What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
I desire to become a priest following God’s will to serve his Church. Therefore, I decided to enter the seminary to be trained, and to formed in accordance with the priestly formation of the Roman Catholic Church. I would like to devote myself totally to the Church so that through the Sacrament of Holy Orders I will be transformed into a new man and “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rm 8:29) in my future ministry as a priest.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
Firstly, my priestly call was influenced by my parents. They constantly pray for me, and they chose St. Alphonsus to be my patron saint when I received the Sacrament of Baptism with the hope that when I grow up, I would follow his example in my vocational journey. Moreover, they always encouraged me to participate in the life of the parish. Since childhood, I have been an altar server and a lector. The second person who influenced my vocation was the first pastor of my parish. When I was a junior at university, my pastor encouraged me to choose a religious vocation. Due to his kindness and holiness, I have been attracted to the diocesan priestly vocation.
What would you say is the role of prayer in the life of a seminarian and what effect does it have on one's ability to see God's call?
Prayer is the breath of the soul in the spiritual life of every seminarian; just as the blood vessels function in the body, prayer helps the spiritual life to grow and be strengthened in order to overcome temptations and to be faithful to my priestly vocation.
What advice would you give to a man who thinking about his vocation and is considering that God may be calling him to be a priest
The vocational journey is a complete self-devotion and gives up of self to others. There are many difficulties and challenges, but this life is really full of joy and grace that are granted to us by God. The important thing is that we know to open the doors of our souls so that the grace and will of God can be poured out into our hearts so that we can respond to His Call. You must be always ready to respond to God's call through the advice of your relatives or through happy or sad events of life. Never give up contemplating and listening.
What do you like most about being a seminarian?
In addition to prayer and study which are the duties of a seminarian; I enjoy talking to older people to learn from their life experiences. When I was at Hanoi seminary I would visit them, and talk with them on the weekends.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing a man who is considering the seminary?
For me, the greatest challenge is to remain faithful. Our weakness and limitations, as well as the temptations of the world, can challenge our faithfulness in our vocations. However, the seminary’s life is a great time for a man to learn how to live faithfully in daily duties. “If you are faithful in little things you will be faithful in large ones.” (Lk 16:10)
What are some of your hobbies or pastimes? What are some of the things you like to do in your "free" time?
I enjoy walking and I usually do this in my free time. In addition, I also enjoy reading, listening to instrumental music and watching soccer.
What do you think is the best way to encourage vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston?
I think the first and foremost thing is prayer: “Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest” (Mt 9.38). Another important thing is to show a vocational life with joy. For example, a seminarian who always enjoys fulfill his duties would be a vivid and wonderful picture to indicate that he is happy on his vocational journey.