"This man served God, served his community. This man, I say, is a man of honor," said Father Peter Quinn.
Pham, a very active member of the Vietnamese Catholic community, was brutally murdered after he and his 56-year-old wife were tortured for hours by a man who police say randomly chose their home to break into overnight in the 100 block of Copley Rd. in Upper Darby.
Police say the burglar broke in through a front window and made his way to the upstairs bedroom, tying the couple with electrical cord and then beat and stabbed them for two hours.
"He demanded money, money was given to him, he demanded more money. He continued to beat the husband and there was no more money to be given," said Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
Pham, a former steelworker at the Naval Yard eventually died from his injuries.
His wife, who police say was repeatedly sexually assualted by the suspect, had called police after fleeing the house. She remains hospitalized in serious condition.
"She's real critical, she kept asking about my dad, I'm trying to not tell her, I can't give her the bad news right now," said the victims' son 26-year-old Giang Pham.
Hoa Pham and his family came to the United States 17 years ago. He was a 2nd Lt. in the South Vietnamese Army until the fall of Saigon. He escaped to the US after being held in a communist concentration camp for 7 years.
"He lived on a bowl of rice a day for 7 years, came out and had me, came over here and... to die with such a tragic death, I don't know what to say anymore," Giang Pham said.
Giang Pham himself just got back from Iraq after serving three tours over there.
Police only have a vague description of the attacker. If you can help them, call Upper Darby Police at (610) 734-7677
Meantime Father Quinn plans to hold prayer vigils everynight at St Alice leading up to Pham's funeral Saturday morning.
A $5,000 dollar reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. If you can help please call (610) 734-7677.