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Former Vietnamese refugee becomes auxiliary bishop of Orange

January 11, 2018
Catholic News Service

09 Nguyen_Bishop Thanh Thai THUMBWASHINGTON – Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen, 64, became the second priest born in Vietnam to become a bishop in the United States as he was ordained Dec. 19 to serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange.

The first Vietnamese native priest to become a bishop, Bishop Dominic M. Luong – an auxiliary bishop of the Orange Diocese from 2003 until his retirement in 2015 – died days before, on Dec. 6, at age 77.

As a young man, Bishop Nguyen had part of his religious journey interrupted when he was forced to flee his native country as a seminarian, spending 18 days at sea without food or water in a boat with others trying to flee the violence of the war. He and his family became part of a statistic of 3 million Vietnamese refugees who survived but were displaced from their native land, and were among the 2 million refugees from Vietnam resettled in the United States. In his adopted home, he continued his education, which included religious formation.

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