avenue and Siskiyou Street for $31 million.

The latter location is where a major fire broke out last week, destroying or damaging downwind businesses and homes.

Sample did not cite a purchase price for the New Hope property but told parishioners it was less than the other two listed, the Sentinel reported.

“I cannot reveal the price,” Archbishop Sample told them. “But I must say, my dear people, that as I learn more about the New Hope property, the more I see that this is a gift God has delivered."

The church is marketed through Colliers International, which lists comparable land-only properties from $2.1 to $6.35 million dollars.