Posted on 3 June 2016
By Catherine Sheehan, Media and Communications Office, Archdiocese of Melbourne.
On Wednesday 1 June 2016, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv was farewelled from the Archdiocese of Melbourne with a mixture of sadness and joy, after serving as Auxiliary Bishop to the Western Region for the past five years.
Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral was packed for the farewell Mass, celebrated by Bishop Long, presided over by Archbishop Denis Hart and concelebrated by Bishops Mark Edwards OMI and Terry Curtin from Melbourne, Paul Bird CSsR (Bishop of Ballarat) and Patrick O’Regan (Bishop of Sale), as well as the Vicar General Msgr Greg Bennet, the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Rev John Salvano, along with scores of priests from the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
Of particular significance for Bishop Vincent was the addition of the 50-strong Vietnamese Martyrs Choir, who added their voices to those of cantor Larissa Cairns and the entire congregation.
The number of people present for the Mass was testimony to the high regard for Bishop Vincent, who is leaving the Archdiocese to take up his new appointment as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta.
In his homily, Archbishop Hart spoke of Bishop Long’s time in the Archdiocese saying, “Bishop Vincent has worked tirelessly, visiting and encouraging and reaching out to those who have lost faith, in the Western region and throughout the Archdiocese. He has had a strong involvement in the social welfare of the Church and as Chair of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.”
Archbishop Hart spoke of how Bishop Long arrived in Australia by boat, as a refugee from Communist Vietnam in 1980. He joined the Conventual Franciscans and was ordained to the priesthood in 1989. He was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2011.
Archbishop Hart expressed his gratitude saying, “Bishop Vincent, I thank you personally for your understanding, loyalty and friendship. I thank your mother and your family for their support and gift of you to the Church. I thank the people of our parishes and the Vietnamese community for their love and encouragement.”