Maryknoll, N.Y. – Hung Minh Dinh, M.M., of Garden Grove, Calif., was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 2008 in Ossining, N.Y., by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York.
Hung was born in Hue, Vietnam on August 1, 1966. In Vietnam, Dinh worked in Can Gio Parish in a small, poor village outside Saigon (1989-92).There he served as choir director and catechist, and tutored the children in math and reading as well as giving them the basic knowledge they would need to function in the city. He credits his time in Can Gio as contributing to his call to mission. “I had a chance to live with the poorest people who had only one meal per day and had no access to what was happening in the rest of the world,” he said. “When I came to the United States where I had everything, I realized I wanted to spend my whole life serving the poor.”
Hung (baptised Michael) entered St. Joseph Major Seminar in the Diocese of Saigon in 1987 and received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Ho Chi Minh City University of Science (1989). He joined Maryknoll in 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier University with majors in philosophy and religious studies (2002) and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union (2008), both in Chicago, Ill. He has also taken courses at MIASMU in Africa during his Formation program with Maryknoll.
Hung Minh Dinh first experienced the Maryknoll missions as a seminarian in overseas training in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Following studies in the Swahili language, he did pastoral work in the urban Transfiguration Parish in Mwanza, Tanzania. During that time he also accompanied a Maryknoll priest in his work in rural Ndoleleji Parish, ministering to the Watuturu people.
“One day in my parish, (in California) I picked up MARYKNOLL magazine,” says Hung, now 40. “It had an article about Father Bob McCahill living a simple life in Bangladesh and helping the poorest people, regardless of their religion. I liked that.”
Hung was assigned to the Maryknoll Africa Region beginning in early 2009 and has been assigned once again to continue his ministry with the Watuturu people but now as their priest .