Chronological History of Life
I was born as Trần Thị Kiều Dung in Hòa Do, Việt Nam, on January 2, 1990, and baptized as Maria on February 3, 1990. When I was only two months old, my family fled to the Philippines. We lived in a refugee camp for about a year until we entered the United States in 1991. We settled first in Arlington, Texas, before moving in 1992 to Modesto, California, where my parents still live today. Having come from big families themselves, my parents, James Quan and Madalena Nhanh Tran, had nine children together. Two of my older brothers died before I was born, which leaves me as the middle child of the remaining seven children.
I attended public schools from elementary to high school and completed my sacraments of First Communion in 1999 and Confirmation in 2003 at Our Lady of Fatima Church, my home parish. I lived in La Jolla, CA, for a total of five years, which includes the four years from 2008-2012 as a Human Biology student at the University of California, San Diego, and one additional year working at the Newman Center Catholic Community at U.C. San Diego. I returned to Modesto, CA, in 2013 to be with family and to help prepare for the grand opening of T-Cups Café, a family-owned business belonging to my oldest sister and brother-in-law. I worked at the family café for two years then joined the office staff at my home parish as an Administrative Assistant. I eventually left this position in 2017 and moved to Fremont, CA, upon my acceptance as a candidate with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. When my Dominican novitiate came to an abrupt conclusion in 2018, I returned home to family in Modesto, CA, and resumed working at my home parish. I then moved to Beaverton, Oregon, at the beginning of 2020 to follow a call to religious life with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. I once again took the religious name Sr. Maria Kieu upon entering the novitiate in August 2020.