Favorite color? What makes you happy? What are you good at? What is your greatest fear… “Twenty Questions” is a regular feature in which SCJs and those with whom they minister and collaborate share a bit about themselves in an informal Q&A. Participants are given the same list of questions and are invited to answer as many as they would like.
Frater Long Nguyen, SCJ, is a member of the Dehonian pastoral team in northern Mississippi.
Q: Where were you born and raised? Describe your family.
FRATER LONG: I was born on July 15, 1979, in Port Arthur, TX and grew up in Thibodaux, LA. My parents were immigrants from Vietnam. They lived in Florida, Arkansas, Port Arthur and Amelia, LA, before settling down in Thibodaux. I have two older sisters who are married. Jonathan and Carole’s children are Joey, Ethan and Alec. Teddy and Nora’s children are Trinity and Alyssa. Kim and Taylor are my two younger sisters. Toan, my younger brother, is married to Linh. Only Jonathan and Carole’s family live in New Orleans. Everyone else lives in Houston. They are all on a journey of discovering new life and new ways of being.
Q: What is your favorite book or movie?
FRATER LONG: I am number 8 is a favorite book. It is about David, the son of Jesse.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world post-pandemic – without concern about the expense – where would you go and why?
FRATER LONG: I am content with staying local and content with quiet places to simply walk, sit, think or drink coffee.
Q: What are you good at?
FRATER LONG: I am good at being grateful and finding joy in small things. I am also good at crafting words.
Q: What is your favorite color?
FRATER LONG: Forest green, shades of brown, mustard, rust, dark gray.
Q: Do you have any hobbies or pastimes? If so, what are they and how did you get interested in them?
FRATER LONG: I purchased a Xaphoon earlier in the summer which caused me to rediscover a prior skill. I was in the school band in the fifth grade, playing alto saxophone. During this quarantine, I have found joy in playing music. I love meditation which came about naturally, and evolving, over the past several years. It is a tool to cope with challenges. It is finding connections with body, mind, spirit and God.
Q: What is your favorite food?
FRATER LONG: My favorite foods are sloppy joes, Hawaiian pineapple pizza, and picadillo (New York Times’ recipe).
Q: What is your least favorite chore?
FRATER LONG: Ironing is my least favorite chore.
Q: What would surprise people to learn about you?
FRATER LONG: I still enjoy disco music of the 1980s.
Q: What skill or talent would you like to have that you do not? Why?
FRATER LONG: I wish I could make art with paint.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
FRATER LONG: I wanted to be a paramedic as a child.
Q: What makes you happy?
FRATER LONG: I am happy to find depth and meaning in the things of life.
Q: What is your greatest fear?
FRATER LONG: My greatest fear is when folks are too involved in the external world and have no need for depth and meaning. There would be no need for prayer without both. The external world can also take me away from the internal life.
Q: What trait or habit do you dislike in yourself?
FRATER LONG: I hate that I am naturally ahead of my own schedule.
Q: What trait or habit do you dislike in others?
FRATER LONG: I do not like it when if there are three apples and one apple would be left behind; if there is a brownie, a fraction of the brownie would be left behind. Take the extra apple and brownie and wash the dish or throw the carton away!
Q: List three words that describe you.
FRATER LONG: Introspective, depth and being.
Q: How did you come to know of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians) and what interested you about them?
FRATER LONG: I came in contact with the Priests of the Sacred Heart through an ad in a Marian magazine. I appreciate the external and internal aspects of Dehonian spirituality. God calls all to spend time with God in prayer (Adoration and personal prayer) but also engage with the world.
Q: Do you consider yourself a Dehonian? If so, what does that mean to you?
FRATER LONG: Being Dehonian means giving oneself to the will of God.
Q: What changes, adaptations or insights do you expect to stay with you from the pandemic? In other words, how do you expect to be changed by COVID-19?
FRATER LONG: After this pandemic, I would still be wary about public areas.