2017 RECongress Period 2

Religious Education Congress
Friday, February 24, 2017

1:00 - 2:30 pm



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2-01  Conscience and Adult Conscience Formation    Arena

There are few sayings more often cited, yet most misunderstood, than “Let your conscience be your guide” or “You have a duty to follow your conscience.” This session explores the meaning of conscience in the Catholic’s moral life. It will focus on the teachings found in Vatican II and Pope Francis’ recent letter on marriage. It will conclude by applying this teaching to pressing moral challenges and dilemmas facing contemporary believers.

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. He has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.


We invite your parish team to join us on Friday, February 24 for a full day of workshops, discussions, networking and prayer in this Parish Leadership Track. Note: You must register for all three sessions. (Please make sure to also select Sessions 1-02 and 3-02.)

2-02 Divine Renovation: Developing Parish Leadership for the Sake of Mission   

Fr. James Mallon (bio 1-02)

“Divine Renovation” is for pastors and parish leaders who want to renew and revitalize their parish for mission and evangelization. Participants will be led through a series of interactive reflections and exercises to help them establish a functioning leadership team that will assist the pastor in leading the parish in a new direction. We will look at how a leadership team is different from a staff team or pastoral council, and how it best functions in relation to these other groups within the parish. Each team (the pastor or parish administrator along with four to eight team members) will be led through a process to examine the essentials of common vision, team balance, healthy conflict, trust and vulnerability. Pastors and team members will receive tools and insights to form or become a healthier and more effective leadership team. (It is presumed that participants will have read or are familiar with the key insights of Fr. James Mallon’s book, “Divine Renovation.”)

2-03  Lord, Help Me Find the Words

In this session, we will look at ways to restart our conversation with God when words have failed us. As our lives become busier with obligations and more saturated with news and technology, finding time to reclaim our faith in quiet and unassuming ways can mean revisiting the written Word. Communicating in this way can intimately connect us to our own lived faith.

Clarissa Valbuena Aljentera

Clarissa Aljentera is Senior Coordinator of Family Ministries for the Chicago Archdiocese, where she previously served as Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and Media Resources. She is a national speaker and consultant, appearing at parish and regional conferences around the Chicago area and across the country. Aljentera is author of “The Parish Guide to Social Media: How Social Networking Can Recharge Your Ministry.” Originally a newspaper reporter from California, Aljentera now performs “improv” and writes rap based on Scripture.

2-04  The Difference Talent Makes   

Have you ever faced a challenge and felt you just didn’t know what to do? Have you ever been asked to participate in a project and know you have exactly what was needed? The difference comes down to talent. Explore the role talents play in our daily lives, clues to discovering your talents and strengths, and ways to draw on your talents and build strengths in the future.

Leisa Anslinger

Leisa Anslinger regularly presents at national, regional and diocesan conferences as well as parish leadership days and parish missions. Based in Ohio, she is Co-Director of Catholic Life and Faith. Anslinger is a contributing author to The Living Word and Sourcebook for Sundays and Seasons; her most recent projects include “Grateful Disciples” and “The Bridges Leadership” Series, all issued by Liturgy Training Publications. She has a regular column in Catechetical Leader magazine and is author of books and numerous e-resources for catechesis and stewardship.

2-05  Ennobling: Gang Members Finding Their True Selves in a Community of Tenderness   

Fr. Gregory Boyle, founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, will talk about the work of ennobilizing that Homeboy does – fostering a community of tenderness in which gang members discover and become their true selves. If love is the answer, community is the context and tenderness the methodology. Ennobilization is not about saving lives, but about our own willingness to be reached and transformed by the poor, the easily despised and demonized, so that the demonizing stops.

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, SJ

In 1986, Jesuit priest Fr. Gregory Boyle became Pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, then the poorest Catholic parish in the city. By 1988, he with parish and community members started what would become Homeboy Industries. Fr. Boyle is author of “Tattoos on the Heart” and the subject of the 2012 documentary, “G-Dog.” He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, named a Champion of Change by the White House, and won the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2017 from the James Beard Foundation.

2-06  A Leap of Faith: Dancing with Mary into Trust   

When Mary gave her “yes” to bear the Christ, she gave herself body and soul in trust. How can we do the same? Come dance with Mary on her journey from fear to faith. Witness the Annunciation in storydance, pray the Hail Mary in gesture, move with the strength of her powerful Magnificat, and dance your own yes to being a Christ-bearer for our world. No previous dance experience necessary … simply a willingness to take a “leap” of faith!

