A Great Salesian of Vietnam in difficult times
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 30 January 2020 --
With loving memory and gratitude, the Province of Vietnam-Mongolia sorrowfully announces the Heavenly Home Return of one of its members, the beloved Fr. John Nguyen Van Ty SDB. After a short period of critical sickness, surrounded by his confreres, he passed away on the 29th of January, 2020, at the age of 76, after 59 years of religious life and 49 years of priestly life.
Fr. John Nguyen Van Ty was an orphan at his childhood, raised by the Daughters of Charity and embraced by the Salesians at his teenage. He belonged to the first group of Vietnamese novices (1960) under the guidance of Fr. Andrew Majcen, the founder of Salesian works in Vietnam.
After his initial formation in Hong Kong (China) and Rome (Italy) he returned to Vietnam and assumed different responsibilities like principal and Rector of the Technical School. At the end of the Vietnam War, he took up the role of superior of the Delegation as all missionaries were expelled by the new regime.
Together with his Delegation council, he animated and led the remaining Salesians to enter the new way of life and apostolate in a Marxist – socialist society, living and working with the poor people in villages and farms and at the same time, figuring out how to serve the young in an atheist society, in particular, focusing upon vocation ministries in spite of inner and outer difficulties.
As the situation was being politically improved and more young people joined the Salesian Society, the Salesian Delegation was raised into a Vice-Province in 1984 with his continuing leadership. During a six-year break from leadership, he was appointed as the Novice Master (1991-1997) and appointed again as a Provincial in 1997.
Finishing his office as provincial, he was sent by the Rector Major for a renewal course to Berkeley, then to the Mongolia mission. It was there that he almost collapsed with severe heart attacks. Recovering and returning to Vietnam, he dedicated his life to give conferences to the novices and conducted retreats to various members of consecrated congregations as well as lectures in various seminaries until his recent final ilness.
The Vietnamese Salesians are deeply grateful to Fr. John Nguyen Van Ty as he guided the Delegation (then the Vice-Province and finally a Province) through various unseen difficulties caused by our historical situation. In spite of human limitations and possible human errors during his leadership, one may say that the Salesians in Vietnam have been led by him to live faithfully to Don Bosco’s mission to the poor youth and to the missionary spirit!
The whole Salesian Family of Vietnam, especially the Don Bosco Past Pupils would remember Fr. John very much!
The Sower went out to sow the seeds. The seeds that had been sown by Fr. John Nguyen Van Ty have grown and born fruits with more than 400 Salesians SDB, among them, more than one hundred have been called to be ad gentes missionaries in all five continents.
May God bless him with eternal happiness, together with the Saints and many holy sons and daughters of Don Bosco.
- 1944.10.23 Hà Nội (birthday)
- 1958 - 1960 Don Bosco Thủ Đức - Aspirant
- 1960 - 1961 Don Bosco Thủ Đức - Novice
- 1961, August 22 - Don Bosco Thủ Đức - First profession SDB
- 1961 - 1964 Cheung Chau - Hong Kong - Postnovitiate
- 1964 - 1967 Don Bosco Gò Vấp - Technical school, Practical training
- 25.04.1967 Don Bosco Thủ Đức - Perpetual profession
- 1967- 1971 Rome UPS - Theology
- 1971, April 1 Turin - Italy - Priestly ordination
- 1971-1975 Don Bosco Gò Vấp - Pastoral ministry, Rector
- 1975-1983 Delegate for Vietnam (Vietnam-Delegation of the RM)
- 1984-1991 Superior of the Viceprovince
- 1991-1997 Ba Thon - Novicemaster
- 1997-2003 Provincial
- 1999 - sent first missionaries ad gentes
- 2001 - sent first missionaries to the new Mongolia mission
- 2004-2005 Berkeley – USA, study and renewal
- 2005-2007 Mongolia missionary
- 2007-2018 Ba Thôn - novitiate community assignment
- 2018-2020 K’Long - retreat house community assignment
- 2020, January 29: passed away in Saigon