Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady

Sister Ann Catherine Nguyen

I was born in the north and raised in the southern part of Viet Nam. At the age of 12, I wanted to join the Franciscans. At first my parents thought I was too young, but they soon realized my commitment was strong so they let me begin my Franciscan journey.

In 1975, I was 20 years old, living in the convent and working with a group of disadvantaged children. Suddenly, the war exploded around us. I made my way through the fighting and reached my family in Saigon. Fifteen of us, including my grandmother, escaped under gunfire and eventually escaped on the U.S.S. Enterprise. We sailed to the Philippines, Guam, and eventually were taken to a refugee camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. We lived there for several months until the Archdiocese of New Orleans sponsored my family for resettlement, so we settled in the New Orleans area.

I joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, North American Province, and learned English while receiving my religious formation.

I discovered I was good at accounting while working in the business office at St. Francis Medical Center. I enrolled at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (at the time it was known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana), and received a bachelor of science in accounting. I went to work at Our Lady of Lourdes before joining Our Lady of the Lake in the late 1980s. Also, I attended the University of Notre Dame and earned a master’s degree in business administration.

Today, I work in Our Lady of the Lake’s accounting office. An important vocation for me is my relationship with my department colleagues. I also have served on the Board of Directors of St. Francis Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, and Our Lady of the Lake College, Ollie Steele Burden Manor and Louis Insurance.

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