Fr. Trung Mai, SVD

Vocation Director, Western Region

"The integral formation of Divine Word College, which encompasses the human, spiritual, intellectual, cross-cultural living and missionary areas, not only strengthened my relationship with Christ and with others, but also helped me to realize more fully my religious vocation," says Fr. Trung Mai.

Though he was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, he escaped in 1987, and lived in two different refugee camps in both Thailand and the Philippines. In April of 1989, Fr. Trung came to the United States and settled in Jacksonville, Florida.

"I learned of the Divine Word Missionaries through the Vietnamese Catholic magazine, but especially through Bishop Dominic Mai Thanh Luong, when he made a pastoral visit to the Vietnamese Catholic community in Jacksonville," Fr. Trung relates. "I came to DWC in August, 1992. At first, I was enrolled in the intensive ESL (English as a Second-Language) program." After graduating from Divine Word College in 1998, Fr. Trung went on to the novitiate, and was ordained a priest in May, 2005, at Techny, Illinois.

"My cross-cultural experience not only enriched my vocation, but also helped me define what missionary service really means," says Fr. Trung. "During my two years of overseas training in Bolivia, I had the privilege of serving at the remote area of San Ignacio in Santa Cruz, and at the Valley of Cochabamba, which is populated by poor Chiquitano and Quechua people, respectively." Having been touched by the people he met during his missionary experience, he feels strongly that "my vocation has always been to serve others."

Fr. Trung offers these words, spoken by Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), to those considering God's call: Christ has no body but yours... No hands, no feet on earth but yours…Yours are the eyes with which he looks... Compassion on this world.