Monday, May 01, 2000

Priest also a war refugee

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ELMWOOD PLACE — Since 1983, the Rev. Huan Tien Nguyen has cared for local Vietnamese Catholics.

        It's a good fit.

        He was a refugee, too.

        North Vietnamese troops at the end of the war were either taking military chaplains prisoner — or shooting them.

        Father Nguyen, working in Da Lat, South Vietnam, went south with villagers in March 1975. For the next month, he cared for hundreds of refugees — hearing confessions, saying Mass — until a priest friend put him on a boat on April 28.

        He was sent to a refugee camp in Pennsylvania.

        Father Nguyen, wanting to be near his brother in Dayton, Ohio, wrote to then-Cincinnati Archbishop Joseph Bernardin and asked to come here. The archbishop agreed to bring the priest to Dayton, where he worked at Good Samaritan Hospital.

        “I believe in God's providence,” said the priest, now 62. “We don't understand at the time, when it is difficult to see good, that God will provide something good.”

        That something is life in the United States. April 30, 1975 — “the day we lost our country, that is the bad side — is a day of thanksgiving. We thank God and we thank America.”


Stadium overruns cut parking plans
FWW construction nearing the end of the road
Fan honors Crosley Field memories
Newborn drop-off proposed
Ohio courts re-examined
Springsteen delivers wallop of classic rock
Vietnamese keep faith here
- Priest also a war refugee
Utility bill can be paid online
Youth to preserve Holocaust legacy
Kidnap suspect headed to Ky.
On the job with the Foal Patrol
Energetic Prine rocks Taft Theatre
Opera casts Summer Festival
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Ruthven's pig is a choo-choo
Sugar Ray fans get up-close look
She keeps 'Becker' honest
$6M study to evaluate Interstate 75
Boone's newest park hooks plenty of anglers
Dr. Pembaur dies; won lawsuit for illegal search
Fairfield HS reconsiders class times
Ohio's overtime bill rising
Report: Ohio must help kids pass test
Results of our E-poll
Sheppard ruling challenged
State paid to feed lawmakers during lengthy sessions
Talks, shows highlight Worldfest
Trails rated top need