Three Jesuits scholastics were ordained to the diaconate and a deacon to the priesthood in Vietnam on February 9. Bishop Joseph Do Manh Hung, auxiliary bishop of Saigon Archdiocese, presided over the ordination held at the chapel of St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate in Saigon. The new deacons are Francis Xavier Hoang Khac Luan SJ, Peter Nguyen Duc Thang SJ and Philip Tran Thanh Minh SJ while the new priest is Augustine Nguyen Minh Trieu SJ. Vietnam Jesuit Provincial Fr Vincent Pham Van Mam was the principal concelebrant, and the chapel was filled with Jesuit priests and brothers, and the families and friends of the newly-ordained priest and deacons.
In his exhortation, Bishop Do urged the newly-ordained priest and deacons, who have been consecrated to God in a life of chastity and sanctity, to “be well aware of the sacredness of your duties. Be holy as you deal with holy things”.
At the end of the Mass, Bishop Do expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the service of the Jesuits in Vietnam. He invited them to not only continue their missions but also prepare for the universal mission in different cultures and peoples for the greater glory of God.
With this ordination, the Vietnamese Province of the Society of Jesus now has 79 priests and five deacons.
Deacons proclaim and preach the Gospel, lead people in prayer, preside over baptisms and marriages, and conduct funeral services. For those on the path to priesthood, the diaconate ordination usually takes place several months to a year before priestly ordination.
Meet the newly ordinated deacons and priest (from left to right)
Deacon Francis Xavier Hoang Khac Luan SJ, 39, was born in Tay Ninh province. He was already a graduate of the Dentistry Faculty of Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University when he became a Jesuit candidate in 2005. After finishing his novitiate in 2009 in Thu Duc, Saigon, he studied philosophy at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate. He was assigned to Laos as a missionary for his regency. In 2014, he began his theology studies at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate.
Fr Augustine Nguyen Minh Trieu SJ, 36, is from Daklak province. He studied Economics at Nong Lam University – Ho Chi Minh City. In 2006 he joined the Jesuit candidacy programme and a year later entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Thu Duc, Saigon. He studied philosophy at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate and did his two-year regency in Rome, working at Vatican Radio. In 2014 he began his theology studies at Gregorian University in Rome. His first assignment as a newly ordained priest is to be Assistant to the Rector of St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate.
Deacon Philip Tran Thanh Minh SJ, 35, was born in Quang Nam province and has a degree in Law from Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, Saigon. In 1999, he joined the Jesuit candidacy programme and entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate in 2007. He studied philosophy and theology at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate. For his regency, he served as assistant to the director of Alberto Hurtado Center for the social and apostolic work of the Vietnam Province, and as minister of St Ignatius Community. He is currently finishing his theology studies at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate.
Deacon Peter Nguyen Duc Thang SJ, 35, is from Dong Nai province. He studied English for Office Management at Ho Chi Minh City University of Foreign Languages – Information Technology, Saigon. In 2000 he joined the candidacy programme of the Society of Jesus and was admitted to the Sacred Heart Novitiate in 2006. After his philosophy studies, he was assigned to the Catholic student ministry in Da Lat and Da Nang for his regency. In 2013 he began his theology studies at St Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate. Since 2017 he has been missioned to the Korean Jesuit Province for social ministry and migrant services.