|October 26, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
National Vocations Awareness Week
Sisters' congregation from Vietnam
traces founding back to 17th century
At the age of 12, Sister Rosaline Lieu Nguyen, LHC, made a decision that affected her entire life — she joined the Congregation of Quinhon Missionary Sisters of the Holy Cross.
The Lovers of the Holy Cross was the first female religious congregation to be distinguished by its East Asian characteristics, both contemplative and apostolic. It was established first in northern Vietnam in 1670 and in southern Vietnam the following year.
The charism of the LHCS flows from their founder who had a goal of total dedication of mind, heart and life toward the crucified Christ. His spirituality has three main dimensions: a spirit of contemplation, a spirit of mortification and a spirit of apostolate.
The Sisters see their mission as twofold: to continue Jesus' life of pilgrimage and sacrifice in the spirit of contemplation through a life of prayer for the Church and the world, especially the conversion of non-Christians; to be the visible hands of the one Mediator between God and humanity through service in education, social work and faith formation, especially to women, young people and the poor.
Sister Rosaline was sent to the U.S. by her community in 1972, to study at Dominican University in San Rafael with another member of her religious community. There she was graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and later with a master's degree in counseling from the University of San Francisco.
The Quinhon Missionary Sisters of the Holy Cross were welcomed into the San Francisco Archdiocese to minister to Southeast Asian refugees, said Sister Rosaline. On July 7, 1981, Archbishop John R. Quinn accepted the LHC congregation into the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
In 1994 Sister Nguyen received permission from Bishop John S. Cummins to open the community's Novitiate in Concord. Bishop Cummins blessed the Novitiate the following year. Also in 1995, the community was granted use of the convent at Santa Maria Parish in Orinda which became the Aspirants House.
A year later the congregation was approved as a nonprofit religious corporation by the state of California and listed in the Catholic Directory as the "Qui Nhon Missionary Sisters of the Holy Cross."
Currently the Sisters are serving in three California (arch)dioceses: San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. In San Jose the Sisters minister in catechetics, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Eucharistic Youth, senior group, Legion of Mary, pastoral care and as pastoral associates and office receptionist.
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