Following the death of bishop Paul Le Dac Trong (1918-2009), former auxiliary bishop of Hanoi Archdiocese, who passed away on Sept 7, 2009, the Church in Vietnam has just celebrated the ordination of a new bishop of Phat Diem diocese, one of the most significant dioceses in Vietnam in terms of size and its place in the Church's history.

The Rev. Joseph Nguyen Nang (born 1953) formerly Rector of Major Seminary Xuan Loc was officially named the bishop of Phat Diem on July 25 by Pope Benedict XVI. His ordination has been celebrated on Sept. 8 in front of the historic Phat Diem cathedral - a century old church well known for its Oriental architecture, designed by famed Fr. Peter Tran Luc (pastor of Phat Diem parish 1865-1899)

More than 20 prelates, including Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi and bishop Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, Chairman of the Vietnamese Conference of Catholic Bishops, and more than 400 priests from 25 dioceses throughout Vietnam had joined Cardinal JB Pham Minh Man in concelebrating the installment ceremony of the newest member of the Conference. More than 20,000 Catholic followers and about a thousand of the religious coming from all areas of the country had also witnessed the event.

Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang, born in 1953, and a Phat Diem native, was the 100th of the Vietnamese bishops. His home village is also the site where the first Vietnamese church was built by Alexandre De Rhodes the famous French missionary in 1627. However, he had fled with his family to South Vietnam after Geneva's convention in 1954 and settled there until being appointed to serve his home diocese as a bishop this year. According to Bishop Cosma Hoang Van Dat of Bac Ninh diocese, bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang is the 10th bishop from Phat Diem and also the 10th bishop of the diocese. The first Phat Diem native bishop happened to be the first Vietnamese bishop, JB Nguyen Ba Tong (1933-1949).

To Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang, being appointed bishop of Phat Diem has not just been a personal honor to him, a Phat Diem native, but also because of the how important it is to be the spiritual leader of a major diocese of more than 152,000 baptized Catholics. A diocese that is so well known for its loyalty to the Church. It is the home town of 8 Vietnamese clergy and faithful who had been canonized as martyrs by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang’ Motto - "Communion and Service" – has been seen by many as an appropriate reflection of noble characteristics of Phat Diem’s Catholics.