For two weeks in December Novices Henry Nguyen and Paul (Phong) Hoang traveled to the District of Vietnam with Fr. Ed Kilianski. Fr. Ed went to Vietnam to give a retreat and to meet with Fr. Francis Vu Tran (district superior) about collaborative projects for the future. Fr. Ed invited the novices to join him so that they could learn more about the SCJ congregation (Dehonians) outside of the United States.
For Henry, it was the first time that he visited the country of his parents’ birth. While there, he met relatives, including his grandmother, for the first time. During his first week in Vietnam he wrote a reflection that was published on the province website. Click here to read it.
Back home, Henry reflected more fully on his time in Vietnam:
“During our trip to Vietnam I often allowed myself to be ‘moved by the Spirit’ (Constitution #23). Not only was this trip an intercultural experience for me but also an interreligious one as it reminded me of my time in my ‘Religious Experience in Context’ class at Catholic Theological Union.
“As we traveled around Vietnam, I saw how religion and culture intertwined. An experience that I had while at my Bác Yến’s house was praying for our ancestors by lighting incense and praying for them at the family’s altar in the living room. This is where I connected religion and culture as I was a Vietnamese Catholic and this was more Vietnamese with perhaps a Buddhist influence.”
Click here to read his full post: “American, Vietnamese and Catholic.”