New priests called to unite the Church

July 14, 2020

Father Mark Hebert, at back, and Father Thuc Nugyen lay prostrate before the altar during their Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood celebrated by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on June 6. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — Hundreds gathered — according to social distance guidelines, of course — for the Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood of Father Mark Hebert and Father Thuc Nguyen on June 6 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, who presided over the Mass, was joined by concelebrants Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz and Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza and other clergy. Even with concerns over the pandemic, joy prevailed that morning as the two transitional deacons were ordained as new priests for the Archdiocese.

After addressing the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death and the worldwide pandemic, Cardinal DiNardo encouraged the two priests in his homily. “Seeking out the lost,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “Serving, not being served, that is your model and motto and life.”

He said the two new priests “desperately need the scattered children of God to be gathered into unity,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “We’re the shepherds of the Church. The priests are gathering the scattered children of God in their parish, in their communities and letting them see a deeper unity.”

Cardinal DiNardo also warned the young men of the challenges of the future.

“[The priesthood] is good work, it really is,” he said. “It is a difficult work and it’s a joyous work.” Yet “the most beautiful of your work are the Sacraments, veritable masterpieces of God’s creation in Christ Jesus.”

Father Mark Hebert was assigned as parochial vicar to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, where he spent his pastoral year during his transitional diaconate. Father Thuc Nguyen was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Houston.

On May 23, Father Eduardo Rivera, CSB, was ordained by Bishop Sheltz at St. Anne Catholic Church in Houston.

Father Rivera was ordained as a transitional deacon with Father Hebert and Father Nguyen in 2019. As a newly ordained priest, Father Rivera will serve at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. †