Meet the Novices
Greetings and blessings to each of you as you are reading our first blog. My name is Tram Bui and I am a novice from the Dominican Sisters of Peace. I was born and raised in Viet Nam. I am the second oldest child of nine siblings. I have one older sister, four younger brothers, and three younger sisters.
In March 1997, my whole family moved to the US to unite with my grandparents and Dad’s side of the family in Daytona Beach, FL. My family then moved to Houston, Texas in 2005 and from there I finished my doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. I love being with nature and gardening. I also find pleasure in cooking, singing, having simple conversations with companions, exercising, taking a walk, playing indoor games or outdoor activities. I will study the Vowed Life class and the Trinity and Mission class at CTU for the coming Fall semester.
Being with the Dominican family, I feel very much at home and I look forward to continuing to practice, study, and deepen my understanding in the Dominican tradition. I am also excited about living and building our new community with our many diverse cultures and different backgrounds. It is a blessing and a gift from God that I’m able to be here at the CDN. I am so thankful to God, to my community, friends, and my family. With God’s grace, I am delighted and eager to be here to start the journey together with my companions Cathy Buchanan and Siobhan Burroughs for this coming year and to deepen my relationship with God. I will continue discerning the call under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our directors, Sisters Cathy Arnold and Lorraine Reaume. Thank you so much for your support and prayers. Peace and blessings to each of you.
Trinidad and Tobago is the land of my birth. My life has been significantly shaped by this multi-ethnic, multi-religious twin-island in the Caribbean. I have always believed that all human beings have equal worth and are deserving of respect. Sweet T&T, as we fondly call my country, has also inspired my love for celebrating life, people, the arts, nature and a variety of foods. I have a Masters in Clinical psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology as well as Management Studies. I have worked with children, adolescents as well as adults. I am the first of two girls for my parents and have two brothers and an eight-year-old niece.
The call to religious life was awakened during World Youth Day in Poland in July 2016. I was captivated by the variety of religious orders, representing regions from all over the world. In a grace-filled moment, I told God “Yes”. I later attended a vocations retreat with Sisters from different religious congregations. The Dominican mission to “preach and teach the gospel” resonated deep within me and I discerned that the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa was the best fit for me.
I was welcomed as a candidate on August 7th 2019. My candidate year was spent in Milwaukee and Trinidad and Tobago. On August 9th 2020, I was received as a novice and began my apostolic novitiate in Trinidad and Tobago. Along this journey, I have studied and served in various ministries (including Sisters Program South; Franciscan Institute; and the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission). After receiving a blessing on August 7th 2021, I entered the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in Chicago and began my canonical novitiate. I am looking forward to this sacred time where I will learn more about being Dominican and have the opportunity to enter more deeply into prayer, community life, study and ministry.
Hello Sisters, I am very happy to be here at the CDN in Chicago! I want to introduce myself and let you know a little bit about me. I’m from northern New Jersey and until last year, lived there my whole life. As it is with life, I have experienced many joys, along some challenges as well. My greatest joys are my 2 nieces, 4 nephews, 2 great-nieces and 7 God-children. I was and am known as a chatty Cathy (a challenge J). I am outgoing and social with a great sense of humor. I’ve loved helping people through my ministry as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for the past 32 years. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to serve the people of New Jersey as a Law Enforcement officer for 27 years and before entering the Dominican Sister of Peace, I was blessed to minister in a Catholic parish in Essex County, New Jersey for 5 years as the Coordinator of Liturgy and Adult Formation. One of my passions is as an ESL volunteer tutor and mentor for new immigrants to the U.S. I find so much joy in helping people learn English and walking with them as they study to become citizens. I have been very blessed to be surrounded by people in my life who have accepted me for who I am and for who God created me to be.
I studied and received my degrees from Caldwell University, Seton Hall University and the Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology at Seton Hall. I am a lifelong learner and I thank God that I’ve had many opportunities to put the gift of my education to use in many ministries. I spent my candidacy year at the House of Welcome in New Haven, Connecticut ministering at Albertus Magnus College as the Coordinator of their Health Clinic. I had an amazingly supportive community in New Haven who helped me to navigate living into community and religious life. I pray this year at the CDN will be a time of God’s grace and blessings as I move forward into the vocation that God had planned for me. Peace & Prayers to all of you!