AS NEW PRIESTS ARE ORDAINED IN THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE, WE HONOR THOSE THAT HAVE REACHED MILESTONE ANNIVERSARIES
He was born in 1963 in Takoradi, Ghana. His father, Ayuure, was a security guard at the University of Cape Coast; his mother, Mbo, a housewife, looked after her three children. He was the middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. At the end of his elementary education, he went to a boarding high school about 40 miles away. There he began considering a vocation to the priesthood, inspired by the lives and ministry of missionaries in his parish and priest teachers in the high school. His priestly formation took place at the St. Victor’s Major Seminary in Ghana and he was ordained priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga where he served as chaplain and teacher in a high school. He did seminary work in the Tamale Ecclesiastical province at the propaedeutic seminary. After traveling to California for his graduate studies at Cal State, East Bay and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, he returned to Ghana to serve as a formator and teacher at the St. Augustine Millennium Major Seminary. Currently he is on sabbatical at Saint Irenaeus Parish. He finds great joy and fulfillment in teaching and in the celebration of the Eucharist. He is grateful for the support of the priests with whom he works in ministry.
25 | Father Quang Vinh Chu
Vinh Phu, Phan Thiet, was the place of his birth. His father was a mini-truck driver and his mother took care of ten children, of which he was the firstborn. At the age of 15, he prayed and was inspired to enroll in the High School Seminary in Nha Trang. In 1979, he escaped Vietnam in a fishing boat and spent ten stormy days and nights at sea making his way to a Malaysian Refugee Camp. Eventually he made his way to California. He continued his education at Santa Ana College, St. John’s Seminary and St. Joseph Seminary in Mountain View. He was ordained in 1991. He has served at Saint Nicholas, St. Boniface, St. Columban and St. Polycarp parishes. He has been administrator and pastor of St. Mary’s by the Sea since 2011. He finds satisfaction celebrating the sacraments and being a member of our presbyterate. When he is not serving his parishioners, you can find him golfing, playing tennis or bowling.
25 | Father Efrain Flores
Born in La Union in El Salvador, he studied for the priesthood in San Salvador at the Colegio Divino Salvador and in Mexico City at the Institute for Priestly Formation. He was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 5, 1991, in Mexico City. He served in various capacities before coming to Orange in 2001. In our diocese he has served in parishes as parochial vicar in Santa Ana, Stanton, Westminster, Lake Forest, and Anaheim. He was incardinated in 2007 and in 2013 he earned a licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University in Salamanca. He is now the pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in Santa Ana.
25 | Father Francis Gloudeman, O.Praem
He was born in Inglewood in 1959, the son of Dr. Joseph and Jan Gloudemann. His dad worked for the space program, making advances in computer software. He is the oldest of three sons, each born two years apart. The whole family was practicing Catholics. His parents had a love for priests and many priests enjoyed being at the family home in Torrance and later in Orange. It was at Mater Dei he started feeling a call to the priesthood. During a holy hour at Thomas Aquinas College, he felt a clear call to be a priest. One of the teachers at Mater Dei, Father Leo Celano, became his spiritual director. He entered St. Michael’s abbey and received four years of theological education at the Angelicum in Rome. His two main assignments have been teaching homeschoolers in parishes in Southern California for 21 years and helping out at various parishes in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. His greatest joy has been giving others the Word and the Sacraments.
25 | Father Felix Just Sj
He was born in 1959, in Berlin, Germany, the youngest of three sons of Dr. Kurt and Sigrid Just. Before he was two years old, the family immigrated to Tucson, AZ, where his father became a Professor of Theoretical Physics. In 1980, he entered the Novitiate of the California Province of the Society of Jesus. He did his theological studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and was ordained a priest in 1991. That same year he studied at Yale University, earning a doctorate in New Testament Studies. He then taught Theological and Religious Studies at Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University. In 2007 he came to the Diocese of Orange to serve as Director of Biblical Education at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality. He is the creator of an internationally acclaimed website of “Catholic Resources” and the author of seven audio CD programs. He is webmaster for the Catholic Biblical Association of America. He greatly enjoys anything related to scripture as well as a wide variety of music and theater, religious art and architecture, and spending time in the outdoors.
