2020 RECongress Period 1
Religious Education Congress
Friday, February 21, 2020
10:00 - 11:30 am
CONGRESS 2020 WORKSHOPS & LINKS
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1-01 The Real Presence in the Eucharist Arena
Vatican II says that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. However, recent polls show an insufficient understanding of the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It is time for all of us – catechists, Catholic educators and evangelists – to pick up our game about this absolutely essential sacrament!
Most Rev. Robert Barron
Bishop Robert Barron is Auxiliary Bishop for the Los Angeles Archdiocese and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. He is also host of “Catholicism,” the award-winning PBS documentary. Bishop Barron is an Amazon best-selling author and has published numerous books, essays and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He is a religion correspondent for NBC and has also appeared on FOX News, CNN and EWTN. He has presented and given keynote addresses for many conferences and events all over the world.
1-02 God Help Me! Getting Teens Excited About Mass
Creating liturgies that are both passionate and prayerful is one of the most important things we can do to bring about full, conscious and active participation by our young Catholic church. Are you willing to learn more and dive more deeply into the Mass personally, so that you become that living example of a person transformed by the mystery of the sacred liturgy? Make Mass mean more than the bribe of donuts or something “good Catholics” do. Come learn simple and effective ways to share the meaning of liturgy with young people and be prepared to laugh and sing loudly with musicians and storytellers Sarah Hart and Steve Angrisano!
Based in Nashville, Tenn., Sarah Hart has been a singer, songwriter, retreat author and keynote speaker for over 20 years. Her itinerant ministry has taken her all over the United States and abroad, performing for countless conventions and events, and even for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square. A Grammy-nominated songwriter, her songs have been recorded by numerous recording artists and have appeared in TV, film and commercials. Her writing can be found in hymnals across the globe.
Musician, composer and youth minister, Steve Angrisano has made countless appearances from diocesan gatherings to major events around the world. He has been featured at numerous conferences, including seven World Youth Days. Angrisano has presented at several National Catholic Youth Conferences, the National Pastoral Musicians Conference, and the L.A. Congress & Youth Day. His works include the CD “Leading Us Home” and the book, “Essential Songs for Youth Ministry.”
1-03 The Catholic Church & the Deadly Epidemic of Gun Violence in the United States
In the face of the endless series of mass murders of innocent people through gun violence, Bishop Edward Braxton asks the question: Is there nothing we Catholics can do? Acknowledging that he is not an expert on these matters, he argues that all Catholics have a responsibility to examine their hearts, study Scripture, attend to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and find ways to be true instruments of peace. After listing practical suggestions, he insists that we can all do something. We must do what we can!
Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton, PhD, STD
Chicago native Bishop Edward Braxton was installed as bishop for the Diocese of Belleville, Ill. in 2005. He authored several books and many articles and has served on the faculties at The Catholic University of America, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard Divinity School, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Bishop Braxton’s 2015 pastoral letter, “The Racial Divide in the United States,” has been published in several journals and he has lectured on the issues addressed in the pastoral at a number of universities.
1-04 Jesus, You Are Here for Me: Finding Hope Amid the Struggle of Mental Illness
The Introduction to “The Rites for the Pastoral Care of the Sick” begins: “Suffering and illness have always been among the greatest problems that trouble the human spirit.” This is particularly true of mental illness, as individuals and families often are misunderstood, uncertain and alienated. Join musicians and parents Andrew Chinn and James Wahl as they share songs, stories and experiences of walking the journey of mental illness with their respective children, and how they encountered Christ along the way. This workshop is for those who minister to adolescents, teens and young adults living with mental illness and those who care for them.
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 visited numerous Catholic elementary schools, performing in more than 2,000 concerts across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Chinn has released several CDs, DVDs and, in 2013, joined WLP who publishes and distributes his music in North America.
WLP composer James Wahl has been performing children’s music for nearly 20 years. Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh, N.C., he previously ministered in California and in Arizona. Wahl is a musician/presenter at various national and diocesan youth events over past 10 years, including the National Catholic Educational Association, the Atlanta Eucharistic Congress and the Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference. His latest work is “Sitting at the Kids’ Table,” a CD/songbook for young children.
1-05 Why Should I Go to Church?
It is no secret that Mass attendance in many of our churches continues to decrease. Obviously, there are many reasons as to why. One of the primary reasons is that people do not know why they should go to Mass, why it is important, and what is the meaning of this highest form of Catholic worship. This workshop will answer those questions in a simple declarative sentence. That answer will then be fleshed out and explained in each of the parts of Catholic Mass: Penitential Rite, Liturgy of the Word, Offertory, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Communion Rite, and Dismissal.
Rev. John C. Cusick
Fr. John Cusick, a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese, served as creator, coordinator and Director of their Young Adult Ministry from 1970-2013. He was also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies. He continues to speak at church conferences and preach parish missions locally and nationally. He published his first book, “Never Be Ordinary,” in 2018.
1-06 Seeing & Savoring Stillness and Silence with Teenagers Among #allthethings
Teenagers are bombarded by #allthethings, but like so many of us, they are seeking ways to combat the busyness and seek respite in an intimate relationship with God. Drawing on the 500-year-old prayer tools of St. Ignatius, Stephanie Clouatre Davis will demonstrate ways to help young people to pause, be still and savor the silence so they can engage in personal and imaginative prayer. Join Stephanie for some practical and practiced tools for prayer with young people.
Stephanie Clouatre Davis, OPA
Stephanie Davis, an Associate with the Dominican Sisters of Peace, is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director and itinerant minister based in Covington, La. In her more than 20 years of ministry for the Catholic Church, she has directed hundreds of retreats and spoken at numerous conferences for teens, young adults and adults. Davis has spent more than 15 years teaching junior high, high school and college courses, and has devoted her life to teaching and developing youth and adult retreats and programs.
1-07 I Pray to Dios! Tools to Embrace Hispanic Youth in Our Parish Ministries
Here is Survival Workshop 101 that explains Hispanic pop culture in the United States, faith, family values and communication. More than 60% of Catholics under 18 are Hispanic, and this demographic transformation in the Church is a great opportunity to evangelize the new generations. Discover great tools to engage Hispanic young people in parishes, youth ministries and schools. This workshop is inspired by the Fifth National Encuentro (V Encuentro) of Hispanic/Latina Ministry in the United States.
Ivan Diaz is a songwriter, educator and clinician based in Miami. His latest release with Oregon Catholic Press, “Nuestra Alegria/Our Joy,” was chosen as the official youth and young adult song for the V Encuentro. He is also Musical Director at St. Francis de Sales Church in Miami Beach, Fla.; Chorus Director for the National Catholic Youth Conference; and Director of Choral Studies for the Broward County Schools in Florida. Diaz presents at workshops and conferences across the country.
1-08 Let’s Talk About Truth
As the country passes through another heated election cycle, questions of truth, lying and “fake news” become part of everyday conversation often causing tension among families, friends and fellow Christians. Discover four ways that the Catholic tradition talks about the word “truth” and consider how each of them gives us clues for how to live our faith in this challenging time.
Ann M. Garrido
Ann Garrido is Associate Professor of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, and Director of Spiritual Formation in their Master in Arts program. In addition, she is a Consultant with Triad Consulting Group, a conflict mediation and communications team based in Cambridge, Mass. Garrido’s teaching and research has focused on Christian conflict management and administration. Her books include “Redeeming Administration,” “Redeeming Conflict” and her most recent, “Let’s Talk About Truth.”
1-09 Made for Mission: How to Change the Culture of Your Parish
As the call to make missionary disciples rings out from every corner of the Church, many leaders, while inspired, lack clarity on how to make that a reality in their settings. This session gets eminently practical on actionable steps that can be taken to begin building a culture of missionary discipleship at your parish!
Based in Littleton, Colo., Tim Glemkowski is an international speaker who is President and co-founder of Revive Parishes and founder of L’Alto Catholic Institute, a parish partnership program. He has traveled the globe giving hundreds of presentations over the last 10 years to audiences ranging from intimate gatherings to large conferences. His latest book is titled “Made for Mission: How to Change the Culture of Your Parish.”
1-10 The Spiritual Journey: A Process of Transformation
The spiritual journey is the process of being conformed by the Spirit of God to the image of Christ for the sake of others. In this workshop, we’ll explore the stages and dynamics of the spiritual journey, its challenges for 21st-century Christians, and see how ordinary people were transformed by their willingness to surrender to God’s grace.
Fr. Albert Haase, OFM
Franciscan priest Fr. Albert Haase is a popular preacher, teacher, spiritual director and guest on talk radio shows. A former missionary to mainland China for over 11 years, he is an award-winning author of 11 books on popular spirituality, most recently, ”Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us,” and presenter on five best-selling DVDs, including “The BE Attitudes: Ten Paths to Holiness.” He is currently Chaplain at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Temple, Texas, in the Austin Diocese.
1-11 The Family as the Heart of Mercy
One way to view mercy in action is through the lens of family life. It’s not always a perfect picture, but one that offers hope for our wounded world. The Holy Family illustrates how such mercy constitutes the heart of the home. Joseph’s vigilance, Mary’s spaciousness, and Jesus’ redemptive love exemplify the “merciful moments” embedded in daily life. By drawing attention to them through our catechetical efforts, we transform those moments into a legacy for our own families and the families we serve.
Based in Colorado, Kathy Hendricks is the National Catechetical Consultant for William H. Sadlier and contributing writer for their programs. She has presented keynotes and workshops at national and diocesan conferences and offers talks and retreats for catechists and leaders throughout the country. Hendricks is author of several books, including “Seeking Spiritual Balance in an Off-Kilter World” and “Heavenly Friends: An Introduction to the Beauty of Icons.”
1-12 This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace and the Power of the Present
Be Here. Now. This life is a gift. To be fully awake and fully alive. This clarity, this permission to savor today. Why are there so many days when we miss the gift? From his new book, Terry Hershey invites us to embrace the sacrament of the present, to see, hear, taste and touch grace, and find God’s presence in our world. To stop the noise, distraction, compulsion to perform and fear of rejection. To make space to live today open, available, curious and surprised by joy. So, before we trade in our life for the life we “should” have, let us taste this one. What makes your heart come alive today?
Rev. Terry Hershey
Terry Hershey is an inspirational speaker, humorist, author, dad, Protestant minister and landscape designer on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound near Seattle. The internationally renowned speaker and retreat facilitator regularly travels throughout the United States and Canada. His work has been featured on The Hallmark Channel, CNN, PBS and NPR and his gardens and books have been featured in magazines and newspapers of the Pacific Northwest.
1-13 Promise and Hope: Accompaniment in the Parish
Pope Francis has called on the whole Church to learn the art of accompaniment and make it the chief pastoral strategy in every parish. This offers us all a chance to really live mercy and be holy, one and the same thing. But how we do actually do this in a real parish? What does it mean to religious education, liturgy, pastoral care and other ministries? This workshop will demonstrate the method by which accompaniment is enacted in each parish program and provide concrete steps and suggestions to help you succeed as an “accompanying parish.”
Bill Huebsch has been a farmer, a writer, a diocesan administrator, a master catechist, a college professor and a spiritual director. He is on the adjunct faculty at the Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago. For many years, Huebsch has maintained a busy international lecture schedule; he has published more than 30 booklets and books on spirituality and ministry, including “Promise and Hope: How to Become an Accompanying Parish,” “The Art of Accompaniment,” and several others.
1-14 Neuroscience and Spirituality for Teens and Young Adults
What spiritual practices can help our young people cope with anxiety and depression, both of which are increasing dramatically? In this session, we will explore current neuroscience and positive psychology research on mindfulness, silent prayer/meditation, nature and awe, resilience and empathy. What does our Catholic/Christian tradition say to our teens and young adults in these areas? What specific practices will nurture their spiritual lives, and ours as well? Come discover these important lessons that support our brain health and our physical and psychological well-being.
Anne Kertz Kernion
Anne Kertz Kernion is owner and artist of Cards by Anne. She taught theology at Carlow University in Pittsburgh for over a decade and now teaches chemistry and religion courses at the local Community College of Allegheny County. Kernion is a public speaker, retreat facilitator and teaches yoga. Her latest book is entitled “A Year of Spiritual Companionship.”
1-15 The Awe-Inspiring Rites of the RCIA: Training for Baptismal Living
The liturgy, especially the rites of Christian Initiation of Adults, trains the seekers and the faithful how to become who God created us to be. Through celebration and song, prayer and reflection, we will discover how ritual shapes us for Christian life.
Nick Wagner is co-founder and Co-Director of the online resource TeamRCIA.com. He has spoken at numerous parish, diocesan and national training events for over 25 years and has been an active team member with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. Wagner also serves on the faculty at the Institute for Leadership in Ministry in the Diocese of San Jose, Calif. He is author of “Field Hospital Catechesis: The Core Content for RCIA Formation” and “Seek the Living God: Five RCIA Inquiry Questions for Making Disciples.”
Diana Macalintal is a speaker and author on liturgy and the RCIA. Her latest publications include “Your Parish Is the Curriculum: RCIA in the Midst of the Community” and the liturgical year resource, “Living Liturgy.” She is co-founder and Co-Director of the online resource, TeamRCIA. She has been keynote at several national gatherings, including the National Association of Lay Ministry, the Mid-Atlantic Congress and the Los Angeles RECongress in addition to her appearances there as prayer leader.
1-16 Shifting Parents from the Parking Lot to Participation
Why do some parents rely on religious education programs to be the primary providers of faith formation for their children? How can catechists move parents from the parking lot to fuller participation? This presentation will provide practical, applicable, inspirational and compassionate insights for “backdoor” evangelizing that cultivate faith formation within parents as well as children.
Sr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, EdD
Dr. Patricia McCormack, a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is an international formation-education consultant and serves as the Program Director for the IHM Office of Formative Support for Parents and Teachers. Her experience in education includes both classroom and administration experience at the elementary, secondary and college levels. In addition to publications, Sr. McCormack’s ministry includes parent presentations as well as workshops, retreats and days of in-service to the educational community.
1-17 “…On His Shoulders with Great Joy”: Jesus as Model of Ministry
Church ministers, lay and ordained, all have a particular call to model themselves after the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Using the texts of the New Testament, this workshop will examine the practices of Jesus and unpack models of leadership for those with pastoral responsibilities or leadership roles in either the community or business.
Rev. J. Patrick Mullen
Fr. Patrick Mullen is Pastor of Padre Serra Parish in Camarillo, Calif., and retired Professor of Biblical Studies at nearby St. John’s Seminary. He is author of “Dining with Pharisees” and the high school Scriptures introductory, “Sacred Scripture.” Fr. Mullen speaks annually at the Religious Education Congress and to diocesan priests in Phoenix, Utah and seven of the 12 dioceses of California, as well as at diocesan conferences in Michigan, Maryland, Texas and throughout the Southwest.
1-18 Meeting Young Children Where They Are and Walking with Them on Their Spiritual Journey
Does working with preschool children ever leave you feeling like you are exhausted and tired? Learn how to harness their energy and joy into a meaningful learning experience. Rediscover the joy of learning through the eyes of young children. Learn how to meet your preschool children where they are to build meaningful learning opportunities as you walk the path with them on their faith formation journey while they discover God’s love and mercy.
Pamela M. Perrino
Pam Perrino has been an early childhood advocate and educational consultant for Perrino Consulting since 2004. She has worked as an infant and toddler teacher, preschool teacher, director of a childcare center with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Professional Development Coordinator for Ohio’s Association for the Education of Young Children. Perrino also serves as an adjunct professor in the Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy program at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
1-19 Accompanying Traumatized Teens
Many teens have experienced trauma but often do not show the traditional signs. Yet traumatic experiences, combined with lower resilience in teens today, can affect how teens learn, experience and integrate faith. In this workshop, you’ll learn the often unrecognized “tells” of trauma, and what role you as a catechist, minister or caring adult can do to help them experience the Good News.
Roy Petitfils, MS, LPC
For 20 years, Roy Petitfils has ministered among youth and young adults in parish, diocesan and school settings. Today, he is a counselor in private practice. Petitfils shares his natural humor with a common-sense approach to matters of faith at conferences and workshops. He hosts the popular podcast, “Today’s Teenager,” to help adults understand, reach and influence teens. He has spoken at TEDx and has published several articles and books, including “What Teens Want You to Know (But Won’t Tell You).”
1-20 Jesus’ Justice League: Superheroes of Faith
In the 1960s, DC Comics debuted a group of superheroes called the Justice League. In this original band of friends, we meet Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and a few other Defenders of the Universe. Although DC wanted us to believe that this was the first band of heroes to ever come together, we know of another group that joined as one and can handle far more than the Justice League. Jesus’ Justice League has been defeating villains since the world began. This workshop will explore the lives of our spiritual superheroes and bring to light some of the newest members of Jesus’ Justice League! Grab your cape! There are villains to fight!
Rev. R. Tony Ricard, MTh, MDiv
Fr. Tony Ricard currently serves as Pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish and as Campus Minister and Chair of Theology for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He is also an Instructor for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University and Director of Knight Time Ministries. Fr. Ricard is a native of New Orleans and a former public schoolteacher. He has authored several books and has given keynote addresses, retreats, revivals and youth talks across the nation and in a total of 22 countries.
1-21 Youth Group is Dead. Christ is Alive
We just can’t seem to shake the term “youth group.” It’s outdated, ineffective and not what we are called to do as Church with our young people. Simply put, “youth group” does not work, hasn’t worked and will not work in the future. Yet, we still use the term. In this session, we will bury the term “youth group” once and for all and examine in detail what Pope Francis’ Christus Vivit is calling us to. In that light, we will reflect on effective strategies to evangelize in our youth ministry and confirmation efforts through disciple-making catechesis.
Dr. John M. Rinaldo
Dr. John Rinaldo is a coach and trainer for the Parish Success Group. He brings a wealth of pastoral ministry experience having served as a parish and diocesan director of youth and young adult ministry, as a parish business manager, has served on the executive leadership team for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Dr. Rinaldo is also an adjunct Professor at Santa Clara University in California.
1-22 The Power of Ecumenism in an Immigration Crisis
In John 17:20-21, Jesus prays for the unity of his disciples. Unity in Christ is neither simple nor easy. However, social crisis – which causes great suffering – demands the most effective response possible. We are stronger together. This workshop will present models for effective Christian response to the immigration crisis that can bring Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals into deeper collaboration and truer unity.
Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra
Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is an ordained Lutheran Pastor with over 35 years of experience in community ministry, including community development, organizing and advocacy. She serves as an Affiliate Professor in the Centro Latino and the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Rev. Salvatierra was co-founder of the New Sanctuary Movement, the Evangelical Immigration Table, the Guardian Angels project for Unaccompanied Migrant Youth and M25 (Matthew 25/Mateo 25).
1-23 Wise Guides on the Road to Sainthood: African American Ancestors of Faith
Come learn about the six African American holy men and women and their causes for canonization: Venerable Augustus Tolton, Venerable Mother Henriette Díaz DeLille, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Servant of God Julia Greeley and Servant of God Thea Bowman. How did they persevere in times of challenge? What made them unique? How can they be our guides in our journey of faith and ministry? What is the process for canonization? Dr. Vanessa White will share her own stories of Sr. Bowman as well as her work with the cause for Fr. Tolton as she facilitates this session on the lives of our “saints” from the United States.