Betsey Beckman, MM

Betsey Beckman is founder of The Dancing Word: Embodying the Sacred in Liturgy and Life, a ministry that includes her offerings in liturgical movement, choreography, Spirit­Play and spiritual direction. Beckman also directs the Movement Ministry at her home parish, St. Patrick’s Church in Seattle, and collaborates with Abbey of the Arts in creating online retreats, overseas pilgrimages and prayer resources including her “Dancing with Monks and Mystics” DVD.

Laura Ash

Laura Ash is Music Director at St. Patrick Parish in Seattle, where she has supported the ministry of movement for over 20 years. She has presented with Betsey Beckman at a number of RECongress workshops over the last 15 years. Laura and her husband, David, have composed and published three collections of liturgical music and have created music for many dance offerings with Beckman. Their most recent work is music for the production, “Grace on the Margins.”

2-07  Proclaim! Songs and Strategies for Teaching, Celebrating & Living the Good News with Elementary Children   

Music has long been central to the celebration of our faith. But we also know that, as teachers, catechists and parents, music can be a vital resource in teaching Scripture and key doctrine, embedding our faith deep in our hearts and urging us forward to live and proclaim our faith. Come and join Australian Andrew Chinn as he shares songs, stories and strategies to engage your elementary students in knowing, celebrating and living their faith.

Andrew Chinn

Andrew Chinn worked as a classroom teacher in Catholic elementary schools in Sydney, Australia for nearly 20 years before moving into full-time music ministry as Director of Butterfly Music. He has presented at Catholic education conferences in dioceses across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Chinn has released 10 CDs, five DVDs and five picture books that are widely used by teachers and catechists in the faith development of children. In 2013, he became part of the WLP family that now distributes his music in North America.

2-08  Living in Trust While Acknowledging Our Fears   

Living with the paradox of conflicting thoughts and feelings is the necessary work of any mature human being. In this internal environment, how are we to embrace a trusting attitude toward God and reality? This workshop will offer some helpful insights and tools to facilitate this process.

Rev. Jim Clarke, PhD

Fr. Jim Clarke is Director of New Evangelization for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He also serves as Associate Spiritual Director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests in Los Angeles, as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, and was Assistant Professor at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. Fr. Clarke has over 35 years of facilitating retreats and parish missions and has presented at the Southern California Renewal Communities, the Religious Education Congress and the L.A. Regional Congresses. He is author of “Soulful: Spirituality for People on the Go.”

2-09  Discipline and Punishment: Why One Works and the Other Appears to Work   

Discipline that gives life to a student’s learning can be a path to self-discipline. Punishment and its cousin, ­zero-tolerance, are roadblocks on that path. This session covers ways to use the stuff of everyday life to help our students become self-disciplined, resourceful, resilient, responsible human beings. Barbara Coloroso will address bribes and threats, rewards and punishment, and how they can interfere with teaching kids to act with integrity, civility and compassion, as well as what to do instead when they have made a mistake, created mischief or caused mayhem.

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is President and CEO of Kids Are Worth It!, Inc. The internationally recognized author and educator is an educational consultant for school districts, medical and business communities, the criminal justice system and other associations throughout the world. Coloroso is author of four best-selling publications and two programs, and is the recipient of many awards including the Pope John XXIII International Award for Humanitarian Efforts.

2-10  Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace that Illumine Our Lives   

Recent research shows that the single greatest difference between those who identify as “Catholic” and those who identify as “former Catholic” is “the belief that God is a personal being involved in the lives of people today.” If we are to shape our whole lives as a Christian story, we must first learn how to recognize, craft and share stories of grace about particular life experiences. We will focus on seven principles for crafting stories of grace for teens, young adults and even not-so-young-anymore adults that allow us to speak of God’s action in our lives persuasively and in real terms.

Leonard J. DeLorenzo, PhD

Dr. Leonard DeLorenzo is Director of Notre Dame Vision at the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he also teaches theology. He is author of “Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives” and “Work of Love: A Theological Reconstruction of the Communion of Saints.” Dr. DeLorenzo is author of many articles and book chapters, and is a frequent speaker at national faith formation and youth ministry events.

2-11  Called to Intimacy: Catholic Sexuality in Troubled Times   

In this workshop, we will reflect together on Catholic teaching concerning human sexuality. The capacity for intimacy is a gift from God, intended to be lived out in different contexts depending on one’s vocation and gifts. All are called to exercise the virtues of friendship, chastity and modesty, while some are called to the sacrament of matrimony or to consecrated celibacy. In addition to these different ways of living out our sexuality, we will also discuss the “Theology of the Body,” the practice of Natural Family Planning and suggestions for those struggling with pornography and internet addiction.

Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, MD, DPhil

Born in Fullerton, Calif., and raised in Huntington Beach, Fr. Luke Dysinger is a Board Certified doctor in family practice. In 1980, he joined St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, Calif, and for the past 16 years the Benedictine monk and priest has taught moral theology and church history at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. Fr. Dysinger continues to lecture in bioethics, gives annual seminars at the International Conference on Patristics at Oxford University, and presents workshops and retreats at St. Andrew’s Abbey.

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Medical Ethics Program for the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of several books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science and psychiatry. On matters of public policy and healthcare he has been invited to address the California Medical Association, the University of California Center in Sacramento, the Sacramento Press Club, and has testified before the California Senate Health Committee.

2-12  Turning the Tide   

Many people in pastoral ministry are seeing large numbers of youth and young adults leave the Catholic Church. Recent sociological studies have reported that 34 percent of the Millennial Generation does not claim affiliation with any faith tradition, with more leaving every year. This workshop will take an in-depth look at the most current statistics, and it will also listen to why they say they are leaving. Finally, we will discover the surefire key to keeping our youth and young adults within the fold of the Catholic Church.

Robert Feduccia Jr.

Robert Feduccia was founding Director of the Youth Liturgical Leadership Program and instructor in the Permanent Deacon Formation Program at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He is now Vice President of Christian Faith Events for Declan Weir Productions. With work as a parish youth minister and retreat leader, Feduccia has presented at local and diocesan conferences as well as national events, including the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministry.

2-13  Chastity: Gift, Grace, Fruit   

Chastity is not the absence of sexuality. According to the Catechism, “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality” – the inner unity of body and spirit. Unifying our bodily and spiritual desires with integrity is a challenging journey that we cannot embark upon alone. This session will discuss Catholic teachings on chastity from the Catechism, Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia. The latter offers a reflection on how to live out sexual love, strengthen the family, and support the faithful in pursuit of chastity. Chastity for married, single, ordained/religious and LGBT persons will be considered.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

Freelance speaker and minister Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice has served a decade in ministry with LGBT Catholics. He has spoken at various gatherings, including the Religious Education Congress, the Faith Formation Conference, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, and the Gay Christian Network. Dr. Fitzmaurice appears in several YouTube episodes produced by the Ignatian News Network. He has also received the Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and the Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry awards.

Fr. Chris Ponnet

Los Angeles-native Fr. Chris Ponnet was ordained for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1983. Since then, he has served as Director for the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry. He also serves as Pastor at St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care in Los Angeles. Fr. Ponnet has spoken at the RECongress and at the archdiocesan regional congresses for many years and has made presentations at Pax Christi Peace and Justice conferences and at local congregations and meetings around the county.

2-14  Suffering, Pain and Joy   

In this workshop, Fr. Rob Galea will attempt to address the concept of suffering. Why do we suffer? Where is God through the pain? Can we experience joy in suffering?

Fr. Rob Galea

Fr. Rob Galea serves in the Diocese of Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia. Apart from his series of recordings and CD releases, the singer/songwriter has also written a number of songs for various international conferences. Fr. Galea was selected to sing in the English version of the 2017 World Youth Day song, “Blessed Are The Merciful.” He is co-founder and Director of “Stronger,” a fast-growing regional youth movement.

2-15  The Future of the Global Church: Building Intercultural Communities   

In a multicultural environment, people of diverse cultures live side by side. But often, this can be described as “people living together – separately.” This is not what Jesus wanted and worked for. Intercultural living could be described as “people living together – together!” But it is demanding, and costly. We will look at the demands … and the cost.

Anthony J. Gittins, CSSp

Fr. Anthony Gittins, a religious of the Holy Ghost community (the Spiritans), is originally from Manchester, England, and served as a missionary in Sierra Leone in the 1970s. He taught at the Missionary Institute in London and, since 1984, has taught at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is now Emeritus Bishop Ford Professor of Theology and Culture. For the past 27 years, Fr. Gittins has worked at a shelter for homeless women in Chicago, and continues to lead retreats, workshops and seminars in over 30 countries.

2-16  Healthy and Holy Marriages: Effective Parish Marriage Prep and Beyond   

With over 40 years of research on marriage and grounded in this research and existing programs in popular use today, we have a clear understanding of the critical factors that help promote marriage stability and satisfaction. This presentation will explore ways to implement effective and engaging approaches to parish marriage preparation and ongoing marriage ministry. You will walk away with clear suggestions for implementing the new Order of Celebrating Matrimony as well as how to best support couples in creating and sustaining healthy and holy marriages.

