HOF166: Father Tien Tran

Tien Tran was born into a family of 10 children in Ban Me Thuot, Vietnam. Growing up in a small Catholic village, he always wanted to become a priest. However, with civil wars going on for decades in Vietnam between the Communist North and the Republic in the South, he was able to stay in the seminary for only one year until the Communists from the North took over the whole country in 1975. After living under the communist regime for five years, he was able to escape from Vietnam by boat with an aunt and a cousin in 1980 and ended up in the Galang refugee camp in Indonesia. After six months in the camp, together with his aunt and his cousin, he was sponsored by the Canadian government to come to Canada in November 1980.

After spending about three years getting immersed in the new country, its culture and language, he entered the seminary of Christ the King in Mission, BC in 1984 to study philosophy until 1988. He was then sent to St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario to begin his theological studies until 1993 when he was ordained as a Catholic priest by the Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Vancouver. After ordination, Fr. Tien Tran was assigned to Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver as the Assistant Pastor and Master of Ceremonies for the Archbishop for four years. In 2015, he was moved to St. Matthew’s Church in Surrey, B.C. where he is currently the pastor.

In 1995, together with Dr. David Neima, he co-founded the Medical Aid for Vietnam Project, a volunteer group that does fundraising and conducts medical mission trips annually to Vietnam to help thousands of poor patients. Every year, this charitable group helps about a hundred children who are having heart surgery, hundreds of people who are having cataract surgery in addition to treating thousands of patients on-site in remote villages in Vietnam.