My name is Hoang Dinh. I moved into the parish on Wednesday, 17 August at precisely 3.00 pm, to commence my appointment as an assistant priest for the ‘five churches’. Upon my arrival, I was given a quick tour by Fr Brendan to all our places of worship.
Prior to this appointment, I was ministering at the Bayside Parish of Mordialloc and Aspendale. I began my time there in 2018 as a student, still in training for the priesthood. I came back twice to serve as a deacon and then as a priest.
Before entering the seminary and after further studies at University, I worked various roles in administration.
My family are originally from Vietnam and we came to Australia in the early 1990s. Growing up I had many good years of Catholic education at Kingsville Corpus Christi Primary School, led by the last religious principal from the Josephite order, and then at Altona North at St Paul’s Secondary School, a school established by the Marianists.
I am the youngest of 11 children born to my parents Loan (mum) and Kim (whose one year anniversary of passing is this month). Many people say that there are benefits in having siblings in Australia, Vietnam and the United States, as they provide you with a place to stay and act as your default tourist guide when travelling abroad. I don’t disagree with them at all. On the last count the number of nephews and nieces exceeds 20, two of which are great nephews. Family certainly brings me a lot of joy.
I enjoy various physical activities to keep fit, like walking, jogging and cycling. Since joining the seminary, I developed an interest in reading short academic essays and books on various areas including theology, philosophy and history. As much as I would like to read them all, there’s simply not enough time, and so identify myself as a collector rather than an avid reader. I am going through a coffee phase at the moment enjoying a Macchiato or two. Coffee is definitely my beverage of choice.
With this appointment to the three parishes, I am very excited about the prospect of working with people passionate about the Church and the chance to meet all of you who make the Church a part of your life. It will probably take me a while to be familiar with the many communities and programmes but I am sure in good time things will fall into place.
If you see a new face around celebrating the Sacraments and attending events and meetings there is a good chance it will be me, so please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months, getting to know you more and working with you.
By Fr Hoang Dinh
Assistant Priest for Camberwell, Balwyn Deepdene and Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parishes