I am taking a break from Vietnamese Marianism to return to the ethnic press in the U.S. While looking at a Catholic periodical, I found a one-page report on Vietnamese refugees in Alaska. This issue is from 1977, and the article isn’t about Catholicism but labor in Alaska. It is valuable because there is a paucity of information about the refugees in Alaska.
The Vietnamese Catholic ethnic press reported widely on this congress but there is hardly anything in English. I am appreciative of Fr. Linh Hoang, OFM (Siena College), who attended the event and filed the write-up below along with the photos.
- “Ultramontanism, Nationalism, and the Fall of Saigon: Historicizing the Vietnamese American Catholic Experience,” American Catholic Studies (Spring 2019): 1-36.
- “The Resettlement of Vietnamese Refugee Religious, Priests, and Seminarians in the United States, 1975–1977,” U.S. Catholic Historian 37.3 (Summer 2019): 99-122.
A few days ago, I saw two or three friends from Seattle years posted on Facebook a tribute on Raymond Hunthausen, former archbishop of Seattle, on his death at 96 years old. (The writer is Fr. Michael Ryan, rector of the Cathedral parish and one of the spiritual chaplains of the L’Arche community that I belonged.) By a coincidence, the next morning I came across two items while looking at some old issues of a magazine by Vietnamese Catholic refugees, and one of them shows a photo of the late archbishop presiding over a mass among Vietnamese refugees in 1978.
The short answer: There were about 900 Catholic priests of Vietnamese origin in the U.S. by 2012. There are approximately 950 at this time (2017), and probably more.