In just a few short weeks, Fr. Joseph will be coming to our Parish! He recently shared a letter with us so we can get to know him a little better. Please keep Fr. Joseph, Fr. Dennis, and Fr. Matt in your prayers as they make their transitions this summer.
I am Fr. Joseph-Francis Tran Hoang Tuan. Joseph is my patron saint of Baptism and Confirmation, Francis (Francis Cabrini) is my patron saint of Holy Orders. I was born and raised in Saigon, a city in south Vietnam. I have three brothers and five sisters and five of my siblings and my mother live here in the States.
I got my vocation to the priesthood when I was ten years of age. Due to religious persecution of the Communist regime and poverty, I could not attend the seminary there so I thought of escaping the country and prayed that I could be in the land of true freedom to discern my Vocation to serve God and His Church. God listened to my prayer. In May of 1986, when I was 16 years old, I left Vietnam by myself in a small fishing boat, which was on the ocean for seven days and nights. I first landed in Thailand where I stayed in a refugee camp for five months until October, 1986.
I was sponsored by the U.S. Catholic Charity and my older brother, who had also escaped Vietnam four years before I did. I immigrated to St. Louis, MO, and lived there with my brother and where I finished high school and a year of community college. I then joined the Vietnamese Dominican religious order in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and was sent to Christ The King Seminary in Mission, British Columbia, and the Dominican University in Ottawa, Ontario, to finish my BA with concentration in Philosophy. After finishing my studies there, I asked my Superior for a year of absence so I could reflect deeply on my vocation before entering the novitiate, (a year of intense prayer and reflection before taking religious vows) which was granted.
I returned home to St. Louis and worked for my older brother in the restaurant business for five years. Then, in 1998, at the request of my older sister, who had come to the States seven years before I did, I moved to Denver CO, where I worked one more year before returning to the seminary, However, I did not return to the Dominican religious order but instead entered St. John Vianney Seminary where I finished a year of Spirituality and four years of Theology. During this time I felt called to be a diocesan priest more than a religious priest, due to the strength of my pastoral ministry.
I was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver May 22, 2004. After ordination, I served as Parochial Vicar at St. Michael parish in Aurora for three years, then I was sent to Immaculate Heart of Mary in Northglenn for 6 months as Assistant Pastor. I then served as Pastor at St. Anthony of Padua in Julesburg, and St. Peter in Crook for 4 years and four months before coming to St. Martin de Porres parish.
I was assigned by Bishop Conley to serve St. Martin de Porres for a period of six years, effective June 20, 2012. My prayer is that I am always supported, and loved by each and every one of you and I hope to grow spiritually with each of you and to be 'salt & light" to the whole world with all of you.
May our Almighty God bless you, our Blessed Mother love you, and St. Joseph watch over you through the intercession of St. Joseph.
Through Mary to Christ,
Fr. Joseph-Francis Tran H, Tuan