Laughter, roadblocks and trust in God

| July 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

A Vietnamese-American’s journey of faith aims to inspire next generation

After performing in an uproariously funny skit about trust, Phat Tran shared his faith journey.

Phat Tran

Phat Tran

It brought more laughs but also nods of affirmation from Tran’s audience of college-age young people and young adults — youth ministry leaders attending the annual central region conference of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement held July 17-19 at the University of St. Thomas.

The three-day event drew more than 100 Catholics of Vietnamese heritage to the university’s St. Paul campus to pray, learn, participate in liturgies and activities, and to hear speakers to inspire and support them in teaching the faith and sharing their ethnic traditions.

Tran was 8 1/2 when he came to the United States from Vietnam. He grew up in Brooklyn Park, a parishioner of St. Anne-St. Joseph Hien parish in Minneapolis.

“I learned English by watching ‘Power Rangers’ on TV,” he admitted.

Today he is a clinical pharmacist at Allina Health’s Unity Hospital in Fridley and works as a registered pharmacist for Walgreens. He’s highly involved in VEYM, a nonprofit faith formation organization with chapters across the United States and in other countries as well. He is a youth leader, designer of curriculum and lesson plans, coordinator of national and regional conventions, and vice president of academics and development, helping to train youth ministry leaders for the faith formation program.

As a slideshow with images from “The Office,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Simpsons” illustrated his talk, Tran told of leaving the seminary after four years, of being rejected at first by several pharmacy schools, of his friends laughing about church, of his parent’s marriage breaking up, of being afraid of failure.

He said he was able to endure it all by praying and trusting that God had a plan for him.

“Among all the voices we hear, do we hear the voice of God?” he asked the VEYM youth leaders.

“The next time you’re down in the dumps, in the valley,” he added, “think of him, and trust.”

 

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