On Saturday, December 2, 2023, the Provincial Custody of St. Francis Anthony Fasani in Vietnam rejoiced to have two new priests ordained. The Most Reverend Dominic ĐẶNG (Văn Cầu), Bishop of Thái Bình, Vietnam, presided over the Mass and ordained Friars Joseph LÊ (Văn Vượng) and Paul TRƯƠNG (Văn Mỹ) to the priesthood. He also ordained eight seminarians to the diaconate. They were from the Diocese of Thái Bình and other religious congregations.

The ordination Mass took place at the Cathedral of the Diocese of Thái Bình. The concelebrants included the Provincial Custos, Friar Joseph TRẦN (Văn Long), eleven priests of the Custody and many other priests.
In his homily, the bishop said: “The most important thing in the life and mission of a priest is closeness to Jesus – like a branch to a vine. Without that closeness, the priest will blur the identity of the true shepherd and fail to bear the fruit God wants. Therefore, priests must not only be close to Jesus in prayer and sacramental celebrations, they must also meet Him in all their activities and relations. When they do that, priests become faithful servants who distribute God’s grace to others.”
The Diocese of Thái Bình is located in northern Vietnam, where the Conventual Franciscan Friary of St. Andrew Dũng-Lạc and Companion Martyrs has stood since 2006. That friary is located in a leper colony and the friars there look after more than one hundred lepers and fifteen mentally disabled children. They also provide the lepers and the local poor with clean water and perform parish ministry. Because the hometowns of the two new priests are in the Diocese of Vinh, close to the Diocese of Thái Bình, the Provincial Custos and his Definitory decided to send them to the Diocese of Thái Bình to be ordained, in order to make it more convenient for their family members to attend the celebrations.
Now that they have been ordained, the two new priests will return to their hometowns to celebrate their Masses of Thanksgiving. Friar Joseph LÊ (Văn Vượng) will celebrate his on December 4, and Paul TRƯƠNG (Văn Mỹ) will celebrate his on December 5. The Provincial Custos will attend both Masses of Thanksgiving, along with friars of the Order and relatives of the two new priests.

Friar Joseph NGUYỄN (Chính Luận), Custodial Secretary