The recent election of U.S. Congressman Anh Cao, a first for Vietnamese Americans, stunned many observers but not those in the pews at Mary Queen of Vietnam, a Catholic parish in New Orleans East where Cao has been a member for over a decade. Refugees began arriving in New Orleans East shortly after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. By 2000, the district was home to most of the city's 14,000 Vietnamese Americans, one of the largest concentrated enclaves in the country. When Mary Queen was founded in 1986, it became the first U.S. Catholic church to offer mass in Vietnamese.