The Catholic University of America

Sept. 16, 2014

Canadian Bishop Visits School of Engineering

  The Most Rev. Vincent Nguyen, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, addresses members of the Catholic University faculty during a special luncheon in his honor last week. 


The School of Engineering received a special visitor Sept. 8 as Most Rev. Vincent Nguyen, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, was honored during a special lunch in Pangborn Hall. Prior to becoming a priest, Bishop Nguyen — born in Saigon, Vietnam — earned his bachelor’s in applied science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto.

During the lunch, which was attended by Provost James Brennan, deans from the schools of canon law, philosophy, and social work, and engineering faculty, the bishop spoke about his Catholic faith and shared a story about his own great-great-grandfather, who was killed for his religious beliefs.

“In Catholic education, we need to pass on to our students the Catholic way of life and how we live out the Gospel,” the bishop said. “It is said that modern man listens to other men more than teachers. If they listen to teachers, it’s more often because they are witnesses (to the faith) so we need to teach with our lives as well as our words.”

Following the luncheon, Engineering Dean Charles Nguyen presented the bishop with a special plaque honoring him for his excellence in service to the Catholic Church.

“I would like to thank the bishop for becoming a bishop after becoming an engineer,” Dean Nguyen said. “Now I not only can say to prospective students that after obtaining an engineering degree, they can become a Wall Street investor, a lawyer, a medical doctor, a university president, a dean, they can also become a bishop.”

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1991, Bishop Nguyen earned his Masters of Divinity degree from St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto in 1998. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 9, 1998. Bishop Nguyen was awarded a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 2008. On Nov. 6, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Toronto. His episcopal ordination took place at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto on Jan. 13, 2010.

University President John Garvey meets with Bishop Nguyen.  

Prior to the luncheon, Bishop Nguyen had meetings with University President John Garvey and Provost James Brennan. During his meeting with President Garvey, the bishop spoke about the state of Catholic higher education in Canada and the Church in Vietnam, where vocations are high, but there are few qualified professors for seminarians.

Bishop Nguyen was in the area as an honorary guest of Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Parish in Arlington, Va., the very first Vietnamese Catholic parish formed in the United States after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The parish, which has 9,000 parishioners, is celebrating its 35th anniversary.




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