My name is Rev. Peter G. Vu, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for twenty years. I was born in Saigon City (currently Ho Chi Minh City), Viet Nam. I was a young boy when the Viet Nam War ended. I witnessed the war and the end of it with great horror and deep appreciation for peace. I had to grow up with the communist government system and endure lots of hardship with them for over a decade. What helped me and many of my countrymen tremendously during those dark days were our faith and prayers. Hence, my love for prayers and meditations was able to blossom. Also, I was able to learn and exchange new ideas of prayers and meditations with many of my Buddhist friends. We got along quite well in spite of our different faith traditions.
After high school, I snuck out by boat and came to the United States of America to begin my seminary training. I attended one year of high school here in the US (Union High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan) to learn the language and new culture. I attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for two years while staying at Christopher House Seminary. Then the seminary sent me out of the state to attend my last two years of college at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. I graduated with a double major in mathematics and philosophy. I then attended my graduate school at the University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, for five years. I graduated and was ordained with a master of divinity degree (MDiv) and a sacred theology baccalaureate (STB). I was a student of Most Reverend Bishop Robert Barron, who is a prolific writer and international speaker. I took all of his classes in the seminary and got all As. Bishop Barron used me as “the grading curve” for his classes, but my grades were always between 98 and 100. My classmates hated me for it.
I have been ministering to people of God at six different churches over the last twenty years. I was also trained in clinical pastoral care in the hospital and nursing home setting and practiced it at a general hospital in Oxnard, California. I have been a chaplain at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for almost ten years. I love and enjoy my pastoral care work. Taking care of the sick, the dying, the broken, the lost, and our veterans is a duty I cherish and look forward to each day. Listening to people with problems and giving them good guidance is another task I take seriously as a spiritual advisor and counselor.
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