By Catholic Review Staff
Phuong Minh Nguyen, a member of Our Lady of La Vang in Dundalk, has served for more than three years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner.
Nguyen has returned to Maryknoll’s headquarters for several weeks to pray and share her mission with others before returning to Bolivia for another three years of service, according to information from the organization.
Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a New York-based Catholic organization inspired by Jesus’ mission to live and work with poor communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas, responding to basic needs and working to create a just and compassionate world, according to information from the organization’s website.
Her ministry is service to children of Amanecer, a program founded in 1981 by the Daughters of Charity and St. Vincent de Paul Society that works to rescue abused and/or abandoned children, provide them with basic needs and the intellectual, spiritual and social development needed to become functioning members of society, according to information from the organization.
Nguyen has worked at Madre de Dios, or Mother of God, a haven which serves about 80 girls, ages 3-16, according to the organization. She primarily works with pre-adolescent girls and has watched them gain confidence and become responsible as they live healthier lives.
With Nguyen’s help, the girls have begun to embrace homework, chores and have become more independent in these tasks, according to the organization. Nguyen hopes that through her presence the girls will learn to love, trust and respect themselves and others. She hopes they will develop self-esteem and become more responsible as they gain more knowledge, skills and education.
In addition, Nguyen is involved with the Bolivian archdiocese program Volunteer Service to the Needy, according to the organization. Through this program she visits the poor and abandoned elderly.