“It is a day of great joy, a day of great blessing in the Diocese of Vinh,” commented Bishop Alphonso Nguyen Huu Long, the local bishop who presided over the priestly ordination ceremony.
Newsdesk, Vietnam – Vinh (July 27, 2021 12:20, Gaudium Press) The Bishop of Vinh, Bishop Alphonso Nguyen Huu Long, presided last Sunday, July 25, the ordination ceremony of 34 new priests who will be sent as missionaries wherever the Lord calls them to proclaim and witness the Gospel. “It is a day of great joy, a day of great blessing in the Diocese of Vinh,” he celebrated.
The ceremony was scheduled to be attended by all the priests of the Diocese, along with religious, seminarians and the faithful. However, respecting the protocols of prevention against the coronavirus, the celebration took place in front of a small group.
The mission of every priest is to lead people to God
In his homily, the Bishop recalled that this moment of happiness experienced in the Vietnamese Diocese comes at a time of great suffering in many parts of the world and also in Vietnam, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Bishop Alphonso Nguyen Huu Long, the new priests will be like the ‘Good Samaritan’, bringing care and mercy to wounded hearts, as well as being missionaries in remote places, including in other Dioceses, wherever the Lord calls them.
“Evangelization is the task of every baptized person; the mission of every priest is to bring men to God to receive the gift of salvation and eternal life. Priests are called to show their availability and joy when they are sent to pastoral service or to a mission in remote, poor or hard-to-reach areas,” he explained.
It is not easy to find young people willing to give their lives to serve people
He then stated that “people who find themselves in places of conflict, or where there are natural disasters or a high risk of contagion from pandemics, really need the presence of priests to have material and spiritual consolation, help to overcome pain, to receive hope.
According to the Bishop of Vinh, “priests are apostles and chosen by Jesus to work in his vineyard. In our world today, it is not easy to find young people willing to give their lives to serve people in difficult and dangerous places. But the Lord keeps calling young people willing to bring the seed of Faith and the love of God to their brothers and sisters in difficulty.
Priests will be ‘donated’ to needy dioceses
The prelate further explained that he will ‘donate’ some priests to other dioceses in need, sending them on mission so that all the faithful have good access to the Good News of the Gospel. “In the context of the shortage of priests, and while the population is suffering from the pandemic and other things, after prayerful discernment, I have decided to share half of these new priests in isolated territories, in other Dioceses that lack priests,” he promised.
Speaking about priestly vocations in the Vinh Diocese, Bishop Alphonso Nguyen Huu Long said that the diocesan community has been blessed by God “because we have been given many priests and we are happy to share this precious gift with places where people are in great need of a priest.”
Finally, the Bishop of Vinh addressed the newly ordained exhorting them to “dedicate their lives to the service and glory of God for the rest of their lives, without worrying about where they will live, but thinking only of bringing souls to God.” (EPC)