Christchurch Bishop Paul Martin, SM, has appointed Fr Tien Cao, assistant parish priest at St Peter Chanel, Waimakariri, as the diocese’s new vocations director.
Fr Cao said as the new vocations director, he is looking forward to accompanying men “who have received even the slightest call from God to priesthood”.
He said his own “first director” of vocation was his mother and he acknowledged the essential role of parents in building a strong foundation for the vocation of priesthood.
“It was God who chose me from eternity to be the priest of Christ, but it was the faith and the life witness of my mother, at home and at the local church, that made me realise the call,” he said.
He said, though, that young men who grew up without much support in their faith life are also encouraged and invited to discern priesthood.
Fr Cao grew up in Central Vietnam and came to New Zealand 12 years ago to be a priest in Christchurch diocese.
He was ordained in 2016 and served in the parishes of Greymouth and Mairehau. Fr John O’Connor, who was the former vocations director of the diocese, is currently acting director of the National Liturgy Office