1978 - present
Each year, thousands of Roman Catholic Vietnamese Americans gather in Carthage, Missouri, to worship in a celebration known as Marian Days. The festival’s origin dates back to 1975 when members of the Mother Co-Redemptrix clergy fled Vietnam shortly before the fall of Saigon. They were first sent to a refugee camp in Arkansas, but soon after were brought to a seminary in Carthage by Bishop Bernard Law of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese. The former College of Our Lady of the Ozarks housed the recent immigrants. A few years later, the Vietnamese clergy was formally recognized and permitted to deliver ministry to the hundreds of Vietnamese refugees who now lived in the area. The festival takes place on the campus of the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer. The large space can accommodate the thousands of worshipers who come for the outdoor mass and following processions. The festival is held in recognition of the Virgin Mary and to honor the Vietnamese martyrs. The celebration also serves as a means to ordain new members into the clergy and recognize recent achievements of the community. Marian Days is one of the largest religious pilgrimages in the United States. In 1998, 60,000 people came to Carthage to worship during the festival demonstrating its reverence to Vietnamese Americans and the community of Carthage.
Date: 1978 - present
Subject: Vietnamese--Religious life; Refugee; Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
Collection Name: From the Darkroom: Springfield's Historic Newspaper Photographs
Contributing Institution: Springfield News-Leader
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Language: English, Vietnamese