OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA-From Vietnamese refugee to auxiliary Bishop

Monday, 23 May 2011

Melbourne (Agenzia Fides) – A Vietnamese refugee who arrived in Australia on a boat 20 years ago has been appointed the auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It is the story of Vincent Van Long Nguyen, who was only 19 when he was forced to leave Vietnam with his family to seek refuge in Australia, where he arrived on December 2, 1981. He entered the Order of the Franciscans Conventual (OFM Conv.) in 1983, he was ordained priest on December 30, 1989. On May 20, Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne. “The appointment of Bishop Long Van Nguyen is a historic event, " said the Archbishop of Melbourne, Mgr.Denis Hart, in a statement sent to Fides." He entered the Order of the Conventual Franciscans (OFM), provided several services as a pastor in Springvale, was superior of his order as well as having given a generous contribution to the Church. I look forward to his ordination as Titular Bishop of Tula, which will be celebrated in St Patrick's Cathedral on June 23, " added Bishop Hart.
After the fall of Saigon, three of his siblings went to Holland, a sister is still in Vietnam with his parents and a brother and another sister in Melbourne. In 1983, he was part of the Conventual Franciscans, he studied to become a priest in Melbourne. After his ordination, and a first experience in the parish, he was sent to Rome to complete his studies and get a diploma in Christology and Spirituality at the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure. He was director of postulants, pastor for four years in Kellyville, NSW, and for a further 7 in Springvale. Appointed Provincial Superior in 2005 in Australia, since 2008 he was General Assistant manager for the Asia-Oceania section of the Order in Rome. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 23/05/2011)