The Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, ordained six men as Catholic priests on Saturday, June 10, at St. Columban Church in Garden Grove. The ordination class is composed of Rev. Timothy John Donovan, Michael Tuan Khong, Rev. Phuong Van Nguyen, Rev. Tony Park, Rev. Tuan Pham, and Rev. Hoa Tran. This class represents the cultural diversity and the multicultural ministry that are the hallmarks of the Diocese of Orange.
“These new priests are a blessing from God and a gift to our Diocese. Their ministry will be vital to our Church because of the gifts and talents they bring to the ministry, as well as their ability to assist in serving the growing number of Catholics in Orange County,” said Bishop Vann.
The Diocese has enjoyed sustained growth since its founding in 1976, expanding from around 330,000 Catholics at its founding to more than 1.3 million Catholics currently. With this growth has come an increased need for not only infrastructure, but also priests to care for the spiritual needs of this quickly growing community of faith. The six new priests will join more than 180 other Diocesan priests that serve the needs of the 62 parishes and Catholic centers throughout Orange County.
The five seminarians of Asian descent who were ordained reflect the changing face of the priesthood in the United States. Within the United States, more Asian-Americans are attending seminary schools at a time when fewer Anglo-American Catholics are expressing interest in the priesthood. Asian-American priests continue to fill the ranks of the priesthood at a higher rate than that of any other ethnic groups within the Diocese of Orange and the nation. This ethnic group makes up just 1 percent of the Catholic Church within the United States, but they comprised 10 percent of those ordained across the nation in 2014, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. This trend is even more pronounced in Orange County given that the highest concentration of Vietnamese, outside of Vietnam, reside in the area.
“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.
Orange County Catholic congratulates the Diocese of Orange’s six newly ordained priests on their first parish assignments!
Rev. Tim Donovan
To PV, St. Bonaventure Church, Huntington Beach
Rev. Michael Khong
To PV, St. John Neumann Church, Irvine
Rev. Phuong Nguyen
To PV, St. Columban Church, Garden Grove
Rev. Tony Park
To PV, St. Edward the Confessor Church, Dana Point
Rev. Tuan Pham
To PV, St. Kilian Church, Mission Viejo
Rev. Hoa Tran
To PV, St. Martin de Porres Church, Yorba Linda