BEGINNING MONDAY JULY 13th The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available after Daily Mass from 9am to 10am Monday thru Friday. Fr Michael or Fr Charles will hear your confessions outside from a safe distance. Please wear a mask. You can stream Mass at home then drive over or on your phone in the parking lot and walk over afterwards!
We will be live streaming from 9:00am to 10:00am after the 8:30am Daily Mass. All are welcome to spend some time in prayer, praise, and adoration of Our Lord.
Fr. Charles Tran was born in Vietnam and raised Catholic. He was an altar server from the second grade until he graduated from high school.
He credited being close to the altar and participating in the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement as experiences that helped deepen his faith and increased his love for the Eucharist and the priesthood.
Fr. Charles completed his theological studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Kevin Vann in June 2014. Our Lady Queen of Angels Church was his first assignment as a priest where he served for four years. Afterwards, he was assigned to St. Norbert Church for two years.
Fr. Charles looks forward to serving the community at Holy Trinity Church. He humbly requests that everyone prays for him and helps him to be an instrument of God’s love.
Fr. Michael St. Paul, native of Southern California, was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 2005. He studied at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA, where he received a Master’s Degree in Divinity and a Master of Arts Degree in Theology. Also, while at St. John’s, Fr. Michael received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Philosophy. Prior to the seminary and during his business life, Fr. Michael received a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Development and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco.
Fr. Michael’s first parish assignment was at St. Joseph Church in Santa Ana as Parochial Vicar, and then to St. Anthony Claret Church in Anaheim in 2009, and has been at St. Polycarp since July, 2011 as Pastor.
Prior to his priestly formation, Fr. Michael worked for the Walt Disney Company in various administration/management positions for over 20 years. In Fr. Michael’s vocation story he states, “I have worked for the ‘Magic Kingdom’ for half of my life and now I work for the Eternal Kingdom for the rest of my life!”
Father Michael looks forward to becoming the new Pastor of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ladera Ranch (July 1st) and meeting all of the wonderful parishioners.
Praise & Worship from Holy Trinity Youth Ministry
Live worship music with multiple people on a Zoom call isn’t easy. Some members of HTYM found a solution..
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has been almost two months since we last gathered for parish events, activities; and celebrated Mass together in Church. I really miss you all and have been praying for you especially when I celebrate Mass these days, asking God to bless, protect, and keep you safe in his loving arms. I enjoy reading your emails and seeing your pictures, receiving your texts and talking with you on phone. It is so nice of you to reach out asking how we are doing, and also offering us help and support.
During this time, I take the opportunity to reflect and listen to God’s voice, discern God’s will and put my trust in him. I pray and ask him for guidance, comfort, healing of the community, friends, and those who are suffering from fear, uncertainty, and inconvenience caused by the pandemic. I realize that the more we journey together in happiness and joy, in sadness and fears, in pains and sufferings, the more we become closer in friendship and relationship, in the love of God who gives us the commandment and calls us to have love for one another as he loves us.
In his love, I believe God had some purpose as he sent me to Holy Trinity Church to learn and experience parish life, to be with the community and serve as a seminarian about ten years ago and as a Parochial Vicar this time. Some of you may still remember me when I stayed here for about ten weeks during one summer. I enjoyed being with the community and seeing you at Mass and parish activities. I agree with many of you who share that God blesses our Church and fills it with love so that we can feel warmth and welcoming when we come to Church.
These years, I have learned from the faith you share, the love you bring, the courage and support you offer. All of these helped me to grow spiritually, to improve my skills in priestly ministry, to see that God loves and cares for each one of us, and continues to help and protect all his children. There is so much to be thankful for.
Last week, Bishop Vann assigned me to serve at Holy Spirit Church in Fountain Valley beginning July 1st. I am thankful for the new assignment and for the great opportunity to serve the people of God in the local Church, in the Diocese of Orange. I thank God for bringing us together these years in love and service, in support and in faith. Please continue to support and pