Editor’s Note: Click here to watch the Episcopal Ordination Mass
More than 1,200 of the faithful in Orange County attended the Episcopal Ordination Mass of Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen Tuesday, Dec. 19, at St. Columban Church in Garden Grove. Bishop Nguyen now joins Bishop Timothy Freyer in assisting Bishop Kevin Vann in ministering to the 1.3 million Catholics in Orange County, including the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam.
Following a 20-minute procession of dozens of priests, more than 30 bishops, several cardinals and a number of religious groups, the two-hour ordination Mass was underway. The Mass was live streamed globally via the Diocese of Orange web stream, with commentary provided by Diocese of Orange Chancellor Pia de Solenni and Fr. Vincent Pham.
The entrance hymn, sung by the Diocesan Choir under the direction of Dr. John Romeri, was specifically composed for this ordination and incorporated the motto of Bishop Ngyuen: “He leads me,” from Psalm 23:2. Immediately following the opening remarks the ordination took place, beginning with the reading of the mandate from Pope Francis authorizing the elevation of Fr. Nguyen to Bishop. The ordination included the laying on of hands by all the bishops attending, as well as the anointing with holy oil, the receiving of the gospel, the bishops’ hat and crosier.
The audience erupted in applause as the new bishop was presented. Bishop Nguyen then took his first pass throughout the church, blessing those in the pews.
Bishop Vann delivered the homily in English and Vietnamese.
At the conclusion of the service, Bishop Nguyen, who survived 18-days lost at sea with his family as they fled religious persecution in Vietnam, thanked his parents for helping him to understand the strength and importance of prayer.