Dominican Priest Killed While Hearing Confessions at Church in Vietnam

@frpatrickop, Instagram / @Sachinettiyil, Twitter / ChurchPOP

Please pray for this priest!

Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, O.P., was stabbed to death while hearing confessions for a mission parish in the Vietnam Diocese of Kon Tum on Sat., Jan. 29.

The diocese reported that the now-detained suspect murdered the 40-year-old priest in his home. The Dominican monastery in Kon Tum held a funeral for Fr. Joseph on Jan. 30.

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Kon Tum Bishop Aloisiô Nguyên Hùng Vi presided over the funeral Mass.

“Today we celebrate Mass to say goodbye to a brother priest who passed away very suddenly. I learned the shocking news this morning,” the Bishop said to the congregation.

“We know that God’s will is mysterious, we cannot fully understand God’s ways. We can only give our brother to the Lord.

“And when Father Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh returns to enjoy the face of God, he will certainly not forget us.”

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Dominican priest Fr. Patrick Hyde, O.P., also published an announcement on Instagram describing the attack. He said Fr. Joseph went to Vietnam after his August 2018 ordination to serve the mission parish.

Fr. Patrick helped Fr. Joseph learn English while he visited Vietnam in 2015.

Here’s his post below:

@frpatrickop, Instagram

Here’s the full text of his post:

“A young Dominican priest was attacked with a knife in a confessional at his Church.

“Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, O.P, (born on 10 August 1981 in Saigon) was sent to the mission in Dak Mot, Kontum, highland of Vietnam, after his [priestly ordination] in August 2018.

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“He served this parish and loyally shepherded the flock of God in his care.

“On 29 January 2022, he was hacked to death while…hearing the confession in the church before [the] last Saturday evening Eucharist.

“I was blessed to spend time with the brothers in Vietnam in 2015 and help them learn English, Fr. Thanh among them. May he Rest In Peace.”

Shalom World correspondent Sachin Jose posted a photo of the room where the murder occurred.

Here’s the photo below:

Click here if you cannot see the photo above.

The post reads, “This is the place where Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, a Dominican priest, was stabbed to death on Saturday while hearing confessions at a Catholic church in Kontum, Vietnam. We could see the confession box in the picture.”

Jose also published a photo of the priest’s mortal remains.

Here’s the post below:


Click here if you cannot see the post above.

The post reads, “Mortal remains of Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, the Dominican priest who was stabbed to death on Saturday, January 29, while hearing confessions at a Catholic church in Kontum, Vietnam.”

Eternal rest grant unto Fr. Joseph, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon him. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.