Society Matters | Volume 32 No. 1 | Autumn 2022 [Vietnamese]

3 Volume 32 No. 2 | Winter 2022 Society Matters Deacon Tin ready to serve where he is needed most Tin Trinh SVD, who made his final vows in March and was ordained to the Diaconate, will take up his first missionary assignment in Taiwan after being ordained to the priesthood later this year, and says he is looking forward to what God has in store for him there. Deacon Tin, who has been completing his studies and formation in Melbourne, was among the first SVD missionaries to receive his first assignment under a new method being employed by the SVD Generalate in Rome. Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD, said the new method of allocating assignments is based on the need for missionaries in each region and requires members to nominate eight provinces (two in each SVD zone, including Africa, Europe, America and Asia) where they would like to be assigned. Previously, missionaries would nominate just three places they wished to be considered for. “The change has come from the fact that the Generalate was finding it hard to fill missionary appointments in some areas,” Fr Rass said. “In particular, fewer people were applying for those places which might be seen as harder or more dangerous to work in, and yet, the need for missionaries in those places is very great indeed. “The SVD wishes to accompany people who need us, and need Christ’s mission the most, and so, this new method of requiring members to nominate places in each of the zones where the SVD is active around the world has been brought in.” Tin said that when nominating his two preferred places in the Asia region, his choices were Japan and Taiwan because of the ministries that are present in those two places. Japan would have been his top choice. He said that while he was pleased to have been assigned to one of the places he had nominated to go, he was prepared to be sent anywhere the Generalate assigned him to. “I was scared of being sent somewhere else that I was not prepared for,” he said. “However, after I submitted my application, I felt so ‘free’. “I mean, suddenly I felt peaceful in my heart, and I felt that I had already prepared for a province I had never heard of before. “So, I would have still felt happy if the SVD gave me a call saying that ‘we need you to go to this or that place based on the missionary need’. “I would have accepted it happily. “In fact, Japan was the place I really wished to go – I love Japan. But I was still over the moon when I heard Fr Rass tell me Taiwan.” Tin said that having just taken his final vows, he had taken time to reflect on them all, including the vow of obedience. “The vow of obedience is very important in religious life, not only for newly professed missionaries but for everyone living this way of life,” he said. “For me, obedience does not mean ‘YES’ all the time. It is very hard for a missionary who is at the age of 45 to learn a completely new language! However, I think we need to listen and say ‘YES’ to the Holy Spirit as well as dialogue with the Superior. “I know obedience is so much more complicated in reality than in theory. However, as a young missionary with lots of energy, I would say YES to anywhere I am assigned. I try to remind myself to think about and to put the heart of the Congregation first, not me.”

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