We Welcome our new Sisters to the Parish

08-08-2021Liturgy Corner

Welcome Sister Maria Lan Nguyen

My name is Sister Maria Lan Nguyen and I was born in Vietnam. I have seven siblings, four boys and three girls. God has blessed our family with two in our family with vocations. One of my brothers (Father Michael) is a priest, and myself. I am the youngest in the family. My parents had very strong faith and they taught us “how to put faith as center of your life.” They nurtured our faith by taking us to church each day and by praying together at night before we go to bed.

As a young girl, I would never have thought to become a religious Sister but God had His plans from the beginning. One day, my brother-in-law teased me “ You should become a nun”. I replied, “ No way!” he teased me lots of times. One day we played “ DARE” with each other, he said, if you don’t behave yourself, I will call the superior on you and ask her to keep you there forever. I dared him to make the call and he did. I never thought God had plans for me from the beginning that I didn’t see. God’s call is a very mysterious way, He calls us through our friends, family, or people you are close with. Of course, I lost my bet. So I decided to make a visit to the Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham, NJ and stayed for eight days to see what life is like in the convent.

I spent time to get to know the Sisters, learned how to pray with the Sisters and listened to God’s voice. I found my peace and knew that I belonged here. I came home, quit my job and decided to tell them that God has called me to become a religious Sister. It was very hard for my parents and family at first but after one year living in the convent, they realized how happy I was. From that moment on, they supported me totally.

After my Vows, I was stationed in Bernardsville, Rockaway, Jersey City, and Luzern, Pa and taught 2nd grade through 5th grade. I volunteered to help for 3 months in the Philippines for the blind children. I came to St. Francis Cathedral in 2005 and taught Religion and Math in the Middle School. After that, the Principal asked me to teach Music for three years. For 11 wonderful years, I was a Youth Minister at St. Francis Cathedral. The Youth and I we worked with St. Vincent DePaul, Food Bank, Elijah Promise, Turkey Drive (collected 50-80 turkeys) for 500 people in the Bronx for Thanksgiving Meals, collected clothing and socks for the Philippines, collected Christmas toys for children in the Bronx, NY, Kensington, PA, American Grow A Row, bought food for 52 families in New Brunswick during Pandemic, Meals on Wheels, wrote letters to the elderly in our community and the Sisters of Christian Charity for various occasions, Christmas Caroling at the Nursing Home, visited at the challenged handicapped and gave out gifts for different occasions, visited the Veterans Nursing Home and did different activities with them. Teen Travel Camp during summer months, Rent a Team of Teens for all Seasons.

God has called me to St. Mary Magdalen to serve you and God’s people. I am looking forward to serve you with my undivided heart. Please keep me in your prayers as I do the same for all of you.

To become a religious or priest is a beautiful call. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, pray, listen, trust, and look for God’s signs. God’s promises to each of us, “ if you leave everything behind and follow me, I will grant you a hundred fold.” I believe His promises so much that I surrendered my will and my plans into His hands. I love my vocation and it has been 28 years without a doubt.

Welcome Sister Mary Martha

My name is Sister Mary Martha and I was born in Columbia S.A. . As young children my family came to New York and settled in the Bronx. I have a brother in NY and my sister who passed away in November of 2019. We attended Immaculate Conception School where the Sisters of Christian Charity were our teachers. My vocation, I attribute to the prayers of my grandma who taught me early in life to go to Church, help poor people and instilled in me a great devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. For a time I worked as a nurse’s aid for the Home of the Blind in Grand Concourse, NY. I loved the work and being able to assist them where I could.

Then I felt God calling me to religious life and my family was happy for me. My religious life has been enriched in many ways. I have been able to serve in 14 houses of our Order. Among the duties in my community, I have taught religion classes, assisted in Kindergarten work for eight years, have been part of religion instruction was the pastoral assistant for fifteen years. After attending a course of C.P. E. (Clinical Pastoral Education) I was prepared for the ministry of visiting the home bound, hospital visits, nursing homes, and staying with people who were in hospice. I was present when my dear sister went home to God, and I consider this as a grace from our Lord. I also worked at our retreat center Villa Pauline in Mendham, NJ. I have enjoyed all the activities which my community as given me through the years. I love music, gardening and doing search puzzles.

I look forward to serving the people here at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, who already have welcomed me with love.