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School: St. John's Seminary

Year of Study: 4th Theology

I came to the US from Vietnam with my mom, dad, 2 older sisters and a little brother 11 years ago. My grandparents on my dad’s side came here as part of a refuge program over 20 years ago, and they sponsored us to come over. I’ve been blessed to be able to grow up in a Catholic family.

Just like any kid who grows up in a Catholic family, I believee in God because my parents told me to and because they did. But it was not until confirmation that I begin to think more about life and more about the God that I believe in. From that point, my faith began to deepen, and it kept increasing as I grew older.

Something that helped deepen my faith was when I finally looked at a poster that my dad had put in my room when I was younger. There were two image on my wall: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Divine Mercy. I never really paid attention to them, and I barely felt anything about them. Then once, when I visited my grandparents’ house, I watched a movie with them about the life of Saint Faustina. As I watched the movie, it hit me that I had the same image as the movie was talking about, the Divine Mercy, with the same line “Jesus, I trust in you”. After watching the documentary, my faith began to deepen more as I began telling Jesus “I trust in you”.

The thought about becoming a priest first popped into my head started at my Confirmation Mass. The priest gave a homily about God is calling us to follow him, and I felt as if God was calling me to become a priest. The thought didn’t stay for long because I thought to myself that I’m not worthy to follow him. I continued on with my life as I finished up high school. As I entered college, I tried to find what I wanted to do in life, but I never seemed satisfied with anything. I tried many things and I couldn’t seem to find happiness in it. Whenever I thought about becoming a priest, I always thought “I can’t do it”, or “I’m not that holy”. I finally applied for seminary at the end of my 3rd year because I couldn’t run away anymore; I have to at least try before I give up.

I don’t really have any particular advice for young men considering the priesthood because if I say, ‘don’t be afraid, it will be fine, everyone feel that way’, then it won’t make any different and it won’t help anyone. I guess I would say, you should be afraid, but remember one thing, which is to trust in Him. Whenever you have a hard time with something, just say say what Saint Faustina taught us, “Jesus, I trust in you”. Try and trust in Him with all your heart.