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December 12, 2023

Congratulations Deacon Paul!

On Saturday, December 9, Paul Phong Hoang, SCJ, was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Donald J. Hying of the diocese of Madison, WI. In a ceremony filled the blend of cultures that reflect Dn. Paul’s life, the music, readings, and prayers were done in a mix of Vietnamese and English. The ordination took place at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, where just a few days earlier he had completed his MDiv.

Dn. Paul, 31, is originally from Vietnam. His family immigrated to the United States in 2007 and settled in Houston. Before pursuing his vocation to religious life, Dn. Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Houston. He professed his first vows in 2018 and in May of this year he made his final profession before heading to Ecuador for a Spanish immersion program.

Dn. Paul will spend the holidays with family in Houston before starting his assignment with the pastoral team in northern Mississippi. “I look forward to learning the basics of priesthood in parish settings, applying the training I received from the seminary, and get experience in how to live my vocation as a Dehonian in active ministry,” said Dn. Paul. “It is important for me to gradually transition into my new role as deacon; that means being more attentive toward the liturgy, preaching, serving at Mass, and most importantly, living authentically to my vocation as a future priest.”

On his way to Mississippi, Dn. Paul will make a quick detour to St. Louis to assist his novitiate classmate, Fr. Henry Nguyen, SCJ, at SEEK24, a gathering of prayer and fellowship in St. Louis for young Catholics from January 1-5.

When Dn. Paul was asked if he has advice for young people considering a vocational call, he said that “despite our unworthiness, if God calls us, he will take care of us. There were many moments in my journey during formation that God either steered me in a certain direction or sent people to assist me in difficult times. Take courage and cooperate with his grace, respond to his invitation.”

Click here to read more.

Click here to view photos from the ceremony.

Click here or on the video below to view a recording of the livestream of the ordination. Our thanks to Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ and Fr. M. Ari Saputra, SCJ, for their work in making the livestream possible.

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