“Jesus, I trust in you” By Martino Hoang

My name is Hoang Tri Hieu, though in Australia I use my Italian name, Martino.  

7 August 2017 General Interest

My name is Hoang Tri Hieu, though in Australia I use my Italian name, Martino. The Vietnamese call St Martin de Porres Martino! This is my baptismal name that my parents chose for me, and so he became my patron, too. The feast day of St Martin De Porres is my birthday, which is why I love the name now!

I come from Vietnam, a country Australians know very well and I am very proud of our culture. My family consists of my father, my mother, a younger sister, a younger brother and me. We have a very close relationship with each other, even in difficult times.

My father, Quan, is the cornerstone of our family. I love his firm, but flexible personality. He worked as a porter in a small company, but he had to retire recently for health reasons. He loves us all and considers himself responsible for the well-being of our family.

My great source of inspiration is my mother, Hue. She is special for me. She is both a housewife and a saleswoman, getting up very early in the morning to prepare the food she is going to sell. She takes responsibility for the organisation, management and discipline of the family.

My younger sister, Thao, was married at the age of 22, and she is really happy with her husband, Nam and their 1-year-old son. My younger brother, Tam, is still a pupil in the well-known high school in our home town. He is one of the most intelligent boys in our village, especially good at mathematics!

I was a Vietnamese pre-seminarian in Xuân Loc Diocese before I moved to the Broken Bay Diocese in Australia. I studied at the Open University in Ho Chí Minh City, which offers a good standard of training for its students. I chose the four-year course in Information Technology (IT), and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Computer Science.

While I was a pre-seminarian in Xuân Loc Diocese, I lived with a big group of pre-seminarian brothers for over two years. Living together in community in this way provided a good opportunity for us, as future priests, to get to know each other.

Why do I want to be a priest? This is a question I often asked myself and was asked by a priest in Xuân Loc Seminary before I became a pre-seminarian. I have always wanted to be a priest, ever since I was 10 years old, when I became an altar server in my parish. At that time I came close to the Lord. I thought about it for a long time, when I was a student, and then, at my parents' suggestion and the advice of my parish priest, I decided to take the entrance test for St Joseph’s Major Seminary.

I was very happy to have been accepted as a pre-seminarian. I know that it is very challenging to be a priest and to serve God’s people, but I keep repeating the prayer: "Jesus, I trust in you". This encourages me to be more confident to respond to the call of God.

While I was staying in the seminary, the vice-rector, Fr Joseph Thao suggested that I might become a missionary priest in a foreign country, other than Vietnam.

Fr Joseph is full of inspiration and enthusiasm. Whenever I talk to him, he always widens my horizon with a range of ways of hearing the Word of God and acting upon it. I know I have been so blessed to meet and get to know him so early in my life.

He has inspired me and continues to nurture my vocation. He has not only changed my thinking about vocation and evangelisation, but has also broadened the way I look at the call of the Lord.

While visiting the Diocese of Broken Bay in 2014 and 2015, it was my honour and great privilege to meet the priests and Catholic parish communities.

I always leave Australia with mixed feelings, as each time I visit I find I have a deep fondness for the parishioners of Broken Bay, whom I have grown to love very much in my short time with you, and to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude.

It would be a great privilege for me to belong to the Diocese of Broken Bay and to share its spiritual riches. I have a golden opportunity to expand my vocation through the divine providence manifested in the hospitality of the people of Australia and Broken Bay, in particular. Through the love of God, I believe I have the potential to be a good seminarian in the Diocese and this will allow me to be a part of Broken Bay’s future.

Furthermore, I have already been in my training vocation for five years, and I realise that I still need to study many things, before I can become a good priest in the future.

There will be a lot of difficulties to face, but I hold a firm belief that these are the challenges that God is offering me. Therefore, I must face them with the grace of God, and in this way, I will gain the confidence to face anything for love of Him. I look forward to carrying out the will of God and serving the people of the Diocese.

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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