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On Friday 12th April, at the Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bishop Michael McKenna ordained Cong Van Hoang and Duong Van Ha to the priesthood. Fr Cong and Fr Duong were born in Vietnam, in towns which are part of the Diocese of Vinh. They travelled to Bathurst eight years ago as potential seminarians and are now amongst us as Priests for the People of God of the Diocese of Bathurst.

The Cathedral was overflowing with family and friends, parishioners, clergy, religious and seminarians, from across the Diocese and further afield. Particularly among them were the parents of Fr Cong and Fr Duong and many family members of the newly ordained who travelled from Vietnam to share in this special moment. Bishop McKenna in introductory remarks reminded all of the strong links between the Dioceses of Bathurst and Vinh, Vietnam.

In the homily, the Bishop reminded the newly ordained to “be representative of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, passing on the forgiveness and the promise of a new life to those they minister to and serve in their ministry”.

At the conclusion of the Mass, Fr Cong shared a note of thanks on behalf of himself and Fr Duong. In both English and Vietnamese, Fr Cong praised and thanked God for many blessings, particularly the gift of the priesthood. He also thanked all the people who prayed, supported and walked with them in this vocational journey and formation.

In particular, he gave thanks and gratitude to the people of the Diocese of Bathurst for welcoming, accepting, and supporting them during the last eight years since they arrived in the Diocese.

He especially thanked their families. Fr Cong said, “Thank you for your constant support, your prayer and encouragement in difficulties, but most of all, thank you for your unwavering love, sacrifice and faith”.

The two new priests will continue their ministry where they have been serving as deacons. Fr Cong will be an assistant priest in Mudgee, and Fr Duong will be an assistant priest in Orange.

Fr Nam Van Le
Vocations Director