How Would You Respond?

maidung-nguyenI was trained in engineering disciplines, doing research for biomedical applications. This ministry is not a common ministry that most people think a Sister should do or be involved in. I have also worked in a non-Catholic environment with people from various faiths who come from different countries including Iran, India, Cuba, and China, who were curious about how my ministry connects with being a religious sister.  Even people who grew up in this country, Catholic or non-Catholic, are curious about my religious life and ministry.

Once in a while, I have conversations that start with a question like this: “Sisters usually wear habits and stay inside a convent to pray or work with the poor and in the church. But you are so different. How does a sister like you serve God and help the poor by working in an engineering and research field?” I usually respond by asking: “Do you know what a ‘sister’ or a ‘nun’ means?” One original response I received was: “It means you belong to a habitat organization (Habitat for Humanity), where you go around building houses for the poor.  Is that the reason you are an engineer?”

A call to religious life is a sacred call.  It is not a call for a hidden life or an extraordinary life. It is one type of call from God, rooted in Jesus’ mission. It is a call to be radically present and to live authentically within the world, filled with endless actions of God’s love. This call requires on-going transformation and conversion in order to be relevant with the signs of our time. A call to religious life needs to be examined, reflected upon, clarified, and finally, brought forward no matter how unusual it may seem.

So, how do you respond to the question of what it means to be a sister?  How and where do you see sisters living authentically Jesus’ mission?  Are you called to use your gifts as a Catholic sister in response to God’s invitation to be radically present in today’s world?

Posted in God Calling?, News

7 responses to “How Would You Respond?

  1. Thanks, Mai-Dung, for witnessing to many in your ministry who otherwise would not know about Sisters especially Dominican Sisters of Peace. I am sure you witness to many others too.
    Peace and blessings, Ann

  2. Mai-Dung, You are in a great field and reaching persons most of us never would. I too did not know your ministry so Thanks! For each of us to live authentically among the many with whom we come into contact is so important and requires honesty and integrity for the truth of our tough times to be heard or considered.

  3. Mai-Dung, thanks for writing this article. I’ll bet many people learn a lot from you about what it means to be “sister.” It would be good if all of us took time to share that with each other.

  4. Thank you. First of all, I learned something about you. I did not know what ministry you are involved in. I am happy to be part of your ministry.

  5. GREAT! you said it, Mai-Dung. How blessed we are that you’re there to clarify and teach truth. Thanks for all you do.

  6. Thank you, Mai-Dung! I especially like your timely description / explanation of the need to “see God’s will and our work in the circumstances of the hour”… (something I learned from the writings of Lucy Eaton Smith) which evokes the ongoing transformation of our mission. Thank you for clarifying this for the many people in today’s world who sometimes seem to have only one view of the life and ministry of a vowed woman religious.


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