the Show-Me State! Hope these lines find you well - energized by the
spirit of the Easter Season and the vitality of springtime.
My name is
Phạm An Nhàn. I am in my fourth year of formation with the Jesuits (Ḍng
Tên). Cha Long and chị Hường recently invited me to be part of the
Young Companions’ Corner. Having long wanted to contribute to Đồng
Hành, I gladly accepted the invitation. So here I am. Perhaps the
best way to introduce myself is to share a piece of my life - a bit of
my “bread,” you might say - with you. This will then be followed by a
brief explanation about this new column.
Born in Saigon
in 1972, I am the fourth child - and the only boy - of five children.
Although life after 1975 was hard, I was fortunate to enjoy a
fun-filled childhood. Some years ago, we came to the United States
and settled in Minneapolis. I studied biology (pre-medical
curriculum) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Those four
years of college was easy; the difficulty came when I felt stirred to
explore religious life. Upon graduation (and not sure what I wanted),
I spent a year working as a volunteer among the mentally handicapped
of L’Arche. The initial spark of interest in consecrated life seemed
to gain more impetus as I was gradually introduced to Ignatian
spirituality and the Jesuits. The constant restlessness I felt a year
ago was gradually yielding to a newly found peace and zeal of living a
radical life as a Jesuit. So I joined the Jesuits in the fall of
1997. And it has been a wonderful journey.
There you have
it - my life journey in a nutshell. I hope that as time goes on,
we’ll get to know each other more.
about this “new column” I mentioned earlier?
This column is
called Share Your Bread, which captures well its purpose. This column
is for all of us to share our faith, our stories with each other. The
general format of the column consists of a topic or a theme focusing
especially on faith and other issues that are relevant to you. As a
start, I will offer my brief reflection of the topic. The bulk of the
column will consist of a reflection done by one of YOU, who will be
called witnesses. I have always found personal witnesses touching and
invaluable in my own spiritual life. Putting forth Share Your Bread,
I hope we can all share and benefit from the richness of each others
journey of faith.
Since I have
already done my “reflection” above, I will save my topic-focused
reflection for next time. For now, it is my pleasure to introduce our
first witness. She is Anh Thu (Annie) from New Jersey. I’d like to
thank Annie for writing this reflection on such short notice. Her
reflection is on her Easter Triduum experience - indeed most
appropriate for this time. I hope this reflection adds much to our
lives during this blessed season. God bless!