Tam was born in Vietnam and arrived in the United States in 1992 at the age of 22. He graduated in 1999 from Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, but decided to take “time out” from seminary formation before entering the novitiate. He worked for two years before applying for the Associate Program. He spent one year of formation at Divine Word Theologate studying theology and then entered the novitiate. Tam professed First Vows as a Divine Word Missionary on August 16, 2003. He completed another year of theology studies before going to Togo, West Africa for his CTP (Cross-Cultural Training Program). He spent one year learning French and one of the local languages and two years of ministry before returning to the States to complete his studies for the priesthood. He professed Perpetual Vows as a Divine Word Missionary in August 2008 and was ordained as a priest in May 2009. His first assignment as a priest is to serve in Togo, West Africa.