Missionaries for the West
The Missionaries for the West results from a happy problem occurring with the Catholic Church in Vietnam. Every year while there are more than hundred college-graduated candidates applying for seminaries in Vietnam, just around 10 percent are accepted due to the lack of facilities among diocesan seminaries there. Since the seminaries in Vietnam do not have adequate facilities to train so many candidates, the Vietnamese bishops encourage them to consider seeking priesthood vocation in other parts of the world.
According to the Ordination Class 2018 report published by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, new ordinands who come originally from Vietnam are about five percent even though the population of Vietnamese Catholics in the U.S. is less than 1% of the total Catholic population in the United States. Vietnamese seminarians make up nearly 12 percent of the U.S. seminary population. This has been consistent through the last decade. Thus the fact that seminarians from Vietnam enter priestly formation and belong to an U.S. diocese or religious institute is not new.
Recognizing the blessing of young college graduated men committing themselves to the priesthood vocation from Vietnam, FSVN has developed the The Missionaries for the West to assist U.S. Catholic Church in fulfilling her pastoral needs while helping college graduated Vietnamese men to fulfill their holy desire of serving the Church.
Currently there are 30 seminarians studying for the dioceses of Albany, Metuchen, Burlington, Portland-Maine, Manchester, and Boston. The bishops and vocational directors have assigned them to various colleges and seminaries throughout the country. So far, one man has been ordained into the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and one is close to ordination in the Diocese of Albany.