The Most Reverend Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, on June 9 ordained two men to the priesthood in an ancient and solemn ceremony at Holy Family Cathedral. Rev. Gaston Mendiola Arroyo and Rev. Aristotle Quan, were welcomed by a large and vibrant Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, a Catholic community that traces its beginnings to Saint Junipero Serra and the first Catholic missionaries who founded the Mission at San Juan Capistrano in 1776. Today, the Diocese of Orange is recognized as one of the fastest-growing Catholic communities in the nation and is blessed to also hold the distinction of being one of the most-ethnically diverse.
“The faith, dedication, and commitment of these two young men are a blessing from God and a gift to our Diocese,” said Bishop Vann. “Their ministry and talents are vital as we work to care for the needs of our ever increasing flock, now more 1.5 million faithful. God has blessed the Diocese of Orange with an energetic and faith-filled community. We as priests seek to journey with them and guide them to an ever deeper relationship with Jesus. Gaston and Aristotle will help us support and continue this mission.”
Aristotle Quan was born in Fountain Valley in 1988 and grew up in Tustin. He attended public schools in Irvine and was active at St. Cecelia parish where he was a member of the youth ministry. He felt his calling from God to become a priest after a trip to the Holy Land in 2008. Quan began his 9 years of priestly formation at Blessed Miguel Pro in San Jose, while attending San Jose City College. He then attended Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon for two years where he completed his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. After graduation Quan attended St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park where he completed his graduate studies in theology. His final two years of seminary formation were completed at St. John Seminary in Camarillo.
Gaston Mendiola Arroyo was born in 1983 in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Arroyo was raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses tradition, but decided to enter the Catholic Church when he was 16 years old after profound biblical and doctrinal study. Seeking to follow Christ more deeply, Arroyo entered the seminary in his home town. Unfortunately, this was short lived as his family moved to Ciudad Juárez Chihuahua seeking work to support the family.
Later, Arroyo joined a group of missionaries dedicated to the rehabilitation of people with drug addiction where he served for two years. He then entered the seminary in Mexicali in Baja California, completing six years of study. Bishop Vann invited Arroyo to serve the Diocese of Orange in support of the large and growing Hispanic population. As part of the Diocese of Orange Arroyo finished two years of study in theology at the Seminario Hispano de Santa María de Guadalupe in Mexico City.
“This is a very positive and hopeful time for our Diocese. We celebrate the faith and commitment of these new priests as they begin their ministry to the people of Orange County. We are blessed to have such a diverse and dynamic group of dedicated ordinands in service to God’s people,” said Bishop Vann.