A native of Vietnam, Sister Anna Loan Nguyen joined the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco in 1962 and was admitted to the novitiate in 1966. After advanced studies in Italy and England, she returned to Vietnam in 1971, working with the formation house and teaching in Tam Ha.
When the Communists took over South Vietnam, sisters were asked to return home to their own families, but Sister Anna Loan still continued to live her religious life. Her mother died, her father was ill, and her siblings escaped by boat, one at a time.
She was reunited with her family in the United States in 1997 and transferred her religious vows to the Sisters of Providence. Her ministries have been at St. James Parish in Vancouver, Wash., as pastoral assistant and director of religious education, and at St. Cecilia Parish on Bainbridge Island, Wash., as director of religious education and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
She has been able to return to Vietnam periodically to teach third-year theology to young sisters at the Inter-Congregational Dominican Theological Institute of St. Thomas, in Ho Chi Minh City. She also organized a trip in 2008 for 25 youth and their parents from St. Cecilia Parish to go with her to Vietnam for 10 days to see the poverty and the life of the Church there.
Sister Anna Loan currently serves at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Everett, Wash., as coordinator for the Vietnamese community in parish and faith formation. She is assistant chaplain for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement in the parish and at the Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Seattle. In addition, she volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank in Georgetown.