So at Mass on Saturday morning I learned that my parish’s pastor had been named a bishop. I know little about him other that that I found his homilies quite worthwhile and that he has actively worked to include TLM going Catholics in the life of the parish. I attend the TLM at the St. Joseph historic church adjacent to the main church.
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Pope Francis has appointed Father Thanh Thai Nguyen, a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, to be an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange, California.
Born in Vietnam, Bishop-designate Nguyen, 64, fled the country in 1979 by boat with his family and spent 10 months in a refugee camp in the Philippines before arriving in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1980. After brief studies at Hartford State Technical College, he became a math and science teacher in Hartford public schools.
In 1984, he joined the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, studying at Merrimack College and the Weston School of Theology, both in Massachusetts. He was ordained to the priesthood May 11, 1991.
For the next eight years, he worked in parishes in Georgia and Florida. In 1999, he was incardinated into the Diocese of St. Augustine. He has been pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Jacksonville, Florida, since 2014.
In 1979, Father Thanh and his family escaped Vietnam during the war. They fled by boat, and after 18 days at sea, they landed on the shores of the Philippines. He lived in a refugee camp for 10 months before moving to the United States in 1980.
“Father Thanh knows the plight of refugees, and he understands their journey seeking a safe home and the ability to support their families,” Bishop Estevez said in a statement. “He has a genuine gift when it comes to ministering to people of diverse cultures.”
“Now that reality is beginning to set in, I need to start the process of letting go and letting God,” said Bishop-designate Nguyen in a statement about his appointment. “Yes, letting go of familiar places, familiar faces, Bishop Estevez, the presbyterate of the diocese, parishioners, and staff of St. Joseph and Christ the King parishes who have played an important role in my priestly ministry for more than 20 years.