Mr. Alvin Huynh
YEAR IN FORMATION
St. Bonaventure, Huntington Beach
American; Italian; Vietnamese; Korean
Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Sizzle Crepe), of course! Rolled in Rice Paper with Pork Belly, Shrimp, Jicama, Lettuce.
Brussels, Belgium has the happiest people in the world but I would like to visit Hawaii one day!
Our Lady of La Vang/Fatima. Also one time, I drove to a middle of a desert at night to see an Apparition!
Originally born in Fountain Valley, from Santa Ana, my family which included 2 younger brothers and an older sister, moved to Huntington Beach in 3rd grade. From there I grew up interested in the sciences. I knew my passion for science grew exponentially where I would often spend hours in the Huntington Beach Public Library reading the entire science section on the carpeted floors because it was all so fascinating. My favorite was the bombardier beetle which mixes two chemicals in its abdomen to eject a hot noxious chemical spray from the tip of the abdomen with a popping sound. I contemplated on it all these years until I realized that it has to be very precise and specific, these two chemicals, which only lend credence towards its creator, the higher intelligent designer, God. In college, I obtained a B.S. in molecular biology with a minor in chemistry from CSULB, studying cancer as an undergraduate. I was in a few other labs post-graduate including one trying to cure demyelination disease of those afflicted of M.S. I became an 911 EMT because I was fascinated by healthcare, medicine, as well as physiology where I served the population of where I grew up in, as well as Southern Orange County near Irvine and LA. Throughout this all, I was involved in a lot of various ministries at St. Bonaventure Church including being a catechist, extraordinary minister, Eucharistic Youth Ministry, altar server. I guess you can say, growing up, I had a balanced life of both science and faith to sustain me.
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?
I think being involved in ministry all my life, I am surrounded by role models including university professors, my marital arts master, my Field Training Officer in EMT, medical doctors, but not least of which, are priests. Seeing a life dedicated to God, a life of service for others was very noble. Talking to a lot of priests, they all motivate me to become the best person I can be, no matter if I discerned priesthood or not.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
Some of the people that influenced my decision to discern priesthood, first and foremost are my parents. They instructed me in the matters of faith as the earliest catechist and would pray nightly prayers without fail for as long as I lived. They are pillars of prayers. This is followed by my vocation and spiritual directors who listens and directed me. My parish who supports me including my pastor, the Catechist Faith Director and Chairwoman of the council as well as the parishioners of the English, Hispanic, and Vietnamese community. Not but last least is a priest from Louisiana who was the parochial vicar who took his time to talk to the community as well as trying to memorize the name of everyone. Not only that, he took an extra effort to celebrate additional mass during the week for the Vietnamese community as well as taking an interest in our lives.
Describe the moment that you knew you wanted to take the next steps to become a priest?
The moment I knew I wanted to be a priest was during the course of me teaching human physiology. Although I acknowledged that pedagogy is my passion, I felt unfulfilled. I felt a restlessness. Praying in front of the tabernacle and sometimes exposition of the Eucharist during perpetual adoration at 1am in the morning, I felt at ease. My anxiety seems to fade away. Going to the monthly vocations workshop with the hour of adoration really allowed me to talk to God who gently tugged at me to move on (as well as my vocational director who acknowledged it).