03/04/2013, 00.00
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Benedict XVI appoints Xuan Loc auxiliary on the last day of his pontificate

by J.B. Vu
On 28 February, the Pope (now emeritus) appointed Msgr. Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, until now Rector of the diocesan seminary. The new prelate’s contribution to the formation of priests and encouragement of growth in vocations. The joy of the faithful and prayers for Pope Benedict and the conclave.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Vietnamese Catholics are praying for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and for the future conclave, called to choose a successor to the See of Peter. Meanwhile, on the last day of his pontificate - on February 28 - the Pope appointed Msgr. Joseph Dinh Duc Dao auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Xuan Loc, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City in the south of the country. For the faithful, the appointment is a "further sign" of Benedict XVI's attention to the Asian nation, which has seen - under his pontificate - the establishment of official diplomatic relations and repeated high-level visits.

Bishop Jospeh Dinh Duc Dao was born March 2, 1945 at Thuc Hoa, in the province of Nam Dinh, in the north of the country. From 1961 to 1964 he studied at the Seminary of St. Francis Xavier in the diocese of Bui Chu, he moved then to the major seminary of St. Joseph of the former Saigon, where he spent the next two years. From 1965 to 1971 he was in Rome, studying at the Pontifical Urbanianum University. He was ordained in 1971.

The prelate has held numerous positions at a pastoral, academic and administrative level, the last of which as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Rector (since 2009) of the Major Seminary in Xuan Loc. He was also responsible for  apostolate for the Vietnamese diaspora and has written numerous articles and essays devoted to missionary spirituality and prospects of evangelization in Africa.

During his years at the helm of the diocesan seminary, the new auxiliary bishop has contributed to a growth in vocations, improving the level of education and formation of future priests.

The diocese of Xuan Loc - in South Vietnam - is made up of nearly 2.5 million people, of which nearly 900 thousand of the Catholic faith. There 405 priests, while religious - men and women -  are 2.134.



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