The first group of temporarily professed Sisters after the move to South Vietnam
The Congregation of Mary, Queen was founded as the Lovers of the Holy Cross by a French missionary in Vietnam, Bishop Lambert de la Motte in 1670 at Kiên Lao, Bùi Chu. The Congregation's focus was on the love for the Crucified Christ, Son of God.
The Lovers of the Holy Cross sisters remained faithful to their consecrated calling despite nearly 300 years of religious persecution throughout Vietnam.
On September 14, 1953, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Bùi Chu, Bishop Peter Mary Chi Ngoc Phạm, established them as the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Bùi-Chu, a canonical religious congregation according to a Vatican decree. In 1954, the Congregation migrated to the South, along with thousands of other Northerners choosing to not live under Communist regime.
Under the wishes of Bishop Phạm, the Congregation of Mary Co-Redemptrix (now known as the Congregation of Mother of the Redeemer) sent a priest of their Order, Father Bernard Hoàn Khải Bùi, to assist the Sisters as a chaplain in this same year of 1954.
With Bishop Phạm's consent and following the new Constitutions written by Father Bùi , the Congregation's name was changed to the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the World. Both the new Constitutions and the name change were canonically approved by the Vatican and received by the Congregation through the Archdiocese of Saigon on May 31, 1966.
The Constitutions added two new spiritualities: the Evangelical Spiritual Childhood with St. Thérèse of Lisieux as a model and the Perfect Devotion to Mary according to St. Louis Grignion de Montfort.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in 1999 states the Founders of the Congregation are: 1) Bishop Pierre Lambert de la Motte is the Founder in history, and 2) Father Bernard Bùi is recognized as the Co-Founder of the Congregation.
Presently, the Motherhouse of the Congregation in Vietnam has over 500 members. In 1986, Rome established the American Region for all the members who reside in the United States of America. This Region has its own formation and novitiate program, with its headquarters in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and local houses in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, and the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
Due to the long, devastating war in Vietnam, on April 25, 1975, the Congregation allowed 26 young sisters and 7 novices along with the Superior General to migrate to Sydney, Australia. Shortly after that, on April 30, South Vietnam fell under Communist regime. This resulted in many Vietnamese people fleeing the country by boat in the Pacific Ocean. Many refugees found a home in the United States.
Seeing the need to serve newly arrived refugees, Most Rev. Bernard Law, then Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, through information given by Rev. Ignatius Dai Le, C.R.M. invited the Sisters to his diocese in Missouri. The first two Sisters assigned to Springfield were Sr. Josephine Do and Sr. Marguerite Tran. They arrived between September and December of 1979 living at St. Agnes’ convent. The two sisters began to receive young women among the Vietnamese refugees who were interested in religious life.
In 1983, with the help of Bishop Bernard Law, a house at 1121 South Market Street was purchased and used as the Novitiate formation house. The first five novices received their religious habits and began their canonical formation. In the following year, nine more Sisters from Australia were transferred to St. Agnes’ convent to aid the community’s growing needs.
Through time, the number of professed members increased, and Rome granted permission to establish the American Region on December 1, 1986. It is a part of the Congregation in Vietnam and has its headquarters located in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Eventually the Congregation branched out to three more local communities: Kansas City, Missouri in 1992, St. Louis, Missouri in 1995, and Irving,Texas in 2002.