YEAR IN FORMATION
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I was born and raised in Orange County, CA. I am the only child in my family. I felt the initial desires for priesthood when I was about 7 or 8 years old; it was further enkindled as I served in the various ministries at my home parish, Blessed Sacrament Church, Westminster, CA. One of the first persons who inspired me to become a priest was my uncle, who is also a priest and my baptismal godfather. I graduated from Fountain Valley HS in 2012 and attended a year at Goldenwest Community College.
What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
After initial discernments of the priesthood and religious life, I entered the formation with a religious order-the Redemptorists (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer/Dòng Chúa Cứu Thế) on August 27th, 2013 and moved to the formation house in Bronx, New York. What drew me to the Redemptorist was their charism of preaching the Good News to the poor and most abandoned, and their characteristics of simply being very “human,” casual, simple and heart to heart with the people..the call to “evangelize and be evangelized” by the abandoned.. and their particular love for Mary, particularly under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. During this time, I attended St John’s University in Queens; I graduated in the Spring of 2016 with a BA in philosophy, with minors in theology and Spanish. I entered the Redemptorist Interprovincial Novitiate in Toronto, Canada later that Fall.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
For me, my decision to enter priestly formation is simply a “response” on my part to the initial invitation and call from God Himself; a response of love and with my entire being to His invitation, “Follow me!” As mentioned, one of the first person who helped me to recognized God’s invitation for me is my priest uncle. Next would be my spiritual directors- they assisted me by helping me to see more clearly the movements of God in the happenings of my life to help me discern His Will with more clarity. Lastly, as an only child- I value my “spiritual family,” consisting of priests, religious sisters, seminarians and few close and dear friends who help affirm and support me in my vocation. For all- I am thankful to God for each one of them.
Describe the moment that you knew you wanted to take the next steps to become a priest?
It was during my novitiate year (year long spiritual/retreat) that while God was still calling me to the priesthood, he was inviting me to discern it in the diocesan priesthood and way of life. With the blessings of my superiors, I left the Redemptorist in late March of 2017 and made contact with Vocations Office of the Diocese of Orange. I was accepted into the Diocese of Orange as a seminarian (Fall 2017) and entered St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA to begin my graduate theological studies. With regards to theological studies, I have a particular interests in Sacred Scripture and Moral Theology (e.g. Morality, BioMedical Ethics, etc.).
With regards to pastoral formation, I was sent to do ministry once a week during the Spring of 2018 at St Mary Magdalene’s School, Camarillo, and in the Fall of 2018 campus ministry at Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks. In the Summer of 2019, I did Clinical Pastoral Education (hospital chaplaincy)- despite the difficulties and challenges, I discovered within myself a deepened compassion and love in being present and accompanying the sick, dying, family members, doctors and nurses. This experience gave me joy and further affirmed me in my vocation. God willing, I will be ordained to the priesthood in 2022. Please remember me in your prayers-thank you!