A charter bus carrying Vietnamese-American Catholics from Houston on a pilgrimage to the annual Marian Days in Carthage, Missouri, slammed onto its side and off a highway north of Dallas early Friday, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 40, reports the AP here. Pictured, also by the AP, is the bus after the crash.
The Carthage Press is reporting here that victims of the crash will be remembered throughout the Marian Days event.
The announcement was made today to the more than 40,000 people gathered for an early morning gathering on the grounds of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix.
Father John of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix said the announcement was made and the people were asked to pray for the souls of those who died and of those who were injured.
“The overall reaction was somber, but we are trying to keep the prayerful spirit up which will keep their spirits up,” said Father John. “We will continue to keep the people in our prayers and to support them in our prayers.”
The bus is operated by Iguala BusMex Inc. of Houston, which is not authorized to operate as carrier in interstate commerce.
The annual Marian Days festival (in Vietnamese: Dai Hoi Thánh Mau) is in its 31st year. For decades, when Vietnamese were living scattered around the country, it was the largest gathering in the U.S. — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — and the single most important opportunity for Vietnamese to meet another Vietnamese.
The Marian Days take place in small-town Carthage, Missouri (population 13,000) because that’s the location of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix (Vietnamese: Dòng Dong Công), a Vietnamese-founded religious order.
The monastery (formerly the campus of the Our Lady of the Ozarks College) is where the late Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc lived the last days of his life and died in 1984. Archbishop Thuc was the older brother of the assassinated President Ngo Dinh Diem, and had been a part of the so-called “sedevacantism” movement, who disputes the authority of all popes after Pius XII and instead asserts that the papal see is actually vacant. The sedevacantists had alleged that the priests of the Mother Co-Redemptrix had abducted the archbishop.