Most Reverend Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, ordained seven Divine Word Missionaries on Saturday, May 21, at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Techny—all graduates of DWC. The newly ordained priests come from three different nations and have been assigned to serve as missionary priests in Brazil, Canada, Papua New Guinea, the United States and Vietnam.
Croatian native Milan Knezovic
, 37, who attended DWC in 2004, had pursued a career as a bank officer before entering the seminary at age 27. He was studying in a diocesan seminary in his homeland when he discovered his passion for the missions, inspired by hardships in his own family, which had endured many years of war, dating back to World War II. He will return to Brazil, where he spent his Cross-Cultural Training (CTP), as a member of the Society of the Divine Word Brazil Northern Province.
A native of Paslek, Poland, 35-year-old Adam Laskarzewski, who attended Divine Word from 2003-2004, will stay in the Chicago Province and begin his first assignment in Granby, Québec, Canada after ordination. While living at Granby, he will do outreach to Latino migrants in the Diocèse of Saint-Hyacinthe.
Joseph Minh Nguyen, 53, who attended here from 2002-2003, was born in Saigon. He professed vows with the Salesians in 1984, but the government denied him permission to be ordained. He left Vietnam with twelve dozen other people on a 30-foot boat and faced the South China Sea’s merciless storms and Malaysian pirates. For four years, he lived in a refugee camp in Indonesia until making his way to California in 1994. Before joining the Divine Word Missionaries, he earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and worked in the test lab of a digital camera storage company. Nguyen’s first assignment will be in the U.S. Southern Province.
Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Dominic Savio Huynh Pham
, 37, attended DWC from 2001-2005. He had escaped from Vietnam with family members in 1989 and then lived in Malaysia for four years before being able to enter the United States. For his CTP training, Pham went to St. Rose de Lima parish in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He will remain in the Chicago Province for his first assignment.
, 28, from Bytom, Poland, attended DWC from 2004-2005. Tomaszewski will serve his first assignment in Papua New Guinea, where he completed his cross-cultural training. "The mission of God is everywhere. The work for us is everywhere," he said. "I discovered (during CTP) that Papua New Guinea is for me."
Living in community comes easily to 32-year-old Bao Trung Tran, who attended DWC from 1999-2003. Born in Vietnam, the fifth child of 11, he was raised in Orange County, California. As a seminarian, Tran fulfilled CTP in Phan Rang, Vietnam, which allowed him to rediscover his roots. He will become a member of the Society of the Divine Word Vietnam Province.
Duy John Tran, 32, attended DWC from 1999-2003. He was a teenager when he left Vietnam with his mother and two of his brothers, including his identical twin. After attending DWC, he later went on to spend his CTP in Ecuador. Becoming proficient in Spanish, he taught English, visited the sick and poor and took part in other pastoral ministries. After professing perpetual vows last September, Tran served as a deacon in San Diego. After ordination, he will return to California and begin his first assignment as a member of the U.S. Western Province.