Ordination Class of 2024: Deacon Hung Tran

This is the ninth article in a series profiling the 11 men who will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 25, 2024.

BRIGHTON -- Deacon Hung Tran's mother was the first person who encouraged him to become a priest.

Every morning at 4:30 a.m., she would wake him and his three siblings for daily Mass in their rural town in central Vietnam. Every night, they would return to church to pray the rosary.

When Deacon Tran and his siblings weren't in church, they would work on the family farm, growing rice, beans, and corn.

"It's not easy for the farmer," said Deacon Tran. "But I love it."

Deacon Tran became interested in the priesthood when he was in high school and his parish received a new priest. The new priest was young, active, strongly devoted to Mary, and dedicated to serving the poor.

Each year in August or September, the community would be devastated by floods that destroyed homes and crops. Deacon Tran would help his priest provide food, clothing, and shelter to those in need.

"I love God," he said, "and I want to serve his people."

He entered the seminary in Vietnam after graduating from high school. In 2014, he entered Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut, then came to St. John's Seminary in 2016. It wasn't always easy for him to adjust to life in a new country, but he discovered "many beautiful things" about American culture. For instance, during meals in seminary in Vietnam, the bishop or rector typically got his food first. At St. John's, everyone gets their food at the same time.

"I love it," he said. "So everyone's equal."

In 2023, Deacon Tran was ordained a transitional deacon at St. Paul Parish in Cambridge. When he becomes a priest this year, he wants to be among his flock and help them as much as he can. He has gotten to know the Vietnamese communities in the Archdiocese of Boston, and like him, they have faced the challenge of adapting to a new language and culture. They want their children to know English but also want them to continue speaking Vietnamese and not lose touch with their heritage.

"When I come there, they share with me about the difficult things in their life," Deacon Tran said. "I'm happy to share with them, to help them, and pray for them."