Dr. Veronica Marchese, LMFT

Dr. Veronica Marchese, a licensed marriage and family therapist, has worked as a parish minister, retreat leader and therapist, working with the Los Angeles Archdiocese for more than 25 years through workshops, retreats and faith formation classes at the parish level and workshops at the regional Los Angeles Congresses. In 2015, Marchese launched TheCatholicMarriageProject.com providing resources and conducting ongoing research in the area of marriage preparation and enrichment.

2-17  Wise and Holy Women – and a Few Good Men   

Using his own paintings and stories, Bro Mickey McGrath will offer a colorful look at great women (and a few good men) in church history, from Mary and Elizabeth to Dorothy Day and Thea Bowman, and show their deep spiritual connections to the four women who have been proclaimed Doctors of the Church – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Ávila and Thérèse of Lisieux. Past, present and future unfold as we look at the beauty and creative inspirations of the feminine divine. We will also take a look at Pope Francis through his letters and his recent encyclical, Laudato Sí.

Bro. Michael O’Neill McGrath

Bro. Mickey McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is an artist, author, speaker and keynote presenter who currently lives and works in Camden, N.J. He is illustrator and author of 13 books; his latest is entitled “Dear World: Art Reflections on Laudato Sí.” In addition, Bro. McGrath paints commissions for churches and schools throughout the United States. He is also a popular retreat leader and presenter in a variety of venues on the national Catholic circuit.

2-18  Trust! Live and Die with Passion and Grace   

John of the Cross, Teresa of Ávila and Mother Jones all knew what it meant to trust. As the old addage states, “Pray as though everything depended on God, but work as though everything depended on you – it does!” Or more contemporarily, in the famous war cry of Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” How do we embody the two thrusts of trust: consolation and confidence; expectation and faithfulness as individuals and as Church? Come, seek justice and respond to God’s trust in us!

Megan McKenna

Storyteller and theologian Megan McKenna travels across the globe, speaking at national and international conferences and working with indigenous peoples, base communities, parishes, diocese, religious orders and organizations. She presents workshops for dioceses and small communities and teaches at universities, colleges and pastoral institutes worldwide. Author of 50 books, McKenna is an Ambassador of Peace for Pax Christi USA and has won the Isaac Hecker Award for Justice and Peace.

2-19  “Take Nothing for the Journey”: Pilgrimage in the Bible   

Whether it be walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, or from one California mission to the next, or to raise funds for breast cancer research, pilgrimages have regained a place in the contemporary Catholic religious imagination. This workshop will dive into the biblical spirituality entailed in the journey to the Promised Land, to the temple mount, and to follow Jesus on “the Way.”

Rev. J. Patrick Mullen

Fr. Pat Mullen, a priest of Los Angeles, is Professor of Biblical Studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif., and Pastor at the neighboring Junipero Serra Church. He is author of “Dining with Pharisees” and “Sacred Scripture,” a high school introduction to the Scriptures. Fr. Mullen presents at the Religious Education Congress as well as to diocesan conferences across the nation and to diocesan priests in Arizona, Utah and seven of the 12 dioceses of California.

2-20  I Thirst for Your Love: A Musical Bio­graphy of St. Teresa of Calcutta

The recently canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta once described America as “the poorest country in the world” because so many people do not know God. Come join Danielle Rose as she presents a musical biography inspired by the life and prayers of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. By pondering the themes most central to Mother Teresa’s personal relationship with Jesus, these songs seek to unveil the mystery of her motivation to serve the poorest of the poor: to quench Christ’s thirst for souls. If there is one thing that St. Teresa would want you to know, it is that Jesus thirsts for you.

Danielle Rose

At age 17, Danielle Rose traveled to India to volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. This experience gave her a desire to serve the poorest of the poor as a “music missionary.” She recorded her third album, “I Thirst,” as a musical tribute to the life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Since 2002, Rose has travelled the globe as a music missionary, ministering from World Youth Day in Toronto to her hometown of Duluth, Minn. Her fifth album is titled “Culture of Life.”

2-21  Discernment 101   

God is constantly speaking to us. But many people have a hard time hearing God’s voice and knowing his will for their lives. Since we trust that God desires our good, we are confident that he wants us to know his will for our lives. What are the most basic (yet most powerful) tools we can have for knowing God’s will?

 Rev. Michael Schmitz

Fr. Michael Schmitz is Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., as well as Chaplain for the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He offers weekly homilies on iTunes and bulldogCatholic.org and has appeared in programs for youth and young adults as well as through regular short video messages on Ascension Presents. Fr. Schmitz has preached to youth and young adults across the country as a presenter at Steubenville Youth and Young Adult Conferences and at FOCUS national and local events.

