Bishop Nguyen was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam in 1953 and is the second oldest of eight boys and three girls. He spent most of his elementary education in Catholic schools and in 1966 he entered St. Joseph Seminary, a small diocesan institute in Vietnam. His seminary formation was interrupted when the communist government took over the Country in 1975. Bishop-elect Nguyen and other seminarians were forced into hard labor in the rice fields to be allowed to continue their studies.
In 1979 after suffering religious persecution, Bishop Nguyen along with 26 members of his extended family boarded a small motorboat and slipped out of Cam Ranh Bay – headed for the Philippines and safety. The family was soon engulfed by a tropical storm and spent 18 days at sea, several with no food or water. The family prayed the Rosary together each morning and evening. All 26 of them, through the Grace of God, arrived safely in the Philippines. After 10 months in a refugee camp the family left Manila in June of 1980 for their new life in Beaumont, Texas.
Upon arriving in the United States, Bishop Nguyen’s vocational calling continued to draw him toward God. He worked at Catholic Charities in Hartford, Connecticut before returning to his academics at Merrimack College in N. Andover, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. After two years of study he graduated Cum Laude and immediately began his novitiate year in Washington D.C. and took his first vows with the La Salette Order in 1987. Bishop Nguyen graduated from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts in May 1990 and was ordained on May 11, 1991.
Bishop Nguyen was later incardinated into the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida where he served at St. Joseph parish from 2013 until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Orange. Bishop Nguyen is well known by parishioners for his love of music and skill in playing the guitar. He is also an avid tennis player.