Columbus, OH – The Dominican Sisters of Peace welcomed three sisters to new stages on their journey to Final Profession at the Congregation’s July Assembly.
Phuong Thuy Vu has been accepted into the Congregation as a Novice after two years of discernment and preparation as a Candidate.
A native of Vietnam, Phuong and her family immigrated to the United States in 1989 and Phuong became a naturalized citizen.
“It wasn’t until my first retreat (with the Dominican Sisters) that I strongly encountered a God,” Sr. Phuong says. “It was during that retreat that I finally was able to come to terms with my harsh childhood back in Communist Vietnam. I realized that even though my family and I had been through so much, God so blessed us with the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Sister Phuong holds a Bachelor’s Degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked in customer service and information technology for AT&T in Dallas, TX before entering the convent.
“I can confidently place my life into the hands of God, and trust that he will lead me to the light,” Sr. Phuong says.
Sr. Phuong will spend two years in the Novitiate, after which time she may request to make Temporary Vows as a Dominican Sister of Peace. As a Novice, Phuong Vu is officially called “Sister,” albeit in training.
Newly-welcomed Sisters Ana Gonzalez and Margaret Uche both made their Temporary Vows. Temporary Vows are a significant step in the journey to becoming a perpetually-vowed religious Sister. Temporary Vows last at least three years. Temporary Vows also mark the point at which a Sister is identified as a member of their Order; both Sr. Ana and Sr. Margaret are now officially Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Sr. Ana is a native of Mexico, having come to the United States when she was just 10 years old. She had her first experience with the Dominican Sisters at Loyola University New Orleans, from which she graduated in 2002. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Texas at El Paso, Sister Ana reviewed her life.
“I had my master’s degree, was turning 30 and had been working for 10 years in a job I liked, but still felt empty inside,” Sister Ana said. “I felt defined by what I was doing, not who I was. As I searched, the question of entering the religious life began to surface. I hadn’t seriously considered it before, but recalled my interaction with talented, educated, dynamic Dominican Sisters of Peace. I could feel something in me being stirred that was blossoming and life-giving.”
Sr. Margaret, a native of Nigeria, studied nursing at the University of Houston. In 2011, she attended a retreat at the Dominican motherhouse in Great Bend, KS, where she met many sisters who had worked in her home country. “My heart knew this was the right choice for me,” she said.
“One of (my relatives at home) told me she had spoken to a wise man who said I should consider praying about my vocation,” she continues. “I followed that advice, and my mind and heart began to open. As I met the Dominican Sisters of Peace, I became touched by their love and compassion and felt, ‘This is it.’”
The two newly-professed Dominican Sisters of Peace will return to their ministries to continue working for the Congregation and for God’s people. Sr. Ana Gonzalez, OP, serves as Coordinator of International Admissions at Albertus Magnus College, a founded ministry of the Congregation. Sr. Margaret Uche, OP, ministers as a home health nurse in Western Kansas.
Sr. Ana and Sr. Margaret will continue to discern their call to Dominican life. Our prayer is that they will one day make a lifetime commitment by taking Perpetual Vows.