By: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
Putting On The New Man is a series of the NDS Blog that will introduce the new faces you see in the seminary.
BR. GABRIEL THUAN VU
I am Br. Gabriel Thuan Vu. I was born and raised in Vietnam. I am a professed religious brother from The Congregation of The Mother of The Redeemer(CRM). I had recently professed final vows this past May. I have been part of this religious community for about 9 years. This is my first semester at Notre Dame Seminary studying theology and participating in the priestly formation program. As a professed brother of the CRM community, it seems that the teachings of St. Benedict have greatly impacted me. For me, one of the most important rules of St. Benedict is Obedience. Obedience is the first rule that he teaches and is the basic for growing in faith and holiness. He said, “The first degree of humility is prompt obedience.” This obedience is definitely described in Scripture: “He humbled himself becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Pl 2:8) Some interests that I have are exercise and music. My favorite sport is badminton. I enjoy running in the morning and going for a walk after dinner with my brothers talking about spiritual life. I also like to listen to music, especially religious music. I felt the call to the religious life after my father passed away in 2006. Influences from my family, friends, and other priests helped me in my discernment in following this vocation. I wanted to be a priest because I want to serve God and others by: offering mass, hearing confessions, and ministering sacraments to others. For me, besides the Holy Bible, the book “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis is a wonderful book that instructs and inspires my spiritual life.
JOSEPH LOUIS FIORENTINO
My name is Joseph Louis Fiorentino and I will be starting First Theology here at NDS for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Two of my favorite saints are St. Joseph and St. Philip Neri, which is also why one of my favorite spiritual books is Philp Neri’s Biography, The Fire of Joy. My other favorite book would be The Power of Silence. I am also a great fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, which is why the Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of my favorite movies. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to St. Augustine, is “Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned.” I would like to be a priest because I believe it is God’s will and because I have a strong desire to be able to celebrate the sacraments one day. I am currently on this path because I resisted God’s call to discern seminary when I was younger, but found great peace and consolation in opening myself to God’s call. I have been pursuing this path since. One of the most interesting things that has happened to me is that I shattered my collarbone while practicing for the soccer game between NDS and St. Bens. I had to have the bone reconstructed and have a metal plate in my shoulder, the first step towards becoming the Six Million Dollar Man. My favorite hobbies are singing, reading, running, playing sports, and anything outdoors, especially hunting and fishing!
About the Author: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
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