Bishop Nguyen to share his spiritual journey

  • October 22, 2010
Bishop NguyenTORONTO - Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Nguyen will be sharing his life’s journey, from fleeing Vietnam as one of that nation’s “boat people” to becoming Canada’s youngest and first Asian-Canadian bishop, at an Oct. 31 talk.

Taking place at Toronto-based Scarboro Missions at 7:30 p.m., the talk is entitled, “My Spiritual Journey: From a boat refugee to a Catholic bishop in Canada.”

“It’s a spiritual journey,” Nguyen told The Catholic Register. “So at the end (of the talk), I’ll also offer some reflections based on my story.”

Nguyen said some of his reflections are going to focus on how God was with him through all the difficult moments of his life.

“When I look back, I see God woven through the very fibre of my life,” he said. “In difficult moments, often in our life, we feel like God has abandoned us. We cannot see Him, we cannot feel Him, we cannot hear Him. But always, He is there.”

Nguyen said this is one reason he chose the phrase “I am with you” as the motto for his episcopal ordination.

Another point of reflection Nguyen will touch on is the notion of being grateful for the many blessings in our lives.

“Very often, we take simple things for granted like the air we breathe, the water we drink and the peace that we have here in Canada. How many of us are conscious of that? Having been through war and seeing bloodshed, I really appreciate the peace,” said Nguyen.

But while he wants to share the lessons he’s learned along his spiritual journey, Nguyen said it’s not always easy as he’s a shy person. So he tries to share the lessons on a regular basis in his ministry through his actions.

“In ministry, we are effective witness to God’s love by the way we live.”

Since becoming a bishop last January, Nguyen said his life just gets busier and busier.

“I’m trying to be in the present moment. Trying to do little things well. Sometimes we don’t have to do great things but try to do little things and fulfill the tasks at hand. And that’s what I’m trying to do in my own life.”

And every week, Nguyen tries to take a journey of a different kind. He bikes along the Waterfront Trail in Scarborough, Ont., on his day off, when his schedule allows.

“I usually go for four hours and I average about 50 to 60 km. I’m very blessed with good health... God entrusted us with the beauty of creation, we must savour the greatness of God’s gift to us.”

For more information on the upcoming talk, see

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