On Saturday, six young men professed vows with the Society of the Divine Word. This week, we invite you to get to know them. Today, we present Tu Nguyen.
Home country: Vietnam
Languages: English and Vietnamese
Ministry: Talking with the elderly
Favorite book: “Tự Thuật Thánh Augustino”
Tell me about a time when you felt God’s presence: I feel God's presence whenever I am in great fear—when I make big decisions in my life. When I don’t know what to choose or I am afraid of choosing the wrong choice, God is present and calms me. In that moment, God is with me, and He will help me to choose the right path.
When did you first feel the call to be a missionary?
About five years ago. I met a priest in Vietnam. He was going to a village where poor people live. He had asked for the city people for donations and provided the villagers with clothes and food. I thought, “I want to be like him, living in a poor area and helping people.” I grew up in the city, and we have everything there. The village is on top of a mountain and deep in the jungle. They need clothing, food, clean water and better housing that can survive heavy rains.
How has living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny inspired you?
They taught me much. They described their lives and their work. It’s bigger than the reason that I [originally] had. They described good moments and bad moments. They do it because of God, and they find God’s presence in their ministry. I am looking forward to doing the same thing; I hope to see God in the place where I live.
What was the biggest challenge during this past year?
The biggest challenge was not having a ministry. I’m looking forward to the ministry and to meet people. Another challenge is silent time. It was difficult the first few months, and then later on, I got used to it and comfortable with it. I put myself through it. There’s no other way to go around.
How did the early experience of novitiate change after the COVID-19 pandemic?
My novitiate was in the pandemic. It was basically the same from the beginning to the end.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
Ministry, meeting new people and going back to study. This year, I didn’t push myself like I would when preparing for a final exam. Final exams stress me out, and I have to push myself through it. Hopefully, I can go back to testing my ability. I look forward to meeting new people at the Theologate and hope to participate in clubs at Catholic Theological Union (CTU), especially sports clubs, particularly badminton.