Tag Archives: bishop

Vincent Long Van Nguyên responds to a call to venture into a new depth

Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFM Conv.jpgThe Church in Melbourne, Australia saw the Holy Spirit
consecrate a former boat person turned Conventual Franciscan priest turn
auxiliary bishop on Thursday. The witness of his life is testimony of the hand of God leading. 

Vincent Long Van Nguyên is the first Vietnamese bishop in Australia and one of
three in the English speaking world. The USA has Bishop Dominic Mai Luong of
Orange County, California and Bishop Vincent Nguyên Manh Hieu of

Father Vincent Long Van Nguyên OFM Conv, is now an Auxiliary Bishop of
Melbourne holding the title of Bishop of Thala. But his personal narrative is

In 1981, Long was an 18-year-old refugee who arrived in Australia
knowing no English, having no personal connections with anyone, knowing nothing
of Australian culture. One can only say that 31 years ago Long was given the
gift of a new life in moving -with tremendous difficulty–from oppression to

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Hugh Gilbert: Benedictine abbot elected bishop of Aberdeen

Hugh Gilbert.jpgPope Benedict XVI nominated as the new bishop of Aberdeen (Scotland) the Right Reverend Dom Hugh Gilbert, OSB, 59. This appointment was made public today.

Until now, Dom Hugh has been the abbot of the Pluscarden Abbey, a position he’s held since 1992. He’s been a Benedictine for 37 years. In the monastery he’s held several positions of service as well as serving as a member of the Union of Monastic Superiors and on the Abbot Visitor’s Council for the Subiaco Congregation of monasteries.
Pluscarden Abbey is the under the patronage of Our Lady and Saints John the Baptist and Andrew. It was founded in 1230 by King Alexander II; the monks were under Carthusian rule of life at the time of the colonization and later adopted the Rule of St Benedict while following Cistercian customs. By 1599, the abbey closed due to the Reformation. Providence saw to it that property was purchased for the monks in 1897 and the community formally was re-founded in 1948; it became a conventual priory in 1966 and an abbey in 1974. The community numbers 16 with a couple novices.

The Diocese of Aberdeen dates to the 6th century and was organized in 1063; it has 70 parishes. Due to the Reformation the Catholic diocese ceased until 1878 when it was restored. Today, the overall population of the Diocese of Aberdeen is 718,000 of that 18,600 are Catholics. There are 49 priests, 11 permanent deacons, and 45 religious.

Dom Hugh is the author of Unfolding The Mystery: Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year (2007).
The news article from BBC online can be read here.
May the Lord bless Dom Hugh as he assumes his new ministry as bishop.

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 40, new major archbishop (patriarch) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Sviatoslav Shevchuk.jpg

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 40, is the new head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of 6 million people worldwide. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the largest Eastern Church in communion with the See of Rome. The election happened on March 23. In Canon Law he holds the title of Major Archbishop (that is, he has the responsibility that a patriarch would have but not the title, though many in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church unofficially use the title, see canon 151 of the CCEO). The election was done by 40 bishops from around the world.

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, until now, is the Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Theotokos, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to his South American work, the Archbishop was the personal secretary of the former head of the Church, His Beatitude, Lubomyr, from 2002-05.

Sviatoslav Shevchuk2.jpg

At Shevchuk’s election he had to write a letter in his own hand to the Pope requesting communion with the Apostolic See. In accordance with canon 153 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Church reads:
1. A major archbishop is elected according to the norm of cann. 63-74.
2. After acceptance of the election, the synod of bishop of the major archepiscopal Church must notify the Roman Pontiff through a synodal letter about the canonical conduct of the election; however, the one who of is elected, in a letter signed in his own hand, must petition the confirmation of his election from the Roman Pontiff.
3. After having obtained the confirmation, the one who is elected, in the presence of the synod of bishops of the major archepiscopal Church, must make a profession of faith and promise to carry out faithfully his office; afterwards his proclamation and enthronment are to be performed. If, however, the one who is elected is not yet an ordained bishop, the enthronment cannot validly be done before he receives episcopal ordination.
4. If however the confirmation is denied, a new election is to be conducted within the time established by the Roman Pontiff.

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Saint Patrick

St Patrick.jpg

The Office of Readings for the feast of Saint Patrick offers a different reading than what is below. In fact, I would urge you to read the Office of Readings for Saint Patrick just so you get to know the real person versus the fiction one hears on his feast, at least around these parts. I am thinking of what it means to live in the awareness of having spiritual patrernity (or spiritual maternity if you are a woman reading this post). We often do not hear much of spiritual fatherhood these days; it is not in vogue in many mainline Catholic centers, unfortunately. But when one considers the fact that we all, because we are baptised into Christ’s death and resurrection, and that we have been given the gifts of mercy, Confirmation and Eucharist, we witness to the Good News of Salvation. By our clear testimony we shepherd others who do not know Christ to know Him. Our very words and actions betry our belief in Christ. The homily of Saint Asterius of Amasea exhorts us to be like Christ the Good Shepherd. Are we up for the challenge on this feast of Saint Patrick? In what ways is your heart like Jesus’ heart? Will you pray for the grace to be a spiritual father or mother to those who need your testimony?

You were made in the image of God. If then you wish to resemble him, follow his example. Since the very name you bear as Christians is a profession of love for men, imitate the love of Christ.

Reflect for a moment on the wealth of his kindness. Before he came as a man to be among men, he sent John the Baptist to preach repentance and lead men to practice it. John himself was preceded by the prophets, who were to teach the people to repent, to return to God and to amend their lives. Then Christ came himself, and with his own lips cried out: Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. How did he receive those who listened to his call? He readily forgave them their sins; he freed them instantly from all that troubled them. The Word made them holy; the Spirit set his seal on them. The old Adam was buried in the waters of baptism; the new man was reborn to the vigor of grace.

What was the result? Those who had been God’s enemies became his friends, those estranged from him became his sons, those who did not know him came to worship and love him.

Let us then be shepherds like the Lord. We must meditate on the Gospel, and as we see in this mirror the example of zeal and loving kindness, we should become thoroughly schooled in these virtues.

For there, obscurely, in the form of a parable, we see a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. When one of them was separated from the flock and lost its way, that shepherd did not remain with the sheep who kept together at pasture. No, he went off to look for the stray. He crossed many valleys and thickets, he climbed great and towering mountains, he spent much time and labour in wandering through solitary places until at last he found his sheep.

When he found it, he did not chastise it; he did not use rough blows to drive it back, but gently placed it on his own shoulders and carried it back to the flock. He took greater joy in this one sheep, lost and found, than in all the others.

Let us look more closely at the hidden meaning of this parable. The sheep is more than a sheep, the shepherd more than a shepherd. They are examples enshrining holy truths. They teach us that we should not look on men as lost or beyond hope; we should not abandon them when they are in danger or be slow to come to their help. When they turn away from the right path and wander, we must lead them back, and rejoice at their return, welcoming them back into the company of those who lead good and holy lives.

Scripture is to fill us head to toe

Bishop Pates' Ordination.jpgAt a priest’s ordination as bishop the Book of the
Gospels is held open over the man’s head by two deacons, a way to communicate that the
Scriptures are crucial to the life of the bishop and that Christ has infused
His Word in his heart and mind. Archbishop Timothy Broglio said this when he
ordained Bishop Spencer in 2010: 

writings inspired by Almighty God and identified and transmitted over the
centuries by His Church must fill you from head to toe.  You must be imbued with that word so
that whatever comes from your mouth will be an expression of what you have read
and heard.  You will have a special
opportunity to deepen the faith of those to whom you are sent.” We are to be
similarly filled.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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