My vocation story begins with the grace that God poured upon me throughout my life. I was born in Vietnam in 1985. God put in my heart a desire to dedicate my life to serve Him and His people. It began with the desire to serve mass at the altar. At the age of eleven, I was admitted to be an altar server in my parish church. It was the most joyous day of my life. Slowly and strongly, I fell in love with altar serving. I would show up at daily mass just to be called to serve. However, the opportunity to serve was not as often as I had hoped, and many times, I left disappointed. The initial desire to be an altar server cultivated in my heart a strong desire for a life of service to God and His Church. My model at the time was my parish priest. By seeing him living a faithful life of complete dedication to God and his people, my desire to live the same kind of life began to form.
As I prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation, my heart was lit up with joy and the desire to learn and to know more about the faith. I joined the discernment groups and retreats at my local parish and at the diocesan level. In the summer of 2004, I became a college seminarian for my home diocese of Nha Trang in Viet Nam. I spent two days at the seminary to take tests as part of the application process. I was very proud of myself for passing the tests. But little did I know that God had another plan in place for me. In the fall of 2006, my family moved to the United States.
My vocation began anew in this country, but I always had great faith in the providence of God. It took me seven more years of discernment and study to be ready for this seminary formation. In the fall of 2013, I entered St John’s seminary. As I matured, my vocation began to take shape and through the long discernment process that began in my own parish, the will of God became more and more apparent for me.