After graduating from Thomas Aquinas College four years ago, Br. Francis Dominic (Don ’18) Nguyen followed the footsteps of the College’s patron into the Order of Preachers. Four years later, he is still faithfully treading that path.
“I am in my third year of vows and my fourth year with the Dominicans,” says Br. Francis Dominic. Those three years since his profession have not been idle: He spent two studying advanced philosophy, as well as one in pastoral residency. “When I return to the house of studies in Oakland this fall, I will continue my studies with four years of theology. God willing, I will be ordained a priest at the end of those four years!”
Br. Francis Dominic is part of the Dominican Order’s Vietnamese Vicariate of St. Vincent Liem, which ministers to immigrant communities in the U.S. and Canada. “Surely the strong faith I have witnessed among the Vietnamese Catholic community is inspired by the Dominican friars martyred in Vietnam, who shed their blood in witness for the one true faith,” he says. “There are lots of Vietnamese youth who volunteer their time for the good of the Church, and I never cease to be inspired by the good God is working in His church.”
Throughout his studies of philosophy and his ministry, Br. Francis Dominic expresses gratitude for the education he received at Thomas Aquinas College. “I knew when I applied to TAC that it would be good for me if I were really a ‘lifelong learner’ and wanted to ‘learn how to think,’ but I knew this only on the authority of my teachers and friends,” he reflects. “I did not expect that so many so-called ‘useless’ things we studied would have become so useful in my daily life. Now I know that TAC teaches you to think, and I know it not just theoretically but experientially. An education from the College gives you a stable ground for your mind to safely rest on, in the midst of an unstable, doubtful world.”
Not only did the College teach him to think, however. “The seed of my religious vocation was watered and developed in a very positive way at the College,” he says. “My mind developed through countless sessions of study, and my heart was set ablaze by the Mass and the times of prayer with God.”
Br. Francis Dominic will continue to water the seedling that the College helped to plant as he perseveres into the next phase of discernment and, by God’s grace, to the priesthood.
The above comes from a May 26 release from Thomas Aquinas College.