Derek Vo, S.J., M.Div. ’14 has been ordained a Jesuit priest. Vo, one of 10 siblings, grew up in Vietnam. At 21, seeking to flee the hopelessness of his war-ravaged homeland, he left Vietnam in search of economic opportunity. His quest for a new life took a detour when the boat he was on broke down and he wound up in a refugee camp in Thailand, where he spent the next three years. Arriving in America in 1988, Vo joined family in Oklahoma and enrolled in college, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Oklahoma in 1994. After several years working in computer science, he took a new job just outside Dallas, where he joined a Christian Life Community and was exposed for the first time to Ignatian spirituality. Although Vo had considered a vocation to the priesthood when he was young, the events of September 11, 2001, had a profound effect on him. As he watched the Twin Towers fall and feared a similar attack against his hometown, Vo resolved to live a more meaningful life by serving God. After several years of spiritual direction, he joined the Jesuits in 2003. Following the novitiate, Vo was missioned to Saint Louis University for philosophy studies. For his three-year regency assignment, he taught math and computer science at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, while also supervising the school’s photography club. His formation has included three trips back to Vietnam to teach English and philosophy, work with the poor and offer retreats. For the last three years, Vo has been studying at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree while also serving as a chaplain at San Quentin State Prison. The work at San Quentin was particularly gratifying because it allowed him to encounter “Christ the prisoner” in the men who help him strip away judgment, prejudice and fear to discover gentle forgiveness. Following ordination, he hopes to work in pastoral ministries.