01 Jul 2024

Vietnamese trio ordained Passionist priests

sm Vietnamese ordinations June 2024.jpg

Three Vietnamese Passionist deacons were ordained to the priesthood in Adelaide last month.

The ordination of Fr Paul Anh Do Tuan, Fr Joseph Ho Sy Doan and Fr James Nguyen Van Cong was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan at St Paul of the Cross Church, Glen Osmond-Parkside on June 16.

The three men joined the Passionists in Vietnam, which was a new congregation at the time, after completing their university studies.

Parish priest Fr Tom McDonough CP said the men’s families had made many sacrifices to provide them with their tertiary education away from their villages in larger cities.

“Normally they would repay their families by supporting their parents in old age,” Fr McDonough said.

“So, giving their sons to religious life and priesthood is a second sacrifice for the parents, but a sacrifice they make joyfully.”

Fr Tuan and Fr Cong both have sisters and brothers who are Religious.

All three did their studies in the Jesuit seminary in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). After three years of Philosophy, they came to Adelaide for their international novitiate, where they were joined by Passionists from Papua New Guinea. The seminarians then returned to complete four years of Theology in Vietnam, all passing with high honours.

As part of their holiday time, they spent two months each year working in some of the poorest parishes in rural, island and mountain areas of Vietnam.

“Knowing how easy it is for priests to be put on a pedestal, they each feel deeply the call to work for the crucified in Vietnam and elsewhere – as Passionist priests,” Fr McDonough said.

To gain experience as deacons, Fr Paul and Fr Joseph worked in Passionist parishes in Melbourne and Sydney, while Fr James was assigned to the Passionist Youth Retreat Team Ministry in Queensland.

They will continue now as priests to work in Australia for another year or so, before new appointments are made in one of the four countries of the Passionist Holy Spirit Province – Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.

Vietnamese culture was incorporated into the liturgy for the ordination and the Vietnamese choir led the singing of hymns which were in both English and Vietnamese.

Friends and fellow Religious came from interstate for the happy occasion.

On June 17 the newly ordained priests celebrated their first thanksgiving Mass at St Paul of the Cross.

Picture: Sisters Nithya, Mary Jasmine, Shiji, Jasmine and Lilly celebrate with Frs Joseph, James and Paul after their ordination last month.

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