Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Girls offer liturgical dance at Freedom Mass.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Girls offer liturgical dance at Freedom Mass.
In colorful native costumes, carrying bouquets of vibrant flowers, people gather at The Grotto to celebrate the annual International Freedom Day Mass. Each year this Mass is held at The Grotto on the Sunday closest to Independence Day.

The annual Freedom Mass at The Grotto in Northeast Portland is set for Sunday, July 7. Rites like a colorful procession in honor of Mary begin at 10:30 a.m., with the Mass starting at noon. Archbishop Alexander Sample will preside as thousands fill the Grotto plaza in the Northwest’s largest annual Catholic event.

The Freedom Day Celebration began at The Grotto in 1976 as a way for new immigrants in Portland to celebrate their independence. Most of the people who come to give thanks for the liberty they enjoy in the United States are Southeast Asian. However, the ethnic groups who participate in this celebration include Polish, Croatian, Russian, Korean, Filipino, Hispanic, Eritrean, Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese.