Parramatta welcomes two to the priesthood

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Former vicar general Robert McGuckin, now Bishop of Toowoomba, returns to St Patrick’s Cathedral to preside at ordination of Holy Spirit seminarians

Photo: Alphonsus Fok
Fr Thomas Thien Hien Bui and Fr Pio Yong Ho Jang were ordained to the diocese of Parramatta earlier this year. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Fr Thomas Thien Hien Bui and Fr Pio Yong Ho Jang were ordained priests for the diocese of Parramatta on Wednesday, 24 June, in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

They were ordained by the Bishop of Toowoomba, Bishop Robert McGuckin, who has known the men for many years since his time as vicar general in the diocese of Parramatta.

Fr Thomas has been appointed assistant priest in Holy Trinity parish, Granville, and Holy Family parish, East Granville.

Fr Pio has been appointed assistant priest in St Michael’s parish, Baulkham Hills.

Originally from An Long village in Central Vietnam, Thomas, the youngest of nine children, was delighted that his brother, Fr Jerome Thien Thao Bui OP, a Dominican priest, travelled from France to be with him at this special time.

Fr Pio, who was born in Seoul, Korea, came to Australia with his family when he was 20. He has a particular interest in the capacity of priests from diverse backgrounds to minister to migrant communities in Australia.

Fr Thomas said being a shepherd to the people and leading them to the Holy Trinity and God’s salvation was an important aspect of the life of a priest.

“This is closely connected with serving the Church and God’s people wholeheartedly,” he said.

“I will act in the person of Christ (in persona Christi). In particular, I will pour out divine grace on to God’s people in sacraments.”

Fr Thomas said while celibacy was a challenge in today’s world, for him it was an opportunity to serve the Church without reserve. “I am happy to sacrifice my own life for Christ and His Church, as He sacrificed His for me and everyone else,” he said.

Fr Pio said to be ordained a priest was important, “but living as a priest is more important; to try to live as a good man of God”.

During their years in formation for the priesthood the men studied at Holy Spirit Seminary, which outgrew its premises at St Marys and is now located at Harris Park.

Currently, the diocese has 12 seminarians in various stages of preparation for priesthood.

As a seminarian, Thomas undertook pastoral work in parishes in Blacktown, Marayong, Toongabbie, Penrith and Greystanes.

Pio’s pastoral placements have been in parishes in Greystanes, Windsor, Toongabbie and Glenmore Park.

The ordination Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan, Bishop of Lang Son diocese in Vietnam.

Also concelebrating were Parramatta’s Bishop Emeritus Kevin Manning, diocesan administrator Very Rev Peter Williams, diocesan clergy and visiting clergy.