Nguyen appointed priest at Christ the King church

Published 1:09 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

After serving 12 years as priest at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Bayou La Batre, Ala., Father Bieu Nguyen is taking over as priest at Christ the King Catholic Church and is looking forward to getting involved in the community.

Nguyen was ordained as a priest in 2000, and has served as a priest in Montgomery, Dothan, Mobile and now in Andalusia and Greenville.

“Priesthood is never on my mind,” Nguyen said. “I always say that I am not worthy to be a priest.”

Nguyen said that after attending St. Monica Catholic Church in Mobile and spending time with their priest, Father Cu Duong, he felt the calling to become a priest.

“I have always been Catholic, so I started attending church at St. Monica’s,” Nguyen said. “I got to know Father Duong because we are both Vietnamese, so I got to know him and the priestly life.”

Nguyen went to seminary in 1992 at St. Ben’s Seminary College in Saint Benedict,La., and then went on to get his theology degree in Philadelphia.

Since Nguyen has only been here a week, he has not been focusing on one particular goal for the Christ the King parish, but at getting the parish to grow closer to God.

“There are no particular goals for the parish right now,” Nguyen said. “But I want to help people be generous, kind and help them get closer to God.”

Nguyen’s first service was last Sunday and he said that the people were very pleasant.

“They were so nice,” Nguyen said. “They were wonderfully pleasant people and I am looking forward to make a connection with each person. One thing that I noticed was that this parish is very diverse. They each have their own background and I am excited to get to know everyone.”

Before coming to Andalusia, Nguyen was the priest at St. Margaret Catholic Church in Bayou La Batre Ala., where they host the Blessing of the Fleet. The Fleet Blessing is a 68 year tradition of celebration of life along the working waterfront of Bayou La Batre and a remembrance of those from the small fishing community that have perished at sea.

The highlighted activity of the event is the decorated boat parade and Archbishop Rodi’s Blessing of the Fleet held at the dock of St. Margaret’s Catholic Church. Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers can enjoy an arts and crafts festival, a working parade, various raffles and children’s activities.

“The Blessing of the Fleet is always so exciting and fun,” Nguyen said. “But there is always a lot of work and preparation that goes into it. I will certainly miss that.”

Although Nguyen will not have the Blessing of the Fleet in Andalusia, he is more than excited to get involved in the community.

“Everything is still very new,” Nguyen said. “But I am certainly looking forward to getting involved, not only in the parish, but with the community as well.”