01/18/2021, 12.46
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Gioan Đỗ Văn Ngân is the new bishop of Xuân Lộc

by Paul Nguyen Hung

The new bishop was born in 1953 and ordained priest in 1992. “May God bless me to be able to live my holy ministry according to God's will.”

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Gioan (John) Đỗ Văn Ngân is the new bishop of Xuân Lộc. last Saturday afternoon, Mgr Marek Zalewski, non-residential pontifical representative for Vietnam, announced the appointment by Pope Francis.

Bishop Gioan Đỗ Văn Ngân, who was already auxiliary bishop of the diocese, was born on 6 July 1953 in Ninh Bình Province, Diocese of Phát Diệm.

“My father died when I was 3 years old,” Bishop Đỗ Văn Ngân said. “My mother was 22 at the time. Since then she has silently sacrificed herself, giving love to her two children.”

The prelate’s mother, Teresa, has seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One of them is a Sister with the Salesian Order of Don Bosco. Her neighbours are very fond of this great-grandmother, and everyone sees her as a motherly example for raising children.

From 1965 to 1973, the new bishop studied at the Minor Seminary of Saint Joseph in Saigon, followed by studies at the Pontifical College of Saint Pius X in Đà Lạt between 1973 and 1977.

In 1998 he graduated with a licentiate in Vietnamese literature from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City (ex-Saigon).

He was ordained priest on 14 January 1992 for the Diocese of Xuân Lộc, and later became deputy parish priest in Ninh Phát. From 1994 to 2005 he served as pastor in the same parish.

Between 2006 and 2010 he pursued his studies at Santo Tomas University in Manila, Philippines, where he received a Master's Degree in philosophy.

On his return he was appointed deputy director and head of the philosophy division of the Seminary of St Joseph in the Diocese of Xuân Lộc

On 2 May 2017, the Pope appointed him auxiliary bishop of Xuân Lộc. His ordination took place on 1 June 2017 and he chose as motto “Tưa vào lòng Chúa Giesu” (In sinu Jesu).

“May God bless me to be able to live my holy ministry according to God's will,” Bishop John Đỗ Văn Ngân said. “I need support in the spirit of the Father, in the spirit of brothers and sisters, of priests, in the love of all the Church and in the love of all Catholic communities.”

During the first annual assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam 2018 in Rome (during an ad limina visit), Bishop Gioan Đỗ Văn Ngân was elected president of the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith for 2019-2022.

In his role as bishop, Mgr Gioan Đỗ Văn Ngân also chairs the board of directors of the Hòa Binh Xuân Lộc college, the first and only Catholic college in Vietnam since reunification in 1975.

On 1 September 2017, on behalf of the dioceses of Xuân Lộc and Hòa Binh, and of Xuân Lộc College, Bishop Gioan welcomed a government delegation and thanked them and the people who have helped the school in recent years.

On Saturday, Bishop Giuse (Joseph) Đinh Đức Đạo officially announced the good news for the diocese at the Bishop’s residence in Xuân Lộc

He spoke of the tradition of the apostles inherited by the Diocese of Xuân Lộc from 1965 until today. He expressed gratitude to God and to Pope Francis.

“The Holy Father has always loved the Diocese of Xuân Lộc,” Bishop Giuse Đinh Đức Đạo said. “Now the apostolic tradition in this diocese has passed to Bishop Gioan Đỗ Văn Ngân.

“Bishop Đinh Đức Đạo also expressed his wishes and prayed for Bishop Gioan Đỗ văn Ngân with blessings for the new mission.”

In the warm atmosphere of the bishop's office, there were priests, teachers from the Seminary of St Joseph, men religious, monks, seminarians, parish priests and representatives of all the people of God.

Lastly, everyone prayed to work together and build the diocese, that it may become more and more a holy place for God's mercy.

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