25 | Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan
Born in Lorain, Ohio, he was the son of a chemist, Richard, and Trudy. Michael thought about becoming a priest as a child but later, working as a retail store manager, he started attending daily Mass and seriously considered his vocation. He attended both St. John’s Seminary and the American College in Louvain, Belgium, and was ordained in 1991. He served as a parochial vicar at St. Anthony Claret and Saint Columban. Then he worked part time as a parochial vicar at Holy Family Cathedral while also serving at Marywood as Vice Chancellor and Master of Ceremonies. He then worked at Marywood fulltime as Director of Clergy Personnel as well as Master of Ceremonies. He was the founding pastor of Christ our Savior Parish and is currently pastor of Mission San Juan Capistrano. He finds celebrating the sacraments personally sustaining; his most profound experiences of God’s presence have been working with the dying and then with their families preparing and celebrating their funerals.
25 | Father Sy Nguyen
He was born in 1966, the child of Sau Van Nguyen, an officer in army of South Vietnam, and Kim Anh Nguyen, a clerk. He was the oldest child, with a younger sister and two younger stepsisters. He and his family escaped Vietnam on a boat to Indonesia when he was 14 years old. He enrolled in Saint John’s Seminary after two years of college. He was ordained in 1991 and served as a parochial vicar at Mission San Juan, St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Sacrament. He graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2003. He then served as judicial adjutant and director of our Tribunal. He was administrator of St. Mary’s by the Sea, director of the Vietnamese Center and is currently pastor of St. Martin de Porres parish. He enjoys serving as a priest, especially witnessing the wonderful working of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments of the Church and in the love parishioners have for their priests.
25 | Father Kiem Van Tran
He was born in Saigon to father Toan Van Tran, a tailor, and mother Ru Thi Luu, a housewife. He was the oldest of fourteen children, all of whom eventually married but him. Eight of his siblings still live in and around Saigon, and the others are spread out in New Orleans, Austin, and Calgary. With his mother’s encouragement, he went to St. John High School Seminary in Danang. When Saigon fell to the Communists he continued his studies with 20 other seminarians in a parish in a mountainous area. They studied for four months and for the rest of the year they worked hard in rice fields or on the mountains. Life was hard and no priestly ordinations were allowed. After six years he escaped from Vietnam by boat to Malaysia and then to the Philippines. He arrived in New Orleans in 1982 and worked for three years. At that point he decided to come to California and once again start his seminary preparation at St. John Seminary in Camarillo. He has served as a priest at St. Boniface, Holy Spirit, Saint Bonaventure, St. Barbara. St. Cecelia, St. Polycarp and St. Columban. He is currently the director of the Vietnamese Catholic Center. Serving God’s people as a priest is what makes him happy.
25 | Father Leonel Vargas
His parents, Leonel and Ana Marina, welcomed him into this world in 1960 in San Miguel, El Salvador, and his Catholic family inspired him to pursue a vocation to the priesthood. He was educated by Marian Brothers and was immersed in the life of his parish. While finishing high school he started to think seriously about his vocation. He entered in the seminary in 1980, the year Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed in San Salvador. He joined the Saint Joseph’s Missionaries Community and remained with them for 19 years. He studied philosophy in Guatamala, further seminary studies in San Salvador, finally studying English for two years at Cal State Northridge. In 1998 he was sent for a year to Lisbon, Portugal, to study the Portuguese language and culture and made his internship as a teacher at a seminary in Angola. He finished his studies in Mexico City and was ordained in 1991. He served as a parochial vicar in Mexico and El Salvador, a pastor in Guatemala and El Salvador, and served as a principal in Nicaragua. In the United States he was a parochial vicar in Palmdale, then came to our Diocese to serve at Saint Polycarp, St. Joseph’s in Santa Ana, and Blessed Sacrament. He enjoys being part of the family lives of his parishioners, sharing with them their moments of joy and sorrow. He also is devoted to his work as a confessor.
50 | Father David Gallegos
Born in Belen, New Mexico, the eighth of eleven children, the son of a farmer, Ignacio, and mother, Estela. He ended up in the Servite Seminary because he grew up in a Servite Parish. His seminary was in Chicago, his novitiate in Wisconsin, and he did his theological studies at the Marianum in Rome. In Chicago he was a high school teacher and served in the Latin American Apostolate. He was an associate pastor in New Jersey, and an administrator and then pastor in New Mexico. He was also an administrator in Perth, Australia. The rest of his ministry took place in Fullerton as pastor of St. Philip Benizi Parish.
