Hoa Van Nguyen

2018-19: ELS Program
Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Growing up in an active Catholic family, I have always heard, "You should be a priest when you grow up." I always shrugged it off whenever I heard this when I was younger. During my Junior year in high school, I made my retreat. That retreat was an eye opener for me as I felt the love of God through everyone. Through that retreat, the thought of being a priest entered my mind, but this thought felt different. I felt calm and had a peace of mind through it. Praying on this thought, it became stronger like a desire or a calling.

One of the biggest factors in my discernment has been prayer. By developing a steady prayer life (starting out with praying a rosary every night), I grew in a relationship with God. It was in this relationship that I felt him strongly calling me to serve him, especially in moments of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and in communal praise and worship. Prayer is indispensable if you want to discern what God's will is for you, priesthood or otherwise.

I entered into communion with other growing Catholics; I became a lector, altar server, and Eucharistic Minister at my local parish. By surrounding myself with people and activities that helped me to grow closer to God, I also grew closer to the idea that this same God might be calling me to serve him in the priesthood.