-“Yes go for it!” Replied her cousin Shina
-“Ahhhhhhhhh” Screamed the nun that was taking Vivian on a piggyback ride. Vivian had pulled the veil from her head to find out if it was a requirement for nuns to be bald!
Vivian Noh was born on June 12, 1993 in Los Angeles, CA. She is a student in Mater Ecclesiae College in Rhode Island. In this college most of the students have consecrated their lives to God by making promises of poverty, chastity and obedience. Vivian is still discerning her vocation in an environment that offers all the means that help one to listen to God’s voice. Anyone that goes to Mater Ecclesiae would agree that this young lady has brought a unique sense of joy and of love for Christ with her, but…was that enthusiasm always there?
The Noh family was not always Catholic. According to Vivian, her dad was a “Cradle Catholic” and her mom a protestant until she was about five years old. After reading the remarkable lives of the saints and some Catholic doctrine, Mrs. Noh fell in love with Catholicism and had a radical conversion. This sparked in her and in her family an enthusiasm for spiritual things and they all agreed to pray daily rosaries and to attend Sunday mass. Mrs. Noh was on fire with the faith and as a good Catholic mom, she carefully taught the Catechism to her son and daughter; in this way, Vivian and her brother grew up in an environment where vocations to religious life were highly encouraged.
When she was a kid, little Vivian used to think “Oh no! If I have a vocation I will have to cut my hair!” She also used to play-pretend with her cousin that they were nuns living in a convent. She confessed that she always wanted to give her life to God, but something that she definitely did not want to do is cut her pretty black hair! As cute as this may sound, it is surprising to notice that at such a young age she was considering the idea of a vocation to religious life.
Her brother was the first one to leave everything behind to follow Christ. In eighth grade, he decided to leave home to live in the “Apostolic School” to discern his vocation with the Legionaries of Christ. One day some Legionary priests came to Vivian’s house and they told her that there was a school for girls in Rhode Island. They mentioned that sometimes they had some fun retreats and she might want to go. Since that moment Vivian got excited and the idea of “the school in Rhode Island” never left her mind.
Growing up through high school the idea of belonging totally to God was very close to her restless heart.
“What is my life made for? Where can I find true love? What is happiness?” these were the existential questions that invaded Vivian’s mind while her friends talked non-stop about fashion, money, boys, parties and other similar things that would not give her a satisfactory answer to any of these questions. One day Vivian felt she needed to spend some time alone with God.
“The school in Rhode Island!” she thought, “Maybe it’s a good idea!” .She got all the information and attended to a girls convention. The students happened to be high-school girls that were discerning their vocation to consecrated life. She felt attracted to the way this girls were living out the faith and to the close relationship each one seemed to have with Jesus. She became close friends with Amelia Hoover, one of the girls at the school who was running the convention.
After they met each other Amelia kept calling and emailing Vivian as a good friend. One day, Amelia told Vivian that she was getting consecrated!
“I was proud of what she was doing because I knew that she was giving her life to God, but I was having some problems with the lingo, since I did not quite understand what she was talking about”.
When Vivian finished high-school she was ready to go to college. She had already paid her tuition. One day Amelia called her and invited her to come to “candidacy” during the summer. Vivian agreed on going since she was thirsting to pray before heading to college. Vivian agreed, arrived in Rhode Island in July 2011. Little did she know what would happen there.
“I felt God was asking me to stay there”, Vivian said. After some prayer, reflection and spiritual guidance, she found out that God wanted her to take some time to discern. Since then, Vivian has been really happy and she has not regretted her decision; if fact, she has decided to stay longer to keep discovering what God’s plan is for her.
“What I have appreciated the most from this past year is to find out that my life is made for holiness and that I can find true love and real happiness in God alone.”
Vivian didn’t have to become bald in order to give Christ her whole heart, but she is a great example of generosity: a young girl who in this crazy world remains faithful to God’s call and is risking everything to follow him wherever he leads her!