50 | Bishop Dominic Luong
He was born in 1940 in the city of Ninh Cuong, Bui Chu, in Vietnam. His father, Vy Ngoc Mai, was a Provincial Chief. His mother, Khuou Thi Pham, was a housewife and the mother of ten children, of which he is the eighth. What inspired him to become a priest was the example of his pastor, Father Vincent Lien Ngoc Vu. He attended French-Vietnamese Elementary School in Vietnam, Holy Family Seminary High School, Vietnam, the diocesan seminary in Buffalo, New York, and St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, New York, where he studied Philosophy and Theology. He pursued post-graduate studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, earning a Master’s Degree in Science. Bishop Luong was ordained a priest in 1966 in Buffalo, for the Diocese of Danang, but circumstances in that country prevented his returning there. Eventually he was incardinated in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He served as a Chaplain in St. Francis Hospital in New York and as a Biology teacher in the seminary. Perhaps his most impressive achievement was working with the USCC to resettle thousands of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was a parochial vicar in Buffalo and the Director of the Vietnamese Apostolate in New Orleans. He was pastor of Mary, Queen of the Vietnamese Church in New Orleans. He was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop for our diocese in 2003.
50 | Father Robert Vidal
A native of Santa Ana, he was born in 1936 to Robert and Corine Vidal. His father was a grocer in Huntington Beach; his mother, a librarian. He has a younger sister, Diane. The family moved to the San Fernando Valley and he grew up in St. Charles Parish in North Hollywood and was very involved in parish life. Eventually he enrolled in the Junior Seminary on Detroit St. in Los Angeles and then moved to the new Junior Seminary by the San Fernando Mission. He was ordained at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. His first assignment was at St. Bonaventure in Huntington Beach; then he moved to Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount; then to St. Martin’s in Yorba Linda; then to Holy Family Cathedral and then St. Julianna’s. Finally he was assigned as the pastor of St. Anne’s in Seal Beach where he retired and currently lives. The ministries he most enjoyed were marriage encounter, preparing couples for marriage, involvement in youth ministry, being involved in parish school, and working with families. He continues to encourage vocations and tries to keep the priests assigned to St. Anne’s in line.
Retirement | Dick Delahunty
He was born in Curraghmartin, Mooncoin, County Kilkenney, in Ireland in 1941. His father was a farmer and his mother a homemaker but priesthood ran in the family. His granduncle was a priest of his home diocese and he had an uncle who was a priest in the United States. He trained for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Waterford, coming to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1965. He has served at parishes in La Mirada, Ventura, Fountain Valley, Corona del Mar and Orange. He has served as a pastor of St. Martin de Porres and Saint Nicholas. He likes the pastoral side of being pastor over the administrative responsibilities, particularly preparing couples for marriage and then witnessing their vows. In his retirement he will be living in Placentia and looks forward to continuing in ministry.
Retirement | Father Michael Hoan
He was born in 1943 in Sa Chau, Nam-Dinh, North Vietnam, the third child of Anthony Mai The Yen and Maria Do Thi Nhiem. He has four sisters and five brothers. In 1954, his family moved to South Vietnam and two years later he entered St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary in Saigon. When he graduated he joined the Diocese of Danang in central Vietnam. After studying philosophy and theology and completing an internship at St. Sulpice’s Major Seminary in Hue, he was ordained in 1972 and served as a Parochial Vicar in Christ the King Parish, in Son Cha, Danang. In 1975 he immigrated to the United States and joined the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. He served as chaplain for the Vietnamese refugees and a Parochial Vicar at the Newman Catholic Center and another Lexington parish. In 1981 he volunteered to be a missionary-chaplain for the Vietnamese refugee communities in New Zealand. He came to the Diocese of Orange in 1988 and was incardinated by Bishop McFarland. He has served as a parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament and Saint Boniface, Saint Barbara’s and St. Nicholas. He was also posted as the director of the Vietnamese Center and served as the president of the Vietnamese Interfaith Council as well as the Federation of Vietnamese Catholics in the South West Region. He is soon retiring but plans to continue helping at parishes and being part of a team that provides retreats and Cursillos and other forms of ministry.