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 Tung Vu SVD.
Name: Tung Vu SVD
Hometown: Tan Hiep, Kien Giang, Vietnam
Languages: Vietnamese and English
Ministries during novitiate: Holy Spirit Life Learning Center and Pho Tam restaurant.
Once a month on a Monday, our group went to Pho Tam restaurant to help the owner and his crew—elder volunteers who serve at the restaurant—to prepare food for the homeless.
We’d prepare food for about 200 people. The menu for last year for the homeless consisted of rice, boiled egg, eggrolls, grilled chiken, salad, sweet and sour fish source and fried oil green onion. Each of us had a different task in order to finish food preparation by 10 a.m.
My job was frying eggrolls and grilling chicken. I love to cook Vietnamese food, so this job was familiar to me. Tommy, the owner, hoped to offer food two times a month, but we couldn’t do it.
Years ago, Tommy was a Divine Word candidate. After the 30-day retreat, he felt that God is not call him to be a Divine Word Missionary. After he left the Society of the Divine Word, he worked for an accounting firm before he opened this restaurant. I admire him a lot because he is still doing mission and supports us in different ways.
At the Holy Spirit Life Learning Center, I helped third graders with their homework. I also assisted elders in learning how to use computers—helping them send emails, using the Internet, troubleshooting software and printing problems.
Favorite book: “How We Love: A Formation for the Celibate Life” by Brother John Mark Falkenhain OSB
Tell us about a time when you felt God’s presence: The time of Holy Hour in a presence of a lot of my friends, in silence, enjoying the moment with God.
When did you first feel the call to be a missionary? Around age 13, when I was an altar server in my parish.
How has living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny inspired you? I saw elder priests and brothers live a life of peace and joy. They are very faithful and willing to support other missionaries.
What was the biggest challenge during this past year? Spending time in prayer was the biggest challenge for me. It required a lot of time—day and night—for silence and prayer.
How did the early experience of novitiate change after the COVID-19 pandemic? We canceled a lot of plans due to Covid. Life is full of surprises, and we were familiar with this aspect of life during the past year.
What are your hopes for the coming year? I am still adapting to being in a new environment here at Divine Word Theologate. I am still discerning my vocation. Please pray for me.