Hồ Chí Minh City Archdiocese was established on May 17, 1844, when it had the name Tây Đàng Trong Diocese. Its history in brief is as follows:
- Before 1698, many Catholics came to live in Gia Định.
- September 9,1659: with “Super Cathedram” decree, Đàng Trong Diocese was established (from Gianh River to Nha Trang) with bishop P. Lambert de la Motte.
- May 17,1844: Đàng Trong Diocese was divided into two: Đông Đàng Trong (Qui Nhơn) and Tây Đàng Trong (Sài Gòn).
- August 30,1850: Tây Đàng Trong Diocese was divided into two: Nam Vang and Tây Đàng Trong (Saigon).
- 1863: Diocesan Seminary was established.
- October 7, 1877 – April 11, 1880: Notre Dame Cathedral was being built.
- 1900: Archbishop Building was built.
- December 3, 1924: Tây Đàng Trong Diocese was named Sài Gòn Diocese.
- November 24, 1960: Sài Gòn Diocese became Archdiocese.
- 1976: Sài Gòn Archdiocese was named Hồ Chí Minh City Archdiocese.
- The number of diocesan priests trained from the Archdiocese from 1944 to 2011: 1,117 priests.
As of 2011, the archdiocese has:
- 327 diocesan priests,
- 332 religious priests,
- 4,141 religious women belonging to 54 congregations and 13 institutes,
- 738 religious men belonging to 20 congregations and 5 institutes,
- 93 seminaries,
- 681.144 catholics.
Personnel and Pastoral Structure of Hochiminh City Archdiocese include:
Archbishop, Auxiliary Bishop, General Vicars, Council of Consulters, Council of Priests, Pastoral Council and Tribunal.
The Archbishop, John the Baptist Phạm Minh Mẫn, was born in 1934, became bishop of Hochiminh City Archdiocese from 1998, and cardinal from 2003.
2. Auxiliary Bishop
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm, born in 1952, ordained bishop in 2008.
3. General Vicars
- Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm, along with three bishop vicars responsible for priests, religious, laypeople, helps these persons with their life and their pastoral activities. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm is also responsible for the courses of training, refreshing, permanent formation for priests, religious and laypeople.
- Father John the Baptist Huỳnh Công Minh helps Economic Council, Diocesan Property Administration Committee, and Priest Support Committee to take care of the property, land, buildings… of the Archdiocese.
4. Board of Consultors
Board of Consultors, having weekly meeting on Friday, consists of 2 general vicars, 3 bishop vicars, seminary rector, judicial vicar, and 3 priests responsible for secretariat, administration and office of the Archbishop.
5. Presbyterial Council
The Council of Priests of HCMC Archdiocese, having meeting once every three months, consists of the representatives for all the priests of the Archdiocese. They offer their ideas and opinions to help the diocesan authorities to establish the regulations for the diocese, parishes, priests, and to solve the problems of the pastoral administration of the diocese or parishes.
6. Pastoral Council
Pastoral Council, having meeting on last Tuesday every month, consists of deans of deaneries and chiefs of diocesan pastoral committees. The Pastoral Council can be open with some more religious and lay people to contribute ideas and opinions to the Archdiocesan Authority about the problems and the resolutions of pastoral fields.
7. Deans of deaneries
The archdiocesan area was divided into 15 deaneries. Every month, under the management of the dean of deanery, the priests in every deanery have one-day retreat (in the first week of the month) to review the spiritual life, to share pastoral experience, to assign works, or to resolve pastoral problems in the deanery.
8. Major Diocesan Committees
Major Diocesan Committees include:
- Church Mystery Committees on: Liturgy, Sacred Music, Catechism, Vocations, Holy Bible;
- Church Communion Committees on: Children, Youth, Family, Migration;
- Church Mission Committees on: Evangelization, Catholic Education, Social Communications, Interfaith Dialogues, Charity and Social Actions, Peace and Justice, Culture.
The Archdiocesan Tribunal consists of 6 members to consider:
- the accomplishment and non-accomplishment of the matrimony;
- the mix-matrimony: between Catholic and non-Catholic;
- the other exempts and Nihil Obstat.
The website of Diocese is available at: www.tgpsaigon.net