The Roundup -

St. Matthews Catholic Church Welcomes New Associate Pastor Father Tran

 

Fr. Tran poses with his cake during a birthday celebration at St. Matthews.

I am excited to be serving in the Diocese of Billings-Great Falls as Associate Pastor at St. Matthew's in Sidney, Montana.

Being here in Montana brings back many memories of my childhood in Vietnam. In 1979, my dad was able to escape war-torn Vietnam and go to America before the rest of our family. My mom, siblings and I were forced to move to a secluded village in the countryside after the Communist government took our home. There we had to travel nearly half a day to get to the city to attend Mass because there was no church nearby. I love the beauty and peacefulness of Montana, but what I have enjoyed the most is bringing Christ to the faithful of Montana, especially in our mission churches, because I know the distances you go to seek Him in the Holy Eucharist.

In 1990, my mom, siblings and I were finally able to come to America, and we were reunited with my dad after 11 years apart. I am the 4th of 6 children. My parents live in New Orleans, Louisiana, with two of my siblings and their families. My other three siblings live in Richmond, Virginia.

My discernment to the priesthood began at the age of 15 when I joined the Congregation of Mother Coredemptrix in Carthage, Missouri. I earned my philosophy degree from Conception Seminary College (Conception, MO) in 2004 and Master of Divinity in Theology from Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans, LA) in 2010. My mom encouraged me immensely during my discernment, and she constantly reminded me to trust in God, telling me to "don't think, just go." On June 5, 2010, I was blessed with graces of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and was ordained by Bishop James Johnston in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

After ordination, I served as Associate Pastor at a Vietnamese parish in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis from 2011-2014. In August 2015, I came to Montana and was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Miles City before coming to St. Matthew's in Sidney.

It has been a pleasure to meet so many parishioners in my first few months in Sidney. Visiting with you, getting to know you and your families, and bringing Christ to each of you is an aspect of my ministry that brings me great joy. The missionary spirit of our Holy Father Pope Francis is an inspiration to me, so I look forward to serving each of you in that same spirit.

 

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