On 16 June 2016, Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv was installed as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
“Welcome to the Diocese of Parramatta. I am honoured, humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Church in Parramatta. As guided by my motto “go further into the deep” (Lk 5:4), I am pleased that we cast into the deep interior of Western Sydney, all the way to the beautiful Blue Mountains and the fertile plains of the Hawkesbury River.
There is an African adage that says “you sit on the old mat to weave the new one”. The Diocese of Parramatta is a richly textured tapestry of a young, vibrant and diverse group of Catholics. So I sit on an old mat that others have woven, indebted to my predecessors and others who, like the wise master builders Paul talks about, have laid a solid foundation. I honour this legacy and want to build on it. Although I can only walk in my own shoes, I would like to be like the steward who brings out of his storeroom treasures both old and new.
It is together as bishop, clergy, religious, and people that we will listen to what the Spirit is saying to us in our context and discern how to live and witness as disciples of Christ.”
Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta
Bishop Vincent Long was born in 1961 in Dong Nai in Vietnam. Since the fall of Saigon in 1975, his family has been dispersed throughout the world. His mother, a brother and a sister are in Melbourne, three brothers are in Holland, a sister remains in Vietnam, and Bishop Vincent is now in Parramatta.
In 1984, he became a professed Conventual Franciscan Friar (OFM Conv) and studied for the priesthood in Melbourne.
After his priestly ordination on 30 December 1989, he was sent to Rome for further studies and was awarded a licentiate in Christology and Spirituality from the Pontifical Faculty of St Bonaventure.
He served as an assistant and then parish priest for seven years in Kellyville within the Diocese of Parramatta and for seven years in Springvale in Victoria before being elected Superior of the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals in Australia in 2005. He served as Assistant General in Rome from 2008 until 2011, responsible for the Asia-Oceania section of his Order.
In 2011, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in which role he served for nearly five years.
Bishop Vincent is the first Vietnamese-born bishop to lead a diocese outside of Vietnam and the first Vietnamese-born bishop in Australia.
During that period, he was Episcopal Vicar for Justice and Peace and for Social Services and was Chair of the Catholic Education Commission, Victoria.
Nationally, Bishop Vincent is the Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service.
On 5 May 2016, he was appointed the fourth Bishop of Parramatta in succession to Bishop Anthony Fisher OP following his appointment as Archbishop of Sydney in 2014.
On 16 June 2016, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv was installed as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
Duc in Altum: ‘Go out into the deep’
The Bishop’s Coat of Arms
A Bishop’s Coat of Arms traditionally consists of two halves: the left is the crest of the Diocese, the right of the Bishop himself.
The first gold circle represents the Order of Friars Minor Conventuals whose spirituality is oriented towards total conformity to the poor, the suffering and the crucified Christ.
The second gold circle is the Southern Cross, representing Australia.
The third gold circle is a red anchor that symbolises Christ, our refuge in times of trial and our faith journey into the deep.
The gold and red wavy band – referencing the Flag of South Vietnam – symbolises the struggles and hardships endured for the sake of our freedom and faith. The three gold plates represent the Trinity surrounding us in our struggles and hardships.
The gold and red waves surrounded by the blue background also symbolise the painful journey to freedom by boat on the part of many former Vietnamese refugees. In the spiritual sense, they signify the exodus that each Christian is called to make.
The shield is surrounded by the traditional green bishop hat, six tassels indicating he is a Bishop a gold cross atop. It is completed by the scroll at the bottom with the Bishop’s motto – Duc in Altum: Go out into the deep (Luke 5:4).
The Bishop’s personal Arms were designed by Rev Guy Selvester and Richard d’Apice and illustrated by Sandy Turnbull in 2011. The Arms of the Diocese of Parramatta were designed by the late Michael McCarthy. They have been re-rendered by Sandy Turnbull.
In heraldic terms, the Bishop’s Coat of Arms is: Azure, on a bar wavy Or three barrulets wavy Gules between three bezants Or thereon in dexter chief, the emblem of the Order of the Friars Minor Conventuals proper, in sinister chief, the stars of the Southern Cross azure and, in base, an anchor Gules.