Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Sisters of Providence welcome novice; joins nine others in formation

the Inland Register

(From the June 21, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Teresa Huong Thi Nguyen (right) became a novice of the Sisters of Providence on March 31. She joins nine other women in initial formation for the Providence Sisters.

The other women in the formation program are Candidate Mary Ann Coles, Novice Marita Capili, and temporary vowed Sisters Jessica Taylor, Vilma Franco, Margarita Hernandez, Rosa Nguyen, Hong Nga Nguyen, and Marisol Àvila and Marcia Gatica of Bernard Morin Province in Chile.

Sister Huong Nguyen, from Thanh Hoa province in North Vietnam, was born in 1975, the fifth of nine children. She joined the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Thanh Hoa after graduating from high school, but left to help her family through difficult times. Working as a seamstress and a florist, she helped put her sisters through school.

Sister Nguyen met the Sisters of Providence through Sister Lang Tran, who directed her to the Religious community’s website and gave her an email address for Sister Clare Lentz, who then was vocation director. Sister Nguyen and Sister Lentz corresponded by email and in March 2008, Sister Lentz and Sister Beverly Dunn met with Huong Nguyen and her parents while visiting Hanoi, Vietnam. After studying English, Huong Nguyen was invited to come to the United States in November 2008 for a “Come & See” experience with the Sisters of Providence in West Seattle. She was received as a pre-candidate in July 2009 and became a candidate in April 2010.

Sister Huong Nguyen (center) sang in Vietnamese with two other Sisters of Providence novices, Rosa Sen Nguyen (left) and Hong Nga Nguyen (no relation).

The novitiate entrance ceremony which Sister Nguyen put together reflected her Vietnamese roots and her culture, including the importance to her of the Vietnamese martyrs. A particularly moving moment was the singing of the song “Mot Lan Xin Vang (Once I Say Yes),” in Vietnamese with Sisters Hong Nga Nguyen and Rosa Sen Nguyen (no relation). They were reluctant to sing at first, Sister Huong Nguyen said, but “I said God gave us a voice. We can sing our language. We sing by our hearts.”

Sister Nguyen has been studying theology at Gonzaga University and also learning more about what it is to be a Sister of Providence today. She recently attended the Religious Education Conference in Anaheim, Calif. She also has been volunteering at St. Anne’s Children and Family Center and the Women’s Hearth in Spokane, and has visited with elderly sisters at Mount St. Joseph once a week. She attends St. Anthony Parish, which has a Vietnamese Mass twice monthly and classes for children every week, and she sings in the choir there.

Sister Nguyen explained the theme that she chose for the novitiate entrance ceremony, “All are great favor.” “For my life, God gave me a call, and I never complain. Whatever happens in life is a good thing,” she said. “If it is good, wonderful; if it is not, it’s experience.”

Her many gifts and talents include singing in Vietnamese, directing a choir and floral arranging. She has been nurturing and developing those gifts and talents by taking piano lessons, and making floral arrangements for special events.

“I feel so happy with my life now. God created me to do some special thing. He has a mission for me.” This is her second time in formation, “but this is a different way and experience, and a different understanding,” she said.

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