June 5, 2009

Archbishop Carlson ordained three priests for the Diocese of Saginaw

SAGINAW -- Archbishop-elect Robert J. Carlson ordained three priests to serve the Diocese of Saginaw during a 1 p.m. Mass today at St. Stephen in Saginaw.

Carlson, who was appointed to lead the Diocese of Saginaw in December 2004, will be installed as Archbishop of Saint Louis, Mo., on June 10. With today's ordinations, he now leaves the Diocese of Saginaw 11 new priests -- nearly 20 percent of the active presbyterate.

The diocese newest priests include:

Father David Jenuwine, 47, (pictured second from right), is a Detroit native. He held careers as a researcher for General Motors and as a linguist for the U.S. Navy before he pursued God's call to the priesthood following a discernment retreat at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit in 2001. He holds electrical engineering degrees from General Motors Institute and Purdue University in addition to a Christian ministry and theology degree from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and a master's in divinity from St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. Father Jenuwine has been assigned as associate pastor at Sacred Heart, Mt. Pleasant, with residence at St. Mary University Parish, Mt. Pleasant, effective July 1.

Father Thai Hung Nguyen, 55, (pictured far right), is a native of Vietnam. In 1980, he fled his home country as one of the many "boat people" who escaped the Communist nation following the Vietnam War. After being rescued by a German freighter, he lived and worked as a refugee in Germany for 18 years. He left Germany for the United States after a 1997 pilgrimage to Medjugorie, Bosnia, rekindled the call to the priesthood he first felt when he was 10 years old. He has studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, spent a semester in Rome, and at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn. Father Nguyen has been assigned as chaplain at St. Mary’s of Michigan Hospital, Saginaw, and in-residence at Holy Family, Saginaw, effective July 1.

Father José Parra, 32, (pictured far left), is a native of Chiquinquira, Colombia. Although he has felt the Lord's call to the priesthood since he was 9 years old, Father José worked as a salesman and electrician before he enrolled in St. Joseph Seminary in Tunja, Colombia. He came to the Diocese of Saginaw in 2007 after meeting then-Bishop Carlson through the Messengers of Peace religious community, which the bishop founded in Colombia. He studied English at Saginaw Valley State University and earned his master's of divinity degree from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa. Father José has been assigned as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas, Saginaw, effective July 1.

The Diocese of Saginaw is home to an estimated 119,000 Catholics worshiping in 105 parish communities throughout Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties.

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