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Chùa Phât-Ân Temple
Authored by Elise Gurney
Phat-An Temple rises from the suburban landscape of Roseville, Minnesota as an expanse of red and yellow, a complex of tiered awnings and wide windows. The cities of Vietnam are filled with thousands of pagodas, crammed up against apartment buildings, department stores, and steaming phở stands. Yet, Phat-An has room to breathe among the bare trees and low houses of Roseville.
Phat-An is one of only two Vietnamese Buddhist temples in Minnesota. Every Sunday, between 150 and 200 people travel by car or bus to northern Saint Paul to attend a worship service and Dharma talk led by the Buddhist masters of the Temple, then enjoy a vegetarian lunch prepared by the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Minnesota and its volunteers.
In addition to these Sunday Dharma talks, the Temple provides other services for Minnesota’s Vietnamese Buddhist community. These include weekly Vietnamese language classes, additional prayer and meditation sessions, and activities to commemorate important Vietnamese holidays. Through these various events, people engage with Phat-An and its community as a way of maintaining, developing, and in some cases reinventing their cultural and religious practices.