Dr. C. Vanessa White
Dr. Vanessa White is Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Ministry at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where she is also Director of the Certificate in Black Theology and Ministry and the Certificate in Pastoral Studies. She is a member of the Summer faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies as well as adjunct faculty at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Dr. White is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator, spiritual director and teacher who lectures nationally.
1-24 The Simple Care of a Hopeful Heart: Strengthening Your Inner Life in Challenging Times
One of the greatest gifts we can share with others is a sense of our own peace. However, we can’t share what we don’t have. By discussing psychological and spiritual approaches to maintaining a healthy perspective and enhancing resilience, Dr. Robert Wicks, an expert on the prevention of secondary stress (the pressures experienced in reaching out to others), offers insights into the process of reaching out without being pulled down. Topics include toxic compassion; developing your own self-care program; knowing the four “voices” we need in our circle of friends; benefiting from inner darkness; and deepening your own rule of prayer.
Dr. Robert J. Wicks
Dr. Robert Wicks is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University Maryland. He has also taught in universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology and social work as well as offering a number of commencement addresses. Dr. Wicks has published over 50 books. He is a recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Counseling Association’s Division on Ethics and Values and has received the Papal Medal from Pope John Paul II for his service to the Church.
1-70 Thập Giá – Mầu nhiệm của Tình yêu Thiên Chúa
Thánh Giá là dấu hiệu Tình Yêu của Thiên Chúa: “Thiên Chúa yêu thế gian đến nỗi đã ban Con Một, để ai tin vào Con Người thì khỏi phải chết, nhưng được sống muôn đời” (Jn 3:16) và, “Không có tình yêu nào cao cả hơn tình yêu của người đã hy sinh tính mạng vì bạn hữu của mình” (Jn 15:13). Trong buổi thuyết trình nầy, xin mời quý vị suy tư bốn chiều kích về tình yêu của Thiên Chúa trong đời sống Kitô hữu: Sự liên hệ với Thiên Chúa, Sự liên hệ với Giáo Hội, Sự liên hệ với Gia Đình, Sự liên hệ với Xã Hội, Thế Giới.
The Cross – Mystery of Divine Love
The cross is a sign of Divine Love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16) and “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). In this workshop, participants are invited to reflect on the four different dimensions of Divine Love in their Christian lives: relationship with God; relationship with the Church; relationships with family; and relationships with the world.
Giám mục Nguyễn Thái Thành
Đức Cha Nguyễn Thành sinh tại Nha Trang, Việt Nam. Năm 1979, sau khi bị tù đầy vì Đức Tin dưới chế độ Cộng Sán. Đức cha và gia đình đã vượt biên trên chiếc thuyền nhỏ, gặp nhiều bão tố, Nhưng một lòng tín thác Tin tưởng nơi Chúa, họ đã cặp bến Phi Luật Tân an toàn và định cư tại Beaumont, Texas. Đức cha Nguyễn tiếp tục giáo dục nghề nghiệp và được thụ phong linh mục vào ngày 11 tháng 5 năm 1991 cho Giáo phận Thánh Augustinô, Florida, nơi ngài phục vụ cho đến khi được bổ nhiệm làm Giám mục Phụ tá cho Giáo phận Orange, California, và được thụ phong giám mục vào ngày 19 tháng 12, 2017.
Most Rev. Thanh Thai Nguyen
Bishop Thanh Nguyen was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam. In 1979, after suffering religious persecution under the Communist government, he and his family fled the country in a small boat and spent 18 days at sea. They all arrived safely in the Philippines and later settled in Beaumont, Texas. Bishop Nguyen continued his vocational education and was ordained a priest on May 11, 1991 for the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, where he served until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Orange, Calif., and ordained bishop on December 19, 2017.