WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has appointed Father John-Nhan Tran, a priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and pastor of Mary Queen of Peace in Mandeville, Louisiana, as auxiliary bishop of Atlanta.

Bishop-designate Tran, 56, was born in Vietnam and escaped with his family to the United States after the Vietnam War as a refugee when he was 9. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1992.

His appointment was announced Oct. 25 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States. The ordination will take place Jan. 23, 2023.

The bishop-designate attended Don Bosco College in Newton, New Jersey, and St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana. He earned a master of divinity in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

He has served at eight parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans as both a parochial vicar and pastor. He has been pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace since 2014. He has also served on a number of archdiocesan councils and committees. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has been active in ministry supporting the Louisiana Vietnamese Community.

A description about him on his parish website said: “He is grateful for our generous parishioners and seeks always to bring each of us closer to the Lord. As he would say: ‘When someone encounters you, does he/she encounter Christ?'”

The bishop-designate said the phone call he received about this appointment from the apostolic nuncio left him “speechless and with trepidation.”

“After several days of prayer and trusting that God will provide, I was able to embrace the appointment by Pope Francis. I am indeed humbled to serve as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Atlanta,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta has a total population of 7.7 million, which includes 1.2 million Catholics.

Atlanta Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer said in a statement that he is “overjoyed to welcome Bishop-designate John Tran to Atlanta. Our archdiocese is blessed with a diverse community of Catholics from around the world. Bishop-designate Tran reflects and celebrates this diversity.”

He also thanked the bishop-designate “for saying yes to God’s call and to the invitation from Pope Francis to join us here.”

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans said: “Bishop-designate Tran has ministered faithfully to the people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans throughout his priestly ministry.”

“He is greatly respected by the clergy, religious, and laity of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is a leader among our priests. We congratulate him and assure him of our prayers as he assumes his new ministry. It is bittersweet as he will be greatly missed,” he added.