Archbishop Wuerl to Ordain Five Men as Priests

May 17, 2007

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will ordain five men with very diverse backgrounds as Catholic priests on May 26: two brothers who escaped from Vietnam in the 1980s, a retired Bank of America executive, a former international business executive and a native of India. The Mass of Ordination will be:

Saturday, May 26, 2007
9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

The men are among 63 who studied for the priesthood with the Archdiocese of Washington this year.

Paul and John Nguyen and their family gradually escaped from Vietnam by boat in the late 1980s. The Nguyen family is gathering from around the United States and as far away as Australia and Vietnam for the ordination. This will be the first time the family has been reunited since they left Vietnam 18 years ago. Seven siblings (including the new priests), their parents and up to 75 cousins are expected to attend.

Roy E. Campbell, Jr., 59, is a native of Pomonkey (Charles County), Maryland, who moved to Washington, DC as a child. A graduate of Howard University, he had a 33-year career with Bank of America, working his way up from teller to vice president and project manager. He also directed the American Lung Association of Maryland for five years in the 1980s. He was active in St. Gabriel parish in Washington, DC prior to entering Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Boston, MA.

Brian A. Coelho, 33, is a native of Kumta, India. He worked in his family’s business of splitting and delivering firewood prior to moving to the United States to enter Redemptoris Mater Seminary. He will serve as a diocesan missionary priest, both in local parishes, but also in overseas missions during his priesthood. He speaks Hindi and three other languages in addition to English and some Spanish. His parents and elder brother will travel to the United States for the ordination.

John T. Nguyen, 33, is a native of Saigon, Vietnam. He escaped Vietnam with his father and a sister in the late 1980s, arriving in the United States when he was 15 years old. He has extensive pastoral experience, working with youth, at hospitals and teaching religious education. He attended the University of Scranton, The Catholic University of America and then seminary at Theological College in Washington, DC. His home parish is Our Lady of Vietnam in Silver Spring.

Paul Nguyen, 28, was born in Tan Hiep, Kien Giang, Vietnam. He arrived in the United States at age 11 after several attempts at leaving Vietnam, including a year by himself in an orphanage and refugee camp in Thailand before he was reunited with his family in California. Paul attended the University of California at Irvine and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. His home parish is Our Lady of Vietnam in Silver Spring.

Joseph E. Rogers, 35, was an international business executive for eight years prior to entering the seminary. His work took him to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, Russia and other nations. He participating in the US-Argentina and US-Brazil Business Councils, working on free trade issues. A native of Mobile, Alabama, he attended the University of Notre Dame, and received a master’s degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He completed his pre-theology studies at Theological College in Washington, DC and seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He speaks Italian, and some Spanish and German.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 140 parishes and over 580,000 Catholics in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]