COUNCIL BLUFFS (IA)
Dec. 14, 2019
Reverend Tan Van Tran, age 62, died at his home on December 10, 2019.
Tan was born on April 18, 1957, in Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam, to Thuan Van Tran and Lich Thi Nguyen. He was one of 7 children, raised in a good Catholic family. He attended seminary in the Diocese, of Dong Nai, Vietnam from 1969 to 1987, which included Seminary of St. Paul High School and college seminary in Vietnam. In 1975, when Saigon fell to the communists, all seminaries were forced to close. Tan made the courageous decision to continue as a seminarian, although this meant persecution by the State. Many of his friends were jailed. Tan, however, lived with his bishop for 7 years and had the opportunity to study philosophy and theology in an underground seminary from 1976 to 1983. He did pastoral work for 3 years from 1984 to 1987.
In 1988, Tan escaped Vietnam by boat alongside many other Vietnamese. After 5 days of dangerous sailing, Tan’s boat reached Malaysia. He spent 7 months in Malaysia and 6 months in the Philippines, living in refugee camps where he ministered to other refugees that had fled their homelands. Tan arrived in America in April 1989, and in June, became part of the Diocese of Des Moines. In 1992, he received a Master of Divinity Degree from Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
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