Pope Francis has appointed Father Thanh Thai Nguyen as a new auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange, California. Father Nguyen is a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine where he currently serves as pastor of St. Joseph Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
Father Nguyen was born April 7, 1953 in Nha Trang, Vietnam. In 1979, he escaped Vietnam by boat with his family and spent 10 months in a refugee camp in the Philippines before arriving in the United States in 1980.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts and a master of divinity degree from Weston School of Theology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Father Nguyen entered the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in 1984 and served as a priest of that congregation for eight years. He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1991. He was incardinated in the Diocese of St. Augustine, June 29, 1999.
Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Smyrna, Georgia, 1991-1994; parochial vicar, St. Ann Parish, Marietta, Georgia, 1994-1996; parochial vicar, Christ the King Parish, Jacksonville, Florida, 1996-2001; pastor, Christ the King Parish, Jacksonville, 2001-2014; pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Jacksonville, 2014-present.
The Diocese of Orange, California comprises 782 square miles. It has a total population of 3,145,515 people of which 1,346,540, or 42 percent, are Catholic.