ASIA/VIETNAM - The youngest diocese in Vietnam welcomes the new Bishop
Ha Tinh (Agenzia Fides) - "We are here to say thanks to Mgr. Paul Thai Hop for his immense contribution as Bishop in the dioceses. Above all we remember his work as president of the Episcopal Commission for "Justice and Peace ", in which he is committed to the poor and the environment.
We hope that, even after his retirement, he will continue to use his skills for the Church of Vietnam and society, and we would like to thank Bishop Louis Anh Tuan, who welcomed the call to serve the new diocese of Ha Tinh wholeheartedly.
We are confident he will overcome the challenges and difficulties to build a diocese strong in unity, love and evangelization, especially in the circumstances of the global pandemic", said Msgr. Joseph Vu Van Thien, Archbishop of Hanoi, in the holy mass that yesterday, April 29, 2021, saw many bishops and priests, religious and lay people from all over the country in the cathedral of the city of Ha Tinh for the solemn ceremony in which Bishop Paul Thai Hop ends his episcopal mandate and for the new Bishop Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan whose mission begins in the diocese of Ha Tinh.
While the coronavirus is widespread in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is highly protective of the global pandemic before May 1, Unification Day, when large numbers of people typically move across the country. For this reason, the liturgical celebration was held with all precautionary measures.
The mass was given by Monsignor Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, Archbishop of Hue and President of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam. The local priests expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the pastoral ministry of the outgoing Bishop Thai Hop and their sincere welcome and full obedience to the new Archbishop Louis Anh Tuan.
Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan was born in 1962 in Danang to a family originally from Ha Tinh and worked as an engineer in Ho Chi Minch City until he began priesthood training in 1993 and was ordained a priest in 1999. He then completed his studies at the Lateran University in Rome and, after his return to Vietnam, he held the position of parish priest and lecturer at the seminary of St. Joseph in the archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh until his episcopal ordination. Since 2017 he has been auxiliary bishop of Ho Chi Minh Ville.
Ha Tinh is the youngest of the 27 dioceses of the Church of Vietnam, which was founded by Pope Francis on December 22, 2018 in a part of the diocese of Vinh. The Diocese of Ha Tinh is located in north-central Vietnam and has 96 parishes and 153 priests with a total of 241,112 believers out of around 2,153,300 inhabitants, which corresponds to a share of 11.1% (while the average share of Catholic believers in the whole country 8%). Despite the difficult living conditions and widespread poverty in the suburbs and mountain regions, the life of faith has been sustained for centuries. (AD)
(Agenzia Fides, 30/4/2021)