Friday, May 20, 2011


ZE11052009 - 2011-05-20

MELBOURNE, Australia, MAY 20, 2011 ( Benedict XVI named Conventual Franciscan Father Vincent Long Van Nguyen as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia.

Vincent Long Van Nguyen is a native of Dong Nai, Saigon, Vietnam. In 1980, he and his family fled the country in a refugee boat destined for Australia.

In 1983, Nguyen became a Conventual Franciscan friar and studied for the priesthood in Melbourne. He was ordained in 1989, and was then sent to Rome for further studies. He received a licentiate in Christology and Spirituality from the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure.

He was elected superior of the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals in Australia in 2005, and since 2008, he has been in Rome serving as assistant-general, responsible for the Asia-Oceania section of order.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne called the appointment "historic": "He escaped from Vietnam by boat as a young man, came to Melbourne, joined the Conventual Franciscans, and has already given distinguished service as a pastor in Springvale, as a leader in his order and has made a generous and gifted contribution to the Church."

Bishop-designate Nguyen will be ordained bishop June 23 in Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral.