Sister My Huong Pham reflects on Jubilee
On Saturday, June 25, four Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, celebrated with the Congregation.
One, Sister My Huong Pham, celebrated 25 years as a woman religious.
She entered the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters in February 1991 and began the transfer process to enter the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence in January 2015, a process which takes three years.
Recently, Sister My Huong was asked to reflect on her time as a woman religious and she wanted to share those thoughts with the Congregation, Providence Associates and more:
“My Jubilee celebration is not all about me. It celebrates neither success or achievement nor completion of my journey as a woman religious. It celebrates God’s unconditional love and fidelity who has encountered my life in such a profound way that is beyond my comprehension. It celebrates what God has done for me, through me for the church.
“Looking back, the last 25 years have been a journey of searching and finding – discovery and wonder. In 1991, God put the divine spell on me and I could not resist responding to God’s call – an invitation into religious life – though knowing that I would have to run and hide out in a pig pen or in a cold rain water cistern for hours in the middle of the night if the communists wanted to search the convent. The cry of the poor and oppressed people urged the call of my heart. My scariness of the persecution of communists was incomparable to my aching heart for their cries of suffering.
“In such a personal experience, I quickly said YES to God in searching for an ultimate relationship with God through the service of people. My ministries in Vietnam were being a grade school teacher, a school administrative assistant, and mission to poor suburban and rural areas. However, regardless of one unknown future anticipating another, my life took another turn in 1998.
“I was led by God’s Providence into a foreign land. I encountered the love of Providence that walked with me through the struggles of my own cultural differences. I discovered God’s love, mercy, and justice exemplified in the life and ministries of the Sisters of Providence. Yet, my heart’s desire to search for the meaning of God’s existence in a world full of suffering, violence, and injustice has grown stronger though it has taken several years of prayerful discernment with God and other wise religious and spiritual directors, counselors and mentors. This jubilee also celebrates a turning point of my life responding to God’s invitation to embracing God’s love, mercy, and justice not only in service of people but in all creation according to the charism of the Sisters of Providence.
“My current ministry in the Ministry of Care in the Providence Health Care facility has set an invitational tone in my heart to attentively follow the path of Providence. The stories of the ministries of the Sisters are an inspirational invitation to me in light of looking into the future ministry with hope and confidence and communal support.
“It has been a long and fruitful journey. I want to sing out loud the song of my heart – “in the Lord I’ll be ever thankful. In the Lord, I will rejoice.” – to celebrate God who marks this milestone. For my last 25 years of religious life with enriched experiences, I am profoundly grateful to God’s love and faithfulness. I cannot ever be thankful enough for the lives of those who have touched my life and supported my vocation and ministries in tremendous ways: My parents and siblings, relatives, religious communities of Vietnamese Dominicans of Tam Hiep, my spiritual directors both deceased and living, my godmother and her families, benefactors and friends. Especially, by God’s Providence, I am grateful to the Sisters of Providence who allowed me to celebrate my Jubilee with my family in Vietnam in February 2016 and at the motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in coincidence with the gathering of the entire Congregation of the Sisters of Providence for the General Chapter this summer. What a special blessing! They are the chief reason I am celebrating God’s providential love and fidelity. How can I keep from singing … the song of my heart?
“Looking forward into the future, this milestone is an invitation to reaffirm my YES to God in the transition into the hands of Providence whom I long for and to whom I belong. I hope my relationship with Providence grows deeper and deeper each day. Like Mother Teresa of Calcutta I humbly pray to “be a little pencil in God’s hands. God does the thinking. God does the writing. God does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and God has to sharpen it a little more.” I pray to be guided daily by the spirit of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin trusting in God’s Providence, “put yourself gently in the hands of Providence, and you will be well supported.” I will continue to be who I am and be it well – a daughter of Providence, and be God’s instrument of love, mercy, and justice to all creation.”