2-22  Empowered by the Spirit: How College Campus Ministry Influences Parish Life   

“If the Church is to continue to regenerate and renew its members, the training of young adults is key,” the U.S. Catholic bishops’ state in their pastoral plan for young adult ministry. How can college campus ministries provide tools for parishes in crafting young adult ministries that are effective and life giving? This workshop will discuss techniques on how parishes can welcome and empower young adults in parish life. It will also offer suggestions for college campus ministers and college students on how to strengthen the transition from college campus ministry to parish life. Join the discussion on why college campus ministry and young adult ministry are essential for the vitality and future of our Church.

Rosie Chinea Shawver, MDiv

Rosie Shawver, a native of Southern California, began her work experience volunteering at Annunciation House, a home for immigrants in El Paso, Texas. She then moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to become Director of Campus Ministry at the University of New Mexico and then worked as the Parish and Faith Community Outreach Liaison at Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M. She is currently Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Southern California’s Caruso Catholic Center in Los Angeles.

2-23  Middle School: From Maintenance to Mission   

Early adolescence is the beginning of authentic discipleship for many youth. How are we challenging the diverse culture of young adolescents to grow in their authentic relationship with Jesus Christ? This workshop blows up the mythology of middle school youth ministry and lays the ground work for inspiring evangelization to, with, by and for junior high-aged believers! If you work with young adolescents, you won’t want to miss this!

 Doug Tooke

Doug Tooke is Director of Youth Ministry events for the Diocese of Helena, Mont., Youth Minister at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish and owner of Monarch Catholic Ministries. He has over 20 years of professional ministry experience and has traveled to over 75 dioceses teaching, keynoting conventions and training youth ministers. Tooke has spoken at national gatherings, including World Youth Day, the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry.

2-24  The Role of the Priest in the RCIA   

Paul Turner (bio 1-23)

Christian initiation is the responsibility of all the baptized. As such, each parish should involve a variety of people to participate in the many catechetical preparations and liturgical celebrations associated with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This workshop will offer ideas for involving priests in evangelization, catechesis, discernment and presiding for these liturgies.

2-25  Making Liturgical Rituals Accessible for Children   

Come and explore ways we can encourage children to enjoy, understand and take active part in liturgical cele­brations. From school Masses and classroom prayers to Sunday worship – music is the key!

Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker is an internationally known church composer, speaker on liturgical music and choral conductor. Presently, he is Director of Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Los Angeles. Walker travels around the globe giving workshops and lectures on church music and liturgy, choral and cantor techniques and children’s spirituality. His music is sung in churches worldwide. His latest work is “Many More Stories and Songs of Jesus,” the third in a series for children.

2-26  Beyond the School Gate – Can Catholic Schools Extend the Embrace?   

In September 2015, at the request of his bishop, David Wells began a project in his own diocese to assist schools to develop their sense of mission and their confidence to proclaim the Gospel. Could the school itself become a locus for evangelization beyond the confines of the classroom? What is beginning to emerge from the project has implications not just for schools, but for parishes too. From a whole range of small victories and embarrassing failures, good lessons are being learned about how to embrace trust, dare to proclaim and reach out beyond the usual suspects! Come and see!

David Wells

David Wells was a teacher before becoming a research assistant for the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. His latest position is as Project Manager for School Evangelization. Wells has travelled the world, speaking at more than 350 conferences in Europe, North America and Australia. He guest lectures in three English universities and in 2015 was MC for the Bishops’ Conference national gathering in England and Wales. Wells is author of two books, “The Reluctant Disciple” (which tells of his experience at RECongress), and more recently, “The Grateful Disciple.”

2-70 Vietnamese Workshop: “But strive first for the kingdom of God” (Mt. 6:33)   

The theme of Matthew 6:33, to “strive first for the kingdom of God,” will be implemented in the following three main focal points: 1) The danger of enjoying materialism over living the faith: People today seek materialism but never pay attention to spirituality; 2) The danger of science over faith in God’s mercy: People today only believe in the success of science and miss seeing God’s mercy; 3) Christians must choose God as our first priority in life: A Christian’s first priority is to pursue a life in God.

Archbishop Joseph Linh Chi Nguyen

Bishop Joseph Nguyen was born in November 1949 at Ba Lang in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam. In 1954, he moved, accompanied by his family, to South Vietnam. Due to political uprising in his homeland, he returned to his family and did many jobs to help support his parents until 1992, when he was ordained a priest. In 1995, Bishop Nguyen went abroad to study and graduate with a doctorate in Philosophy from the Institute Catholic de Paris. In 2003, he returned to Vietnam and taught at the Stella Maris Major Seminary in Nha Trang. On June 12, 2004 Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of the North Thanh Hoa Diocese.


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