"Serving the youth gave me the opportunity to assess my life. As I questioned my purpose, I recognized that I love to serve."

Anthony Hoangphan

Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR
Pastoral Year

I am a cradle Catholic, born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam. My family and I moved to Oregon in 1995. I continued practicing my Catholic faith and being involved with different ministries at my home parish, Saint Anthony in Tigard. However, I never thought about discerning the priesthood until I helped start a parish youth group for the Vietnamese community. At the same time, I did not find satisfaction in my work life. I kept looking out for the next best thing. Serving the youth gave me the opportunity to assess my life. As I questioned my purpose, I recognized that I love to serve.

Finding a spiritual director was also instrumental in my decision to start looking into the process of discerning the priesthood. This priest helped me to discover that God gave meaning to my love of serving the youth and the people of God. I continued volunteering as a youth leader and praying for clarity in God’s will for me.

After a long time of prayer and getting ready to leave everything behind, I contacted the Office of Vocations to inquire about the process of discerning the priesthood and becoming a seminarian. Through God’s providence, I was accepted as a seminarian for Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon in April 2016 and I started my class work that August at Mount Angel Seminary. I am so much at peace and feel beyond blessed as I have been receiving so much guidance and support from, not only Archdiocese of Portland, but also Mount Angel Seminary.