St. Vianney presents concert in Hacienda Heights

St. John Vianney Church is hosting liturgical musician, singer and composer David Haas in concert on Friday Oct. 7at 7:30 p.m., and again on Saturday morning, as part of a music workshop. The daylong workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The church is located at 1345 Turnbull Canyon Road in Hacienda Heights.
Proceeds from both events will go toward the rebuilding of a new sanctuary. The church sanctuary was destroyed in an arson fire in April, causing more than $8 million in damages.

Haas, who is from Minnesota, is a noted speaker at the annual Religious Education Congress in Anaheim and has appeared throughout the United States and Europe.

For more information, please call the church at 626-330-2269, ext. 260. Anyone interested in donating to the church rebuilding fund can do so directly by sending a check to: St. John Vianney Rebuilding Fund, St. John Vianney Church, 1345 Turnbull Canyon Road, Hacienda Heights CA 91745.

Hacienda Heights group battles cultural stigma of disabilities

When Lulu Shen gave birth to her youngest daughter, Alexandra, she was overwhelmed with feelings of shame and guilt for producing something often shunned in the Chinese community – a child with Down Syndrome.

“I thought, `What did I do to deserve this?”‘ Shen, 56, said. “To have a disabled child was shocking and my parents didn’t want me to bring her around or they wouldn’t look at her. It’s like a curse. They think there’s something wrong in your past life.”

The Hacienda Heights resident said she went through stages of denial before accepting her now 18-year-old daughter’s disability.

“All we can do is love them because no one else can love them like we do,” Shen said.

The process has been easier for Shen since she joined the Foundation for Disabled Youths, a grassroots nonprofit group that helps erase the stigma Asian cultures often associate with disabilities and encourages families to come out of the shadows.

Founded in 2004 by local parents with disabled children, the Hacienda Heights-based organization provides children with weekly activities – including outings to the LA County Fair and horseback riding – and parents with support groups and monthly seminars to teach them about their legal rights and available resources.

Read more in Juliette Funes story Stigma.