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OBITUARY | Father Joseph Diep

A funeral Mass for Father Joseph Diep, founder of the Congregation Messengers of Fatima, was celebrated July 22 at St. Clare Church in St. Clair. Father Diep died July 11 at age 78.

He was born in Vietnam on June 9, 1945. He discerned a calling to the priesthood and began his studies in Vietnam but left the country when the city of Saigon fell to the Communist regime in 1975. He emigrated to the United States and continued his preparation for the priesthood with the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer (formerly known as Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix) based in Carthage, Missouri. He completed his theological studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 14, 1982.

In 2017, Father Diep founded the Congregation Messengers of Fatima in St. Clair, a Vietnamese religious community that promotes the messages of Our Lady of Fatima and serves the poor and marginalized in rural Franklin County. He was incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 2020.

Father Diep was a gifted and talented man with great faith in Jesus Christ, a deep reverence and love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and a dedication for serving the Vietnamese Catholic Community in the United States as well as the poor.

Father Diep was preceded in death by his parents, Dau Tran and Mrs. Vo Thi Nguyn; stepmother, Nhon Thi Pham; brother Hoang Van Tran; and sister Hong Thi Tran. He is survived by five sisters: Hien Thi Tran, Tuyen Thi Pham, Huong Thi Tran, Hanh Thi Tran and Huong Thi Tran. He is also survived by five brothers: Viet Van Tran, Hien Van Tran, Huong Van Tran, Hao Van Tran and Hoan Van Tran. He is also survived by many other relatives living in the United States and abroad. Father Diep will be deeply missed by many relatives and friends, the Congregation Messengers of Fatima and the St. Clare Parish community.

Burial was in the St. Clare cemetery.

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