It is with great joy that the community of Sant’Anselmo joins the monks of St. Martin’s Abbey in Lacey, Washington, USA, to announce the election of their ninth abbot, Abbot Marion Qui-Thac Nguyen. Since 2014, Abbot Marion has been a doctoral student in the Monastic Institute of the Pontifical University of Sant’Anselmo and a resident of the Collegio.
Abbot Marion was born in Can Tho, South Vietnam, in 1976. He is the second of four children of Thien Nguyen and Thu-Trinh Pham of Everett, Washington. When he was four, his family escaped South Vietnam by boat, was raided by sea pirates and eventually arrived in Thailand, where they lived in a refugee camp for three years. In the mid-1980s, the family began a new life in Washington, where Abbot Marion attended Immaculate Conception Grade School in Everett and Bishop O’Dea High School in Seattle.
He did his studies in philosophy at Saint John Vianney Seminary and the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota (1995-1999) and theology at the Gregorian University (1999-2002) and the Angelicum (2003-2004) while residing at the North American College. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle on 12 June 2004.
Since priestly ordination he has held the following offices: parish vicar of Saint Joseph parish in Vancouver (2004-2005), and the cluster of Saint Edward parish, Saint Paul parish, and Saint George in Seattle (2005-2006), and Sacred Heart parish and Assumption parish in Bellingham (2006-2007); priest administrator of Sacred Heart parish in Bellingham (2007-2009); pastor of Sacred Heart parish (2009-2012); chaplain of the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at Western Washington University (2007-2012).
After receiving permission from Archbishop J. Peter Sartain in 2012, he entered as a postulant of Saint Martin’s Abbey in Lacey and gave his first vows on 15 August 2013 and received the name Marion. He made final profession on 11 July 2016. Abbot Marion reads and speaks Vietnamese, French, English, Spanish and Italian; his hobby is digital photography.