Archbishop Alexander Sample, priests, nuns and friends gather July 20 to celebrate 40 years since the arrival of the Adorers of the Holy Cross Sisters in Portland.
Archbishop Alexander Sample, priests, nuns and friends gather July 20 to celebrate 40 years since the arrival of the Adorers of the Holy Cross Sisters in Portland.
A special Mass and huge reception July 20 helped celebrate 40 years for the Adorers of the Holy Cross Sisters in Portland. The religious community has become an important part of life in local Catholicism.

Sister Elizabeth Thanh Ly Tran and Sister Maria Quynh Nhu Dang professed perpetual vows to Christ during the day.

Also celebrating were Sister Theresa Kim Anh Ngo, who entered 25 years ago, and Sister Mary Thanh Mien Nguyen, a member of the religious community for 60 years.

Excitement was in the air inside Our Lady of La Vang Church in Northeast Portland. The entire house of worship was packed with priests, sisters, families, friends and well-wishers, some of whom came from as far as Vietnam. One of the priests was overjoyed when he saw a religious superior he hadn’t seen in years.

Large groups of sisters gathered in the reception hall, holding hands, hugging and chatting. Parishioners and friends thanked the sisters for 40 years of ministry, a biblical number that calls for big celebrations along with profession of vows.

“The Mass today, to me, is the most important event of my life,” said Sister Maria, beaming. “It’s like a wedding day for me. It’s my wedding to the Savior that I love most. I am filled with happiness and joy.”

For Sister Elizabeth, renewing vows was emotional. “The Mass was wonderful today,” she said. “I feel the love of Christ for me throughout the Mass. I feel he truly, truly loves me and because of that, I want to give back to him for all his love and all his blessings.”

Archbishop Alexander Sample, presiding at the Mass, looked delighted, especially when he saw Our Lady of La Vang’s previous pastor, Father Dat Pham, and retired chancellor Mary Jo Tully, beloved in the community.

“I am extremely grateful for the services of the sisters these 40 years here in the archdiocese,” Archbishop Sample said. “They have served faithfully and touched so many lives.”

He called the women’s vocation a sign of hope and an inspiration to young people who may have a calling to religious life or priesthood.