Notwithstanding the steady growth of Vietnamese Catholics in the United States, the lack of historical research has left many gaps and led to a generic and imprecise understanding of their experience. The scholarship from the social sciences and religious studies has shed light on some areas but also leaves out the historical dimensions, particularly the exilic identity that formed among Catholic refugees during the initial period of resettlement. This identity came from three major historical developments: the impact of ultramontanism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the experience of nationalism and anticommunism, and the abrupt end of the Vietnam War. To deal with national loss, family separation, and the challenges of living in a foreign society, Catholic refugees resorted to their ultramontane legacy and anticommunist nationalism. Although Vietnamese American Catholics no longer identify themselves as exilic, their initial experience formed some of the most important aspects about their identity to this day.