Nathaniel Minh Nguyen
Nathaniel Minh Nguyen is a 2008 graduate of Divine Word College and a 2009 graduate of the University of Dubuque. Today he is in his novitiate year continuing to discern his call to religious life. Nathaniel shares with us his thoughts about novitiate life, day to day happenings and his call to a religious vocation.
“I was born in Vietnam, but what happened there is only a preamble to my story. Life began anew for me when I first stepped off the plane, at age seven, into the cold snowy atmosphere of Lincoln, Nebraska. I remember going to school for the first time in America, meeting my first friends in ESL, and meeting my favorite teacher of all time. I had most of the freedoms American kids had. Though my family held onto Vietnamese culture and traditions, we easily adapted our lives to fit into the new mold of American urban living.
In high school, I was a good student. My parents did not push me to study in any specific field and said that I should do what would make me happy. I wanted to become a teacher or doctor, to make them proud. Then one day, I happened to see a calendar, hanging on my parents’ bedroom wall, with Sisters dressed in pink and blue – and detailed information on how to contact them, and the SVD. I decided to email Divine Word College’s Vocation office.
Today, it makes me wonder what actually pushed me to contact DWC, attend the Come and See Weekend, and finally fill out the application. And what has kept me with Divine Word College to this day? I must conclude that it was God who called me, and it was I who answered, and it is through God’s grace that I am still answering that call and discovering the path of religious life.
I am beginning to hear my call more clearly, and becoming more confident in answering that call – the beginning of a beautiful path that I am about to take. I will continue to go wherever the Spirit may take me, and allow the Spirit to work through me, in me, and with me.”