Father Linh Nguyen, a priest since 2000, will take on the role of pastor at St. Bernadette’s.
Father Linh Nguyen has had the pleasure of working with 10 pastors in the past decade.
On Saturday, he joined their ranks.
Nguyen, 38, is the first Vietnamese pastor in the Archdiocese of Boston.
“It is very special,” he said. “It’s historic. I’m glad to be part of the history of the Archdiocese. It’s an honor.”
But the honor also is a challenge, Nguyen said.
“Now I’m the face of the Vietnamese group,” he said.
“I’m sure I still have a lot to learn,” Nguyen said. “I’m here to serve, (to) listen to people and their needs.”
Nguyen, a priest since 2000, will take on the role of pastor at St. Bernadette’s.
He follows in the footsteps of Father Ed Doughty, who left the parish in July after six years as pastor.
“His experience, his passion for parish life and his desire to serve the people of St. Bernadette's offer much promise as he begins this new and exciting chapter in his ministry to the Catholic faithful,” the Very Rev. Thomas Foley, Episcopal Vicar for Parish Life and Leadership for the Archdiocese, said in a statement.
The Archdiocese of Boston has eight Vietnamese Catholic communities with approximately 3,000 Vietnamese Catholics participating, said Terrance Donilon, spokesperson for the Archdiocese.
“We are serious Catholics,” Nguyen said of the Vietnamese population. “We’re like the new Irish. (We bring) a different kind of enthusiasm.”
Since being ordained at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Linh been a Parochial Vicar, spending five years at Immaculate Conception in Weymouth; a year at St. Mary-Catherine of Siena, in Charlestown; and two years at St. Joseph in Holbrook, before coming to St. Bernadette’s in 2006.
“We have a lot of potential,” Nguyen said of St. Bernadette’s.
He pointed to the fact that parishioners speak 23 languages as what makes St. Bernadette’s so beautiful and unique.
“That’s what the future of the church is going to be,” he said.
While he does not anticipate making any changes to parish operations, Nguyen did say he hopes to provide more activities and programming for the parish’s youth and married couples.
“Those are some areas I look forward to promoting spirituality,” he said.
Nguyen also is here to help.
“People are desperately in need of a spiritual leader. I think they hunger for someone to help them and show them the way,” he said. “I’m here to give them hand.”
Lauren DeFilippo can be reached at email@example.com or 508-967-3516.