“Let it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38. That expresses the faith and devotion which led Teresa Huong Thi Nguyen to make profession of first vows as a Sister of Providence in Seattle on September 14.
The vow ceremony was part of a liturgy at St. Joseph Residence attended by Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province, in addition to members of the General Leadership Team from Montreal, Quebec. Also in attendance were four family members from Sister Huong’s native Vietnam and many friends. “Now the public will know that I am committed to religious life,” Sister Huong said in a recent interview. “I know I am committed already, but people will recognize now that I am really a sister. I feel so blessed being a Sister of Providence. This is a way for me to do my call, free myself and serve poor people. That is my goal.” She hopes to achieve it through a ministry in organizing or administration.
Delighted by her mother’s attendance
Sister Huong was especially delighted to be joined in Seattle for her vow ceremony by her mother, Thu Tran, who traveled from Vietnam in her first visit to the United States, as well as by her adopted brother Father Joseph Ky Nguyen, her sister Bich Nguyen, and a brother-in-law, Hung Duong. Bich Nguyen, who took over Huong’s florist shop when she moved to the United States, created the floral arrangements for the ceremony. Sister Huong used her talents as a seamstress to make her own dress for the occasion.
Father Joseph was a concelebrant with Father Joachim Thanh, of the Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Tukwila, Wash., who praised Sister Huong’s volunteer work with the parish. It was a truly international and intercultural celebration, done in three languages –- Vietnamese, English and Spanish – and followed by a reception. The parish choir, directed by Oanh Nguyen, filled the chapel with beautiful music, aided by cantor Sister Margaret Pastro, SP.
“My first thanks go to Almighty God for planting the seed of faith in my heart; and once the seed was planted thanks to so many people who have helped it grow,” Sister Huong told the guests in the packed chapel. “… My heart is filled with gratitude to all of you for your love, support, prayers, inspirations and encouragement.”
Huong was born in 1975 in Thanh Hoa province, North Vietnam, the fifth of nine children. After high school, she joined the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross.