Six young men professed vows with the Society of the Divine Word this year. We invite you to get to know them. Today, we present Tuan Nguyen SVD.
Name: Tuan Nguyen SVD
Hometown: Wichita Falls, Texas
Languages: Vietnamese, English
Ministry during novitiate: Holy Spirit Life Learning Center
Favorite book: “The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen
Tell us about a time when you felt God’s presence: I feel God’s presence every day in my life. Especially, whenever I begin to feel anxious or enter a situation that I feel is out of control, I imagine myself surrounded by the love of God. Through prayer, I feel God is my companion, who gives me guidance, care, comfort and inspiration.
When did you first feel the call to be a missionary? I felt the call to be a missionary when I was studying at Divine Word College. I was inspired by the SVD priests and brothers who work tirelessly and faithfully in the mission field.
How has living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny inspired you? I enjoyed living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny very much. I was inspired by their knowledge and their passion for the mission. As I learned about the spirituality of the Society of the Divine Word and listened to its members share their experiences with God, I was strengthened in my faith and closeness with God.
What was the biggest challenge during this past year? The biggest challenge during this past year was prayer. In the novitiate year, we were encouraged to grow in our relationship with God, to know Him better and to love Him more. So what happens if I had a poor or unhealthy prayer life? It could be like: I am too busy for prayer or I am distracted whenever I pray. Also, we were encouraged that we should find God in everything, so what happens if I could not find God in all things? So whenever I notice that there is something wrong with my prayer life, I need to take action immediately.
How did the early experience of novitiate change after the COVID-19 pandemic? We had some restrictions during the novitiate year because of the pandemic, such as we were not encouraged to go to the public areas. Fortunately, we still had ministry at different places, such as tutoring at Holy Spirit Learning Center and cooking for the homeless at Pho Tam restaurant. It gave us the opportunity to reconnect with others.
What are your hopes for the coming year? I believe that God will give me opportunities to train for the mission. As a student at Catholic Theological Union (CTU), I hope I will enrich my knowledge of Church teachings and the Catholic faith by studying theology and being open to new ideas.