Father Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan (left), two other priests and a Buddhist nun pose for a photo at a family gathering on Jan. 8 in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo courtesy of Chuong Trinh Chuyen De)
Pope Francis has appointed Father Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan, a church authority on family and marriage issues, as the new auxiliary bishop of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese.
Father Ignatius Ho Van Xuan, vicar general of the archdiocese, announced the news on Aug. 25.
Bishop-elect Tuan will be the second auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. The other is Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Do Manh Hung.
Before his appointment, Bishop-elect Tuan served as secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Family Ministry of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam, and head of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese's Ministry Committee for Family.
He studied at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Rome-based Pontifical Lateran University in 2001-2006.
In his congratulation letter to Bishop-elect Tuan on Aug. 26, Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri of Lang Son Cao Bang, head of the episcopal commission, said: "We are not surprised to hear the news that we have quietly prayed and waited for years."
Bishop Tri said the local church needs leading authorities on family ministry like Bishop-elect Tuan.
"As a bishop, surely you will become a major force for us in the family ministry," he said.
Born in 1962 in Quang Nam Province, Bishop-elect Tuan studied philosophy and theology at St. Joseph Major Seminary in Ho Chi Minh City and was ordained a priest for this archdiocese in 1999.
He taught at the major seminary, the pastoral center and institutes for Religious. He served as the head of the office for the bishops' conference.
Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese is the country's most active archdiocese and center of the local Catholic Church. All 17 episcopal commissions of Vietnamese bishops base their headquarters there.
The archdiocese has 690,000 Catholics who are served by 900 priests, 7,200 religious and 8,000 catechists.