Joseph Son Van Pham’s vocational journey has been an adventure of patience and perseverance.
From a family of six in the middle of Vietnam, Mr Van Pham studied engineering after leaving school. But as an active parishioner, he felt drawn to the life of priests. The call to serve God’s people grew within him.
Mr Van Pham first got to know of the Rosminians through Khuong Van Nguyen, another Rosminian novice, who had spent some of his formation in New Zealand. Mr Van Pham was accepted first as an aspirant to the order, and then was welcomed into the postulancy programme in Palmerston North where, alongside his language studies, he served in the parishes of St Mary’s and St Bridget’s in Feilding.
Covid, lockdowns, border closures and visa battles might have thrown off course a less patient person. But Mr Van Pham put his trust in God’s providence, and step-by-step moved through every hurdle.
On Holy Thursday this year, he was accepted as a novice at Monte Calvario, the mother house of the Rosminians in the north of Italy. It is a magnificent site, and the place where Blessed Antonio Rosmini founded the order in 1828.
Mr Van Pham writes: “When I arrived at Monte Calvario, the first thing I felt was the beauty and holiness of this place. Secondly, the community and people here are very generous and friendly. They have given me a warm welcome and encouraged me to love the religious life even more.
I really love this place. This is like my family.”
Father Robin Kurian, IC, the superior of the community in Palmerston North, said: “Joseph has been a shining example of Rosminian tranquillity and trust in God. His is a wonderful life journey to tell the world. His perseverance and commitment to the religious life are a great example. We are praying for Joseph, and the other novices, on the next stage of their formation journey. We hope and pray too that others will join them!”
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