Refugee Catholics and descendants grateful for freedom

About 6,000 worshippers, most of whom have immigrated to the U.S. West Coast from countries throughout the world, recently made a pilgrimage to Portland, Ore., to participate in a Freedom Mass.

Portland Archbishop John G. Vlazny told the refugees and their descendants that “freedom is a right in this nation,” but reminded them that “freedom comes, first and foremost, as a gift from God.”

A story in the July 11 edition of the Catholic Sentinel, Portland’s archdiocesan newspaper, gives a colorful account of the pageantry of the Mass, which drew members of the Laotian, Hmong, Polish, Croatian, Russian, Korean, Filipino, Hispanic and Eritrean communities.

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