Sydney lay theologian Matt Tan to teach at Wagga Seminary

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Dr Matthew Tan is the new Dean of Studies at Vianney College, the Wagga Wagga diocesan seminary. The appointment of a layman to such a role is a rare occurrence.

A well-known figure in Sydney and Australian theological circles

Appointment of a layman as Dean of Studies in a diocesan seminary is a rare occurrence but theologian Dr Matthew Tan will take up the role when he moves to the New South Wales rural Diocese of Wagga Wagga in February.

Dr Tan’s appointment as Dean of Studies at Vianney College, the diocesan seminary for Wagga, was announced this month.

A well-known figure in Sydney and Australian theological circles, he has served as theology lecturer in a number of universities – most recently at Notre Dame Australia and Campion College in Sydney – as well as serving the Archdiocese of Sydney as a Research and Formation Officer.

“Eminently qualified to manage the academic life of the seminary”

Dr Tan also worked as private secretary to Bishop Anthony Randazzo during his time as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney.

“Doctor Tan comes to Vianney College Seminary and to Wagga eminently qualified to manage the academic life of the seminary,” said Vianney College Rector Fr Peter Thompson C.M.

“great benefit to the seminary in Wagga Wagga”

His wide experience, many talents and youthful enthusiasm will help him, we are sure, to play a key role in the ongoing development and improvement of the seminary and hopefully make a positive contribution to the spiritual and academic life of the Wagga Diocese.”

Sydney theologian Matthew Tan speaking at the University of Notre Dame at the launch of his book, Redeeming Flesh: The Way of the Cross with Zombie Jesus. PHOTO: Robert Hiini

Dr Tan’s academic qualifications include a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum in Rome and a Doctorate in Theology from ACU.

The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney Chris Meney wished Dr Tan well in his new endeavour.

“We certainly wish him well and thank him for all of his fine contributions here in Sydney.”

“Dr Tan brings a range of experiences within academia and the Church more broadly to his new role and I am sure this will be of great benefit to the seminary in Wagga Wagga,” he told The Catholic Weekly. “We certainly wish him well and thank him for all of his fine contributions here in Sydney.”

While looking forward to his new role, Dr Tan nonetheless said he would miss the friends he made in Sydney and thanked the Archdiocese for its support.

Aerial view of the downtown rural city of Wagga in New South Wales where Dr Matthew Tan will be based during his position as Dean of Studies at Vianney College PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 au Bidgee

“I would like to thank the Church in Sydney for being my home for the past nine years and for the friendships I have developed there which I will find difficult to depart from,” he said.

“[But] I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in Vianney College and assisting in the formation of seminarians for the countryside.”

Now in its 30th year, Vianney College is the only seminary in Australia situated in a rural diocese.

Vianney College is also academically affiliated to Rome’s prestigious Urban University and is able to grant Pontifical Bachelor of Theology degrees in the institution’s name.