Since May 2010, our presence in Vietnam has been a clear manifestation of Divine Providence. It was conceived after Fr. Juan Mary Castro, OFM Cap., great benefactor and dear friend, sent an email to Sr. Ma. Elena Echavarren, the then Vice Provincial Superior sharing to her his meeting with Ms. Lucy Alminarez, OFS, a Filipina General Councilor of the Order of the Secular Franciscans during a dinner in Rome. Ms. Lucy mentioned about her forthcoming trip to Vietnam to attend the Chapter of the Order of the Secular Franciscans in the whole of Vietnam. Upon knowing it, he thought of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family and introduced the congregation to her asking the possibility of the Sisters to participate. She joyfully and willingly said yes and promised to facilitate everything for us to realize our objective. Thereafter, Sr. Luz Maria Buitrago and Sr. Mapin Pineda were sent to Vietnam as representatives by Sr. Elena for the said event.
With fear and insecurities, the Sisters felt God’s presence through the people and events who and which had been very instrumental to our journey in Vietnam: the providential encounter with Fr. Vincent Nguyen Van Din, Scalabrinian Missionary, and of two of his diocesan priest friends from Hue Diocese whom we met just at the terminal gate of Manila International airport. He then has become the constant adviser, supporter and spiritual father throughout the humble beginnings. Further, the Order of Friars Minor and OFS in Dakao, Saigon in the person of Fr. Irenaeus Nguyen Thanh Minh with his community, Mr. Antoine Mai Trung Truc, a dear Vietnamese friend who has been working with HIV patients and many others who have helped us in so many ways.
After a short time, we were gifted with eight young Vietnamese eager to join the Congregation. Sr. Luz Maria and Sr. Mapin from then on organized a program to visit Vietnam every two or three months to conduct Retreat, vocation accompaniment with the assistance of Fr. Dinh, and to visit their families.
Grateful for the gift of Vietnamese vocations and hopeful for the envisioned presence in this promising land, Sr. Martha Patricia Ramirez, Vice Provincial superior with her council petitioned the General Council to open a presence in Vietnam in December of 2014. The petition was approved the following year, in 2015. Months later, Sr. Joena Lyn Bedia was sent to accompany the candidates in a rented house. Sr. Jinping Yang then joined Sr. Joena. For a time, Sr. Angela Maria Martinez, Vice provincial councilor, accompanied the nascent presence. On September 26, 2016, with the presence of Sr. Lorena Sacal, in charge, Portiuncula community was inaugurated in a newly purchased house in Ho Chi Mihn City.
Sr. Jinping Yang and Sr. Lorena Sacal left for Ho Chi Minh, to open the first community in Vietnam. The community was inaugurated on September 26, 2016 with the name Portiuncula community.
True to its name and objective, indeed this little portion of the Congregation is trying to grow and flourish with God’s grace and guidance carrying out and living our charismatic presence in simplicity and joy, in poverty and scarcity and in deep trust in Divine Providence by welcoming young people who desire to know and join the Congregation, accompanying and guiding them in their vocational discernment. Moreover, with love and dedication Sisters give their best in working for the Pastoral for vocations and with great availability collaborate to which ever their service in minority is called.