For the past five years Fr. Francis Vu Tran has been doing graduate studies in scripture, first earning a licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, and since then, working on his doctorate. He returned to the United States last year to finish writing his thesis and hoped that he would soon be putting his studies to work teaching.
“It was my desire from the beginning to teach at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology,” said Fr. Francis. “I want to be a part of the SCJ presence there.”
But as the old saying goes, God writes straight with crooked lines. Or as John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
Instead of SHSST, Fr. Francis is heading to Vietnam.
“My religious life has always been full of surprises,” said Fr. Francis. “When Fr. General talked to me about serving in the Vietnamese District it was just one more surprise”…
“Missionary.” That is the word that Fr. Francis uses when he talks about ministry in Vietnam. He doesn’t view it as going “home” to minister. Home to Fr. Francis is the US Province. He is happy to serve in the land of his birth and hopes that he can make a contribution, but he also hopes to return to the United States with teaching experience, along with his doctorate in scripture.
“Our congregation calls us more and more to have a missionary spirit, and a spirit of internationality,” said Fr. Francis. “This is an opportunity for me to live my vocation as an SCJ missionary.”
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