REV. PETER LINH NGOC NGUYEN
Birthday: February 12, 1969 at Dien Khanh, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam.
Ministry station: Fr. Linh is currently assigned to do his pastoral ministry at Saint John of the Cross in New Caney, Texas.
Ordination date: May 20th, 2006 from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He is now serving the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as an incardinated member of the presbyterate.
Inspiration for Priesthood: When he was twelve years old and while living under the Communist Regime, the rector of the disbanded seminary of Nha Trang diocese and some seminarians moved to Ha Dua parish where Fr. Linh’s family lived. They became mentors and inspired him to become a priest. He had been influenced significantly by the life and work of the late Bishop Nguyen Van Nho.
Educational Background: Fr. Linh finished High School in Vietnam in 1987. He and several family members immigrated to the United States in June, 1993. He enrolled at the University of Cincinnati in 1994 where he graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. He worked for the Environmental Laboratory as an inorganic chemist for two years. He then decided to pursue his vocation of priesthood at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary of the Athenaeum of Ohio in 2000. He graduated his seminary study in 2006 with two Master Degrees of Divinity and Biblical Studies.
Philosophy of Life: “The fear of the Lord is wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). “Learn where prudence is, where strength, where understanding; That you may know also where are length of days, and life, where light of the eyes, and peace” (Baruch 3:14). “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funnybone” (Reba McEntire).
Strength factors: The first five strength characteristics of Fr. Linh are: Learner, Achiever, Includer, Communication, and Strategy.
Favorite story: Footprints in the Sand: One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Scenes from his life flashed across the sky and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life had flashed before him, he recalled that at the lowest and saddest times of his life there was only one set of footprints. Dismayed, he asked, “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. I don’t understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me.” The Lord replied, “My precious child. I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you saw only one set of footprints...That was when I carried you.”
Favorite food: Vietnamese food and anything that relates to a “noodle” such as noodle soup (Pho), soups and congees, rice and noodle dishes. He enjoys very much eating seafood, Japanese sushi, steak, tropical fruit, and sweet dessert. Out of his curiosity, he also loves eating either traditional or processing recipes from any nation.
Favorite TV show or movie: Game shows such as Celebrity Family Feud, Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire…; Hollywood action movies of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Lee, Tom Cruise…; Humorous movies of Charlie Chaplin. He is fond of European soccer and American boxing.
Favorite childhood memory: Watching the soldiers in the training camp where his Father worked. They were so disciplined, drilled, and strong. They were wonderful examples of strength, discipline, and doing your best. Fr. Linh was talented in soccer.
Favorite prayer: Divine Office and the Hour of Liturgical Prayer; Prayer invoking the Holy Spirit, prayer to Mary, to Saint Joseph, and to his guardian angel.
Favorite scripture passage or book of the bible: Genesis: Ab initio… fiat lux – In the beginning…let there be light. Fr. Linh particularly loves the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, for he can relate his very life to the life of Joseph. The biggest lesson that he could have learned from the ups and downs of his life is the lesson of the Love of God through his providential care.
Favorite pop song: Theme from Titanic “My heart will go on,” Backstreet Boys “I Swear,” and many other 80’s and 90’s pop songs.
Favorite liturgical song: “We can change the World” written for the Youth, and the traditional Ave Maria.
Favorite part of ministry: Preaching, teaching, and anything related to Scripture. He loves to contribute his reflections, knowledge, and ministerial works to all people through cyberspace. Fr. Linh is friendly and amicable. And he loves interacting with people as he considers them his brothers and sisters in Christ. His joyous zeal and pleasant smile are contagious.
Favorite Sacrament: The Eucharist. “I hunger for the bread of God, the flesh of Jesus Christ ...; I long to drink of his blood, the gift of unending love” (St. Ignatius of Antioch).
Currently reading: Wisdom quotations, Saints’ words, world records, and current news.
Surprise fact: Fr. Linh enjoys going to the gym to work out. He is partial to building muscle mass, building muscle fast, and increasing strength. He tries to cut body fat, yet he is impatient with abdominal exercises. He likes playing tennis. Also, he likes to dance to enjoy himself and to prod people into enjoying themselves. He is trilingual of English, Spanish, and his native Vietnamese.
Opinion about living in the U.S.: This country is the land of opportunities for people to rebuild their lives. It is blessed with abundance of pleasing climate, variety of geographical lands, and affluence of cross-cultural interrelationship. Americans are blessed with “horns of plenty” of consumer goods, as John Barrymore, a late American actor, once said, “America is the country where you can buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar (may be a couple of dollars now) and use it up in two weeks.” Also, Americans are sociable and friendly in life, yet they are straight in work.