A native of Vietnam, the future Msgr. Dominic Luong (b. 1940) left home in 1954, against his father's wishes, to enter a Saigon seminary. He arrived in the United States two years later to enroll in the diocesan seminary college in Buffalo, N.Y., and completed his theological studies at St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester. He was ordained in 1966. Luong received a master's degree in biology and psychology from Canisius College and the University of New York at Buffalo and served as professor of biology at the latter institution.
With the fall of Saigon in 1975, Luong turned his attention to Vietnamese refugees, taking the post of coordinator of Catholic chaplains at Fort Chaffee, Ark, where thousands of refugees were processed. The following year, Archbishop Philip M. Hannan asked Luong to direct the Vietnamese Apostolate for the New Orleans Archdiocese, a position he held until assuming the pastorate of the newly established Mary, Queen of Vietnam Parish in eastern New Orleans in 1983. The parish also maintained four missions for Vietnamese Catholics in other parts of the city. In addition, in 1986 Luong became rector of the Vietnamese Martyrs Chapel. In 1986 he was incardinated as a priest of the New Orleans Archdiocese and named a monsignor by Pope John Paul II. In 1989 he was appointed director of the National Pastoral Center for the Vietnamese in America, which aspired to provide Vietnamese clergy to serve Catholics in smaller Vietnamese communities where there were no Vietnamese clergy.