Q&A with the Newly Ordained

Who is your favorite saint and why?

Fr. Brandon DeToma: “That’s a hard question but I will have to say St. Thomas More. In 8th grade we watched A Man for All Season in religion and ever since he has always been someone I admired both for his conviction of faith and his loyalty to his conscience. That is something that I try to do as well.”

Fr. Robert Barnell: “Mother Teresa is the saint I’m most familiar with. Some of her quotes and writings have encouraged me and helped me trust in God’s love. She also helps me distinguish between what’s most important in life (love of God and of neighbor) from what’s not so important.”

Fr. Kien Nguyen:”…Saint Therese of Lisieux. I like her nickname “The Little Flower.” She is my hero. I attempt to learn what She lived. She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. She said, ‘What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.’ Saint Therese taught me a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything with LOVE.”

Fr. Minh Vu: “My favorite saint is Saint Paul. Learning from his writings has helped me to form and enrich my spiritual life, especially in terms of being authentic as well as being flexible and receptive to those who are different to us.”

Fr. David Farrell: “I have a devotion to Saint Theresa of Calcutta. I admire her simplicity. Because she had few possessions, she was free to devote her time and thoughts to others and to God. Her orders’ chapels embody her simplicity. Typically, Missionary of Charity (MC) chapels have no chairs, a single crucifix, and the words ‘I Thirst.’ That simplicity fits their spirituality of having a single purpose: devotion to Christ as someone who is poor and needy. Saint Theresa can be thought of as embodying the love of Saint Therese of Lisieux. She strove to walk the ‘little way,’ doing small things with great love.”

What is your favorite restaurant and what do you order there?

Fr. David Farrell: “Mussel and Burger Bar is so rich and delicious I save it for a rare treat: Dates in a Blanket and C.E.O. Burger.”

Fr. Minh Vu: “…Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth, IN. It is located in a rural area right at the bank of the Ohio river where I can breathe fresh air and be with nature. ”

Fr. Robert Barnell: “I’m having a hard time thinking of something, since I usually eat at seminary! The first place that comes to mind is Fermin’s family’s Mexican restaurant. I went there one time and really enjoyed it! Whatever I ordered, it came with rice and beans.”

Fr. Kien Nguyen: “I don’t think much about my favorite restaurant because I enjoy different kinds of American food, especially steak!!!”

Fr. Brandon DeToma: “In Louisville, I love going to Lilly’s Bistro on Bardstown Road. Besides the excellent location, the restaurant follows the ‘farm to table’ philosophy which is something I try to support.”

Where is your favorite place to pray in the Archdiocese of Louisville and why?

Fr. Robert Barnell: “I like going to Gethsemani. It’s so quiet, and often when I leave I feel peace and renewed strength. I also like going to Mt. St. Francis.”

Fr. Kien Nguyen: “During school years, I have spent much time in the Seminary – a holy place to live with God. I don’t have a specific place to pray in Louisville. However, I really love small chapels in the churches in Louisville. I love sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament– in the loving presence of the Lord and communicating with Him.”

Fr. Minh Vu: “…the chapel at Saint Martin the Tours. When I did CPE at University of Louisville Hospital, I went there a number of times to just simply throw my tired body and mind into Jesus’ arms and let him comfort and refresh me.”

Fr. Brandon DeToma: “The chapel at Trinity High School…I have many memories of going there as a teenager and figuring out how to talk to God. Every time I return, it feels like home.”

Fr. David Farrell: “I enjoy the Abbey of Gethsemani. It has three things: chant, silence, and simplicity. The monks’ chants are musical, but simple. I am usually better able to meditate on the psalms as prayers to God when I am there. The abiding silence of the abbey is fruitful ground for contemplative prayer. Finally, the monks’ Church typically has a single icon which calls to mind that day’s liturgy. I like this practice and I’ve adopted it in my room. I have only one artwork or icon on the wall at a time. It helps me to be intentional and to focus on the Gospel for today.”