Bishop Vincent gives thanks at Kellyville
|Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen at the Thankgiving Mass at his former Parish, Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville.|
Newly ordained Melbourne Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, returned to Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville on Sunday 3 July to celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass with his former Parish.
A Vietnamese refugee who came to Australia by boat, Bishop Vincent became Australia's first Asian-born Bishop when ordained in Melbourne on Thursday 23 June.
Bishop Vincent escaped from Saigon when Vietnam fell to the communists in 1980. A perilous boat journey took him to Malaysia where he spent time in a refugee camp.
Arriving in Melbourne in December 1981, Bishop Vincent adjusted to his new country, culture and language at Enterprise Migrant Hostel in Springvale (a suburb in South East Melbourne), where he met the friars who staff the local St Joseph's Parish.
He joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in 1984 and was ordained in December 1989. Appointed as Assisant Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary in 1995, he became Parish Priest in 1998.
During his time at Kellyville, Bishop Vincent constructed the Parish centre as well as the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary which stands proudly on the front lawn of the church.
Bishop Vincent formed many lasting impressions and friendships throughout the community. Among his passions was maintaining his fitness and he was often seen running through the streets of Kellyville.
From Kellyville, Bishop Vincent returned to Springvale and was elected as Superior of the Order in 2005.
In 2008, he was elected to serve as Assistant General of the Order responsible for the Asia-Oceanic region.
A warm welcome home
At the Mass of Thanksgiving at Kellyville, Bishop Vincent was welcomed home by current Parish Priest Fr Joseph Nguyen OFM Conv and Parish Pastoral Council chairperson Stephen Boland. A welcome was also extended to Bishop Vincent's family: his parents and sister travelled from Melbourne and his three brothers flew out from Holland to support Bishop Vincent.
Bishop Vincent responded by saying that he felt a strong relationship with Kellyville through his time as Assistant Priest and Parish Priest. When in Rome, he would Google 'Our Lady of the Rosary Kellyville' and would be rewarded by seeing the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary that was completed during his term. With great humour, he also told of the times he used his childhood skills of climbing palm trees to assist during working bees at the church.
Prior to the final blessing, Bishop Vincent was presented with a large bouquet of flowers which he promptly laid at the feet of the statue of Our Lady in the sanctuary.
After the Mass, parishioners gathered socially in the school hall for the community luncheon to welcome Bishop Vincent as a real friend and Father.
Joe Apap, a well known professional singer and parishioner, composed a song that told of how loved Bishop Vincent was at Kellyville. It did not take long for Bishop Vincent to join in the chorus.Our Lady of the Rosary Parish wishes Bishop Vincent God's blessing in his new role.
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