“When individuals in the movement ask why I joined the SCJs out of all of the religious orders out there, I tell them, it’s simple – I felt like I was at home from the start and it is because of VEYM that I am an SCJ.”
-Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ
Frater Henry Nguyen, SCJ, one of our seminarians at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, shares the following reflection:
While Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology was on its spring break two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (VEYM)’s Annual Servant Leader Retreat – 2019 in Rosemead, CS, at the St. Joseph Salesian Youth Retreat Center. It was directed by Fr. Tri Dinh, SJ.
The retreat was called Hành Trình Hy Vọng: The Heart of Faith, (English translation of Hành Trình Hy Vọng is “The Journey of Hope”). When individuals in the movement ask why I joined the SCJs out of all of the religious orders out there, I tell them, it’s simple – I felt like I was at home from the start and it is because of VEYM that I am an SCJ.
Being in VEYM continues to reinforce my vocation of Ecce Venio. Recently, I read a post by the president of VEYM in the United States and it dawned on me that the SCJ charism was nurtured in me way before I knew what that meant. The VEYM is the youth branch of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM). The spirituality of VEYM and the SCJs is not that far apart as members in VEYM are taught to Live the Eucharistic Day which is comprised of three parts: Morning Offering, Mass and Holy Communion, and lastly, Night Offering. These aspects of Living the Eucharistic Day remind me of Oblation, Reparation, and Adoration. As the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian faith, in VEYM, we have Mass and Adoration daily.
During this retreat, we were first asked “How is your soul” in order to reflect on our journey of faith and how we got to where we are today. As I discern this question and my journey of faith, I am loved by God and I want to share that love with the world. It then got personal, I was asked, “Who is Jesus to me” and I thought of my personal relationship with Jesus, as my Shoshben, as someone whom I can talk to on any level. I took notice that I had to reprioritize my life and see what is important to me and how to make God more present in my life. The past, present, and future: I understood that how I got here leads me to immerse myself in the present moment, to discern where I go from here.
I know I was meant to be on this Journey of Hope: Heart of Faith as it was the same weekend as St. Polycarp’s 25th Year Anniversary as a VEYM chapter (I had joined VEYM at the age of eight at St. Polycarp, Stanton, CA). The weekend renewed my spirit, my Dehonian spirit. I was reminded to let go and let God. I pray that I am able to accompany and walk with others on their own journeys and really be available to them.
As I came home to Sacred Heart Monastery, I stumbled upon a painting in the stairway that was hung up after I had left for the retreat. The painting was of Jesus washing the feet of one his disciples. At the retreat, we reflected on the reading of Jesus washing the feet of the Disciples and this same image was used. Although I was tired from traveling, I couldn’t help but be in awe. Jesus is the true message of servant leadership.
Currently, my involvement in VEYM is both at a local chapter and the national level. I was elected as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Dong Hanh chapter in Franklin, WI (at St. Martin of Tours) and recently appointed as the Sub-Committee Lead of Vocations of the National Executive Committee.
Do you feel called to religious life? Contact our vocation office for more information about the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). Click here to email the director; or call 800-609-5559.