It was bound to be emotional when Paul Chu returned to
Vietnam in his 20s after leaving as a 9-year-old. But he
didn’t know it would set him on his life’s course. During
an eight-day family trip to Vietnam in 2006, Chu encountered a Salesian priest who made him think: I want to be
like that! Priesthood had been at the back of his mind,
but that meeting triggered him to act. Today, true to
the Salesian mission to work with youth, Chu ticks off 15
ways he’s ministered with young people since entering
his community, from leading summer camps to organizing
mission trips to Haiti. “The life of total self-giving is ever
attractive to me,” he says.
amplified the call
FATHER PAUL CHU, S.D.B.
What first drew you
to religious life?
I am not sure of the first moment,
but I can remember a few powerful
religious moments during my
college years that oriented me
toward religious life.
How has your family
responded to your vocation?
My family has been very supportive. Both my father’s and mother’s
families were strongly Catholic with
priests, nuns, and at least one martyr in the family tree.
What have you enjoyed in
your ministry experiences?
I enjoy working with lay teachers,
staff, and students to organize
events for our school community
here at Don Bosco Prep [in Ramsey,
New Jersey]. My most memorable
experiences have been ministering
in summer camps in various U.S.
states and working in Palestine with
Arab youth and young adults.
What do you do for fun?
I like to fix IT problems, play board
games and cards, read, and have
Your favorite way to pray?
What’s the most fun
you’ve ever had with your
I had a blast organizing and
participating in a city-wide scavenger
hunt with my community in
Jerusalem. We shared a lot of holy joy
with pilgrims and tourists, praying,
talking, and taking group-selfies.
Any words of wisdom
for those considering
Be not afraid! Embrace it with your
whole being and you will experience
many blessings and rewards that the
world cannot give.