EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF MOST REVEREND VINCENT LONG VAN NGUYEN, OFM Conv, BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART, ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON THURSDAY 23RD JUNE 2011 AT 7.30PM.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this Vigil Mass of Saint John the Baptist, the great precursor of the Lord, I welcome you to the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Vincent Long.
Together with his parents, Quang and Mung, his brothers and sisters, and so many friends, we stand in the presence of the Lord who has called Bishop Vincent to be a successor of the Apostles.
We are honoured by the presence of Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio, whose presence shows the loving care of Pope Benedict, Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of our Bishops’ Conference, together with Australian and visiting bishops and priests.
In a special way we thank Father Marco Tasca, General Minister of the Conventual Franciscan Order, his Councillors and members of the Order, who have nurtured Bishop Vincent and freely given him to the service of the Church.
As brother priests and people from near and far, with humble joy we remember our weakness and the transforming power of God as we call to mind our sins.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have come from near and far to share in the Ordination of Bishop Vincent Long as a successor of the Apostles chosen by Christ. The laying on of hands confers the Sacrament of Orders in its fullness, so that the work of our Saviour lives and grows in our time. The Readings speak of the choice of Bishop Vincent, chosen in love with God’s Word in his mouth to build and plant God’s holy people, nourish and strengthen them by his word.
From his birth forty-nine and a half years ago in Gia-Kiem, Vietnam, the love of Jesus Christ has always filled Bishop Vincent with hope. The Spirit of Christ and attendant sufferings accompanied him as he entered the Minor Seminary, faced its closure and escaped to Australia. He then joined the Conventual Franciscans, where he was ordained and has served with great distinction as a Pastor, Formator, Leader, and Assistant to the General Minister.
He has lived the love of Our Lord in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi; in obedience, chastity, without anything of his own, serving God and his Church in humility, simplicity and with gladness of heart. A similar openness to God and to the Church has characterised Bishop Vincent’s call to be a bishop to serve the people of God. He has been supported by his brothers in the Conventual Order in their readiness to give one of their number to meet the needs of this great Archdiocese.
In welcoming Bishop Vincent among us I assure him of the love and support of the bishops, priests and people of Melbourne and of the Church. Every bishop is part of the Apostolic College who, in communion with and under the successor of Peter, teach, sanctify and govern the people of God.
Bishop Vincent, in your great service of the Church Universal and of the particular Church of Melbourne, you will bring a contemplative outlook and a compassionate heart “entering into communion with the men and women of our times for whom you are to be the witness and servant of hope”.
In imitating Christ, the Good Shepherd, you will face the anxieties and expectations of today’s world by announcing a word of truth and love and by fostering activity which goes to the heart of humanity and to its needs. By being united to Christ and faithful to his Gospel and in openness to this world you are to be the harbinger of hope.
I know that here in Melbourne as a teacher of the faith, whole and entire, as a sanctifier and leader in worship, in accordance with the authentic tradition of the Church, and as one who governs and unites God’s people in love you will find your true vocation.