Knights of Columbus from Our Lady of La Vang Parish pose July 7 with Duane Morris, Knights’ district marshal, at the annual Freedom Sunday at The Grotto in Northeast Portland. (Alex Paul/Knights of Columbus)
Knights of Columbus from Our Lady of La Vang Parish pose July 7 with Duane Morris, Knights’ district marshal, at the annual Freedom Sunday at The Grotto in Northeast Portland. (Alex Paul/Knights of Columbus)
Nearly 4,000 refugee Catholics convened at The Grotto in Northeast Portland July 7 — the Sunday after Independence Day — to commemorate what they see as God’s liberating action in their lives.

The annual Freedom Mass is the colorful culmination of three days of retreat sessions, prayer, liturgies and banquets. The events, hosted by Portland’s Southeast Asia Vicariate, includes Laotians, Eritreans, Poles, Zomi, Latin Americans and more.

It’s the largest annual Catholic gathering in Oregon.

This year, Shon Vu, a leader of the Knights of Columbus at Our Lady of La Vang Parish, invited the Knights’ district marshal, Duane Morris, to participate in the honor guard for the procession and Mass with Archbishop Alexander Sample and Bishop Peter Smith.

At the packed sanctuary, the procession was led by Morris and Tien Nguyen, commander of the Our Lady of La Vang Knights. A corps of Knights guarded the icon of Our Lady of La Vang as the procession traveled around the grounds of the lower level of The Grotto and returned back to where Mass would take place after a display of Vietnamese child dancers.

The Knights of Columbus — a Catholic, family-based fraternal organization — is international.



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