By Theresa Carson
Three men professed perpetual vows with the Society of the Divine Word at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Wheeling, Ill., in September. Born in three different countries, they represent the diversity and dedication of Divine Word Missionaries who serve those most in need.
Edwan “Manie” Manuel SVD, 40, grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. As a child, he was drawn to the kitchen. He spent much time with his grandmother while his mother attended nursing school. She often took him to Mass. After completing studies at Emerson Vocational High School in Buffalo and the Atlantic Culinary Academy in Dover, N.H., Manie worked as a chef. He also felt called to religious life. A trip to Guatemala, where he was moved by the economic simplicity and joy of the people, changed his life. In 2016, he entered the SVD Associate Program and professed first temporary vows in 2017. Manie completed his Cross-Cultural Training Program (CTP) in Colombia. After ordination to the priesthood, he will be assigned to the Southern Province.
As a youth, Quang Pham SVD, 31, entertained visions of becoming a journalist. While growing up in Vietnam, Quang knew only a few of his mother’s 11 siblings. Most of them had emigrated to the United States before he was born. In 2012, Quang and his family moved to the United States and attended the perpetual vows ceremony of one of his mother’s siblings, Father Son Le SVD. Attracted by the diverse mission of the Society of the Divine Word, Quang earned a bachelor’s degree in intercultural studies from Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, and professed first temporary vows in 2017. Quang did his CTP in the French Mission in Montreal, Canada. Quang professed perpetual vows exactly ten years after attending his uncle’s ceremony. After ordination to the priesthood, he will be assigned to the Western Province in California.
Jorge Zetino SVD, 32, knew from an early age that he was called to be a missionary. The youngest of four sons, Jorge was born and raised in Guatemala. He attended high school in Grand Rapids, Mich., and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Divine Word College. He professed first temporary vows with the Society of the Divine Word in 2016 and fulfilled his CTP in Germany. After ordination to the priesthood, he will begin his first assignment with the Chicago Province.
All three men will continue their studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. On Oct. 2, they were ordained as transitional deacons at Our Lady of Africa parish in Chicago. In May 2023, they will be ordained to the priesthood.
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