On Saturday 21 September, Trung Nguyen of the Palmerston North Diocese was ordained as a deacon at Sacred Heart parish in Ponsonby, Auckland. Also ordained was Tang Phan from the Diocese of Christchurch.
Approximately 300 people gathered to support the two seminarians, particularly friends and supporters from the two dioceses. At least a dozen priests and staff who had travelled from the Diocese of Palmerston North.
In his homily the principal celebrant, Bishop Paul Martin of Christchurch, thanked Trung and Tang for embracing the adventure of faith and responding to the call of Jesus.
For Trung, the ceremony was the result of seven and a half years of hard work.
‘It has been a long journey,’ he said. ‘I struggled with English at first, but by the grace of God and the support of the people of the Palmerston North Diocese, I have been able to come to this point. This is the beginning of a new chapter.’
Tony Murphy, Palmerston North Diocesan general manager, said it was a great event and he felt privileged to be a part of Trung’s journey to priesthood.
Trung found the ceremony ‘simple but meaningful. I could really feel the support and the love from everyone,’ he said. ‘It was great encouragement for me.’
To young people considering their vocation, Trung encourages them not to be afraid to take further steps or to talk to people about it.
‘Without the wisdom and guidance of the people around me, I would never have gotten to this point,’ he said.
Trung’s ordination to the priesthood is set for April 18, 2020, at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Palmerston North.