Terrier Volume 79, Number 1 - Fall 2015 - Page 5

Today’s Terriers Sisters on a Mission —Srs. Maria Yeu ’17 and Mary Diep ’17 From half a world away, from the farming region of northern Vietnam, two Sisters have come to St. Francis to learn skills that they will take home with them to improve the lives of the people they serve. S r. Maria Yeu ’17 and Sr. Mary Diep ’17 are from the Lovers of the Holy Cross community in Phat Diem Diocese, a rural area a few hours south of Hanoi. Thanks to a sponsor from the Houston-based Formation Support for Vietnam, they came to the United States to learn how to provide medical care for the poor in their community. Their first stop was Houston where they enrolled in ESL classes. (Learning English wasn’t their only obstacle. Both Sisters had taken the name Maria, but it proved too confusing to their ESL teacher, so Sr. Diep agreed to use the name Mary.) They then applied to and were accepted by St. Francis College and were given Presidential Scholarships. Sr. Mary is currently working towards an undergraduate degree in Psychology while Sr. Maria is getting an undergraduate degree in nursing. “We’ve never had a nursing home for poor and abandoned people,” said Sr. Maria who will help set up a facility in Phat Diem when she goes home. When the Sisters make house calls, they are often at a loss as to what to do since only two of the 4 0 0 members of the Congregation of the Lovers have any training in Western medicine. Sr. Mary’s psychology degree will open up a new avenue for helping others in Phat Diem. “There is not enough help for mental health issues in Vietnam. The culture is not open to it. Our hope is that people will feel comfortable talking with a Sister about their problems,” said Sr. Mary. Often, she said, women and children who are victims of abuse suffer in silence. She hopes her education at St. Francis can play an important role in helping them heal. She also wants to reach out to young pe