Three countries and two citizenships later, Sr. Teresa Nha Trang Nguyen, R.A. made her final profession of vows on May 2nd, 2009 in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Assumption College. A large happy crowd of family and friends, Sisters and Brothers were her witnesses as she promised to live poverty, chastity and obedience as a Religious of the Assumption. She had come a long way from her first meetings with the Assumption back in Vietnam in the early 1990s to this joyful culmination of her desires in Worcester on a beautiful Saturday in May 2009.
Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A., regional superior of the Assumptionists and vice president for mission at Assumption College, concelebrated the Mass with a dozen of our Assumptionist brothers as well as several priest friends from the diocese of Worcester. He was assisted by Deacon Carlos Melocoton, a former Assumptionist who will soon be ordained priest for the Diocese of Wheeling, W.V.
Often, when we speak of a person's journey, it's mostly metaphorical, but in Sr. Nha Trang's case, she really has covered many miles. Her first experience of religious life was in Vietnam, where she was a postulant, teaching in the kindergarten sponsored by the Assumption. When her family learned that they had received permission to immigrate to the United States, she went with them to North Carolina, where she contributed to their effort to settle in their new country. All the time, however, she had the desire to return to the Assumption. In 2000, she made the first step by joining the community of lay volunteers (AMAs) in Worcester, giving a year of service and taking some courses at the local community college. In 2001, she re-entered the Assumption in Worcester as a novice, under the direction of Sr. Anne Francoise Salaun. In 2002, she went off for the canonical year of novitiate in the Philippines, where she had the opportunity to live, work, study, pray and play with other novices. She also had a chance to get to know the world of the large Philippine-Thailand province. Returning in 2003, she made first vows in November of that year, and then began serious study at Assumption College the following January. During this period, Sr. Nha Trang gained her American citizenship, worked diligently at many projects of the community, studied during the academic year, prepared children for First Communion at Our Lady of Vilna parish, lent a helping hand at the summer camps in Chaparral, and in general found her way. All of this work and effort led her not only to the beautiful profession liturgy on May 2, but also, of course, to the rest of her life in the Assumption.
Our province is very happy and very grateful to Sr. Nha Trang for her generosity, her faith, her hope, and her love for all of us and for the people we seek to serve. Her profession of vows was an opportunity for all of us to renew our vows alongside her.
If you would like to write a note of congratulations or offer a prayer of encouragement to Sr. Nha Trang you may send it to her at firstname.lastname@example.org