On Saturday, Sept. 21, four men will profess perpetual vows as members of the Society of the Divine Word at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center in Techny, Ill. They are:
Trieu Thien Cao, 31, grew up in a Catholic family in Vietnam. He became acquainted with the Society of the Divine Word after high school. Interested in learning more about the congregation, he enrolled in a university in Saigon and lived in a Divine Word residence. In 2007, the Divine Word Missionaries sent him to Divine Word College (DWC) to learn English and philosophy. Trieu professed vows in 2013 and fulfilled his Cross-Cultural Training Program in Bolivia. Trieu will return to Bolivia for his first assignment.
Khanh Minh Ha, 31, born and raised in Vietnam, came to know the Society of the Divine Word through a cousin who served as a missionary in Japan. Khanh studied science for a year at the National University of Vietnam before entering the congregation. In 2007, he was sent to the United States and graduated from DWC in 2013. Khanh did his Cross-Cultural Training Program in Ecuador. Khanh will be assigned to Ecuador for his first assignment.
Thinh Cuong Ngo, 31, was introduced to the Society of the Divine Word while attending Marian Days in Carthage, Mo. Born and raised in California, Thinh thought about a career in firefighting or medical technology. His grandfather’s death made him more seriously consider life as a priest. Thinh graduated from DWC in 2013 and professed vows in 2014. During his Cross-Cultural Training Program, he served as missionary in Chile. After graduating from Chicago Theological Union and ordination to the priesthood, he will serve in the Chicago Province.
Marlon Bobier Vargas, 38, a native of the Philippines, served as a lay retreat facilitator for ten years before joining the Society of the Divine Word’s Associate Program in 2012. He also taught high school at the Claret School of Quezon City, Ateneo de Manila High School, and Santa Barbara Catholic School in Guam. Marlon holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Santo Tomas and a master’s degree in special education from the University of the Philippines. He professed vows in 2015 and fulfilled his Cross-Cultural Training Program in Spain. For his first assignment as a priest, he will return to Spain.
On Oct. 6, the four men will be ordained to the transitional diaconate and serve area parishes while they complete studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Following ordination to the priesthood in May, they will begin their first assignments in South America, Europe and North America. The Society of the Divine Word is the world’s largest order of Catholic missionary priests and brothers.
Founded in 1875 by St. Arnold Janssen, the congregation has more than 6,000 missionaries who live interculturally and serve the needs of the poor and marginalized in 84 countries.