Hung Nguyen, SJ
Highlights of Jesuit Formation:
- Served migrants on the border in Tijuana and Nogales, Mexico.
- Accompanied communities living on the Colombian and Peruvian sides of the Amazon River near Leticia, Colombia.
- Served as a deacon at cold, rainy or sunny outdoor Masses for the Vietnamese community in Oakland, California.
Will serve as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas.
Hung Nguyen, SJ, was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Chicago, along with his parents and two sisters, in 1998. His oldest brother remained in Vietnam to serve as a diocesan priest. Hung attended the last three years of high school at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, and after graduation, entered the Society of Jesus in Berkley, Michigan. As a novice, Hung was sent on experiments to Seattle, Indianapolis, Detroit and Peru. Next, he was missioned to study philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, where he spent a year studying abroad at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in China. During regency, Hung taught at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and spent his last year of regency with the Kino Border Initiative accompanying migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border. For the next three years, he studied theology in Mexico City and Bogotá, Colombia. In Bogotá, he was involved in spiritual direction ministry for the students at Colegio San Bartolomé La Merced and accompanied students on mission trips during Holy Weeks. Hung came back to the U.S. to finish a Master of Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, where he was fortunate to have an experience accompanying the men inside San Quentin State Prison shortly before the start of the pandemic. As a deacon, he served at the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Community of Divine Mercy Parish in Oakland, California. After ordination, Hung will be missioned to serve as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas.
Bachelor’s degree, philosophy, Loyola University Chicago; Master of Divinity, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Who’s your favorite saint, and why?
St. Thérèse of Lisieux because she is the patron saint of missionaries and she desired to go to the mission in my home country, Vietnam. I also like her spirituality of the “Little Way,” which is very practical and worth imitating.
What is one hobby you’ve cultivated as a Jesuit, and why is it important to you?
I’ve learned to like photography. Taking pictures has trained my eyes to pay attention and to appreciate the many details of God’s creation.
What’s one interesting fact about yourself not everyone would know?
When I was living in Vietnam, at a catechism competition at my home parish, I committed a major heresy on the Trinity by answering that there were three Gods instead of the three persons of God. I placed first in that competition and now I am on my way to becoming a priest! God writes straight with crooked lines!
What do you love about the Society of Jesus?
I love the fact that we live a spirituality rooted in a personal relationship with Jesus. From it, we receive our mission to accompany Jesus and God’s people, whether students in our educational institutions, families in our parishes or people in marginalized situations and communities.
Tell your vocation story. One catch: You must use six words or less.
En todo amar y servir
What brings you joy?
Serving people with my two hands through simple actions.
How might you explain the Jesuit motto “ad maiorem Dei gloriam” to someone who’s never heard it before?
It’s putting God first in all of your work and effort.