My name is Francis Nguyen and I am from Annandale, VA, about 20 minutes away from Washington, D.C. I started feeling God’s call at a turbulent time in my life. At that time, I had recently graduated from Virginia Tech, about 1 year out. I was studying for the MCAT to get into medical school throughout my first year of post-graduate life. As a 23-year-old, I knew I wasn’t doing myself a favor studying something I did not have a passion for. As the deadline for medical school applications wound down, I felt increased pressure and anxiety in my life since I did not have everything in line or a future mapped out for myself. I shortly gave up on that idea and started praying more.
There were two moments in my life that initiated my desire to want to know Jesus more: one was when my father asked me if I wanted to attend my cousin’s ordination, who is a Salesian, and the second was the day that my grandfather passed away. Both these events occurred within 1 month of each other. Soon enough, I was getting signs left and right from random people at my church coming up to me and saying that they would pray for me and also from my aunts telling me how great of a religious I would be. At the time, I was also a youth servant leader for my church and felt great joy serving and being a friend to the young.
From then on, I started to discern and take my calling seriously throughout the next year. On May 16, 2018, I received the call from Fr. Dominic announcing my acceptance as a candidate of the Salesians of Don Bosco. I must thank my family, friends, parish pastor / assistant pastor, spiritual advisors, and youth group who have nurtured and prayed for my vocation and calling. Please remember to keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine.