Bishop Nguyen ordained a bishop for all

  • January 15, 2010
{mosimage}TORONTO - Bishop Vincent Nguyen has slipped on the ring, donned his mitre, taken hold of his staff and become a shepherd in the church he loves with all his heart.

Tears flowed in the pews occupied by Nguyen's family — eight siblings, six of whom flew in from their Vietnamese homeland — and friends at St. Michael's Cathedral Jan. 13 as Nguyen was ordained Canada's first non-white bishop.

In his homily, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins highlighted Nguyen's heritage as the great-great-grandson of a martyr.

"We are not all called to die for Christ," said Collins. "But we are all called to live for Christ."

While Nguyen's Vietnamese heritage is a great gift to the church in Toronto, Canada's youngest bishop was ordained as a bishop of the universal church — a shepherd for every believer.

Collins also emphasized the role of service.

"A bishop must listen humbly and witness boldly," he said.

Nearly 1,000 invited guests, including more than 200 priests and 30 bishops, filled the downtown cathedral for a Mass of ordination that attracted a full array of Toronto's print and broadcast media.

Nguyen will have the care of the archdiocese of Toronto's eastern flank — parishes from Scarborough through Durham Region. He will continue as the chancellor of spiritual affairs and moderator of the curia in the archdiocese's downtown offices.

As an auxiliary bishop, Nguyen was assigned the titular see of Ammaedara, an ancient city in what is now western Tunisia. The modern city at the same site is Haidra.

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