by Sister Rose Therese Bahr, ASC
In early March, 2013, Sister Hang Pham, ASC, traveled from Chicago to Wichita with Brother Dominic Nhan Bui, C.PP.S., a Missionary of the Precious Blood from Vietnam, to explore the possibility of entering the English as Second Language program at Wichita State University. He wanted to become more fluent in English, both spoken and written, in preparation for study at Catholic Theological Union. Brother Dominic and his formator, Fr. Joseph Bathke, C.PP.S., were impressed with the program and made arrangements for Brother Dominic to enroll. So a wonderful relationship began between the Wichita ASCs and Brother Dominic. His infectious laughter and spirited, outgoing personality endeared him to the Wichita ASCs immediately. He became “one of us” almost instantly!
Brother Dominic was offered hospitality at the Wichita Center in early June, 2013 and has lived at the Center since then. He enrolled in ESL classes at Wichita State University for the 2013-2014 academic year. He excels in his studies under the daily tutelage of Sisters Anacleta Schuette, ASC, and Bernadine Wessel, ASC.
Immediately on taking up residence at the Wichita Center, Brother Dominic became a true community member, praying with the sisters and attending daily Mass, eating meals with the sisters, joining in feast day gatherings, birthday celebrations, and enjoying visiting with the sisters in groups or in one-to-one encounters. In these conversations he has shared so much information about his home country and life in Vietnam that helps the ASCs understand the Vietnamese culture. He also is a true “servant of the servants”: he waits at the end of the cafeteria serving line and helps carry trays for sisters needing assistance going from the serving line to a table, and after the meal, gathers trays from the sisters’ tables and carries them to the dishwasher window—always with a gracious smile.
But, who is Brother Dominic? He was born in South Vietnam; his mother and seven siblings still live there. He was baptized in the Peace Catholic Church, and educated for one year in a Catholic school and then went to the Communist Education System for his elementary and secondary education. Nhan tells of life when the Communists took over the government of Vietnam in 1975: the family was under great stress as they lost all their possessions and their carpenter shop was closed. Life was very hard for his parents and brothers who struggled to provide for their family.
After graduation from Dong Do University with a major in Economic Law, Nhan responded to God’s call becoming a definitively incorporated member of the Kansas City Province in 2008. After starting formation, he studied Philosophy and Theology at Lasallian Institute of Theology and two years of Theology at Dominican Center of Studies in Vietnam. He discerned God’s call
to the priesthood and thus his journey to the United States began.
In May, 2012, Nhan arrived in Chicago to study English prior to his admission to Catholic Theological Union. After one year, his formators wanted a more intensive immersion language program for him—so began his sojourn with the ASCs in Wichita.
When Nhan returns to Chicago at the end of May, 2014, he will pursue theological studies at Catholic Theological Union. After finishing his priestly training he will return to Saigon and live in community with the C.PP.S. priests and candidates there.
Nhan truly believes the message in the current C.PP.S. vocation brochure: “God will lead you more places than you ever dreamed possible.” Not in his wildest dreams did he think he would ever visit Wichita, Kansas and live in the convent with the ASCs. “I have learned so much from the sisters here and feel truly blessed for this gift of knowing and sharing life with the ASCs,” he said.
And, your presence as our brother in the Precious Blood family is truly a gift to us also, Brother Dominic. We will miss your presence very much and give you a promise of prayers for your future ministry as a member of the Precious Blood family.