Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR
The decision to settle in a new place is not always an easy task, but once God has chosen a new path for us, we follow. For me, I chose the US to continue the path of my vocation and commit to the service of Church.
I was born and grew up in Saigon, Vietnam. As a young man, I realized that I needed to be with God more. My mother guided us to attend daily Mass. She was very upset when someone in our home did not go to Mass. The morning Mass in Vietnam usually takes place at 4:15. Initially it was very difficult for me to wake up so early, but gradually I got used to it and I felt so much peace from it. My vocation to the priesthood came to me slowly over time.
I worked hard to enter the St. Joseph Seminary in Saigon. I spent five beautiful years training to become a priest. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to study there. My family prays for an increase in vocations, along with other Vietnamese families. They felt very strongly that God was calling me to the priesthood.
I arrived in the US in 2019 to settle near my family and I was soon accepted as a seminarian to the Portland Archdiocese. It was a new turning point in my vocation. I have clearly felt that these were new steps in my spiritual journey. I love living here. The scenery here is very beautiful and I find it very easy to pray. I’ve felt at peace during adoration after Mass in the quiet space of the parish at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Parishioners there are also very friendly.
I have many new friends here who have helped me to integrate with the new environment and are teaching me English. However, I have also encountered many difficulties as I get used to life here and the American people. I am trying to study well so that later I can use the knowledge to preach the word of God and serve the Church. I have entrusted myself to our Holy Mother as a member of Legio Maria. My family has prayed the rosary twice per day: in the afternoon and at night before going to bed.
Life is a journey to our Father’s house through constant transformations along with the crosses we have to carry out with Jesus at every stage of life. When God is in our life, we are not alone, but we are strengthened by Him. I know that many difficulties ahead are waiting for me, yet Jesus is always the brightest star guiding me on the path that Our Father has made for me. My desire now is nothing more than to make the name of the Lord shine throughout this world because, “freely ye have received, freely give.” (Mt 10:8)