Sr. Lucia Nguyen, DC, transferring to Alaska

Friday, May. 06, 2022
Sr. Lucia Nguyen, DC, transferring to Alaska + Enlarge
Sr. Lucia Nguyen, DC, is shown with artwork created by her students at Give Me a Chance.
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

OGDEN —Sister Lucia Nguyen, DC, who runs the Arts for Spirituality program for Give Me A Chance in Ogden, is leaving Utah to go in a new mission to Alaska.

Give Me A Chance is a ministry of the Daughters of Charity; the nonprofit was formed in 2010 to help low-income women on the path toward self-sufficiency. The organization now offers several programs, such as sewing classes, computer literacy programs and English as a Second Language for adults and after-school programs for children.

Sr. Lucia came to Give Me A Chance six years ago, marking the second time that she has served in Utah, having taught at St. Olaf Church and School in Bountiful for a short time 26 years ago.

“Wherever God sends me is a blessing for me … So this was a big blessing for me,” she said.

Through the Arts for Spirituality program, which she established, she taught painting, guitar, piano and violin to adults and children at Give Me a Chance, giving them a spiritual purpose.

“Many of the students that have signed up have accomplished that spiritual purpose, and that makes me very happy,” she said.

On April 30, her students presented their last recital and art exhibit for this program with her as their teacher.

“Usually they only perform for me to conclude their classes, but on this occasion it was open to the public, to their families,” she explained. “This event has been a big blessing for me.”

One of her dearest memories in her time here was to see one of her adult students make her dream a reality.

“She has painted many paintings and she even illustrated a children’s book with her paintings,” Sr. Lucia said.

The book is sold on Amazon.

“So many other families have told me because I offered music and art with spirituality they learned in a different way, and that has made me feel very blessed,” Sr. Lucia said. “They are my blessings.”

In her new assignment in Alaska, she hopes to collaborate with Catholic Social Services  to offer art and music with the same spirituality that she has offered in Utah.

She doesn’t think the cold in Alaska will bother her.

“I have been training here in Utah, so I hope I won’t turn into an ice Popsicle there,” she joked.

Rather than considering this a farewell, she considers her leave-taking just a “see you soon, Utah,” she said as she offered her thanks to the bishop and the community for allowing her to carry out the program at Give Me a Chance.

“I am so grateful for the time here,” she said. “I didn’t ask to go; they told me I had to go. But, in our community, many times we return to the same mission two or three times, so we don’t know what the future may hold.”

She hopes people will always have spirituality present in their lives, and asks that they “respond to God and be witnesses like the first disciples,” she said.

Sandra Contreras-Escriba Gutierrez, one of her art class students, said that she is sad that St. Lucia is departing, but is very grateful to have met her.

“Thanks for all the dedication and lovely work with our community,” Contreras-Escriba Gutierrez said to Sr. Lucia. “Our hearts are sad and happy for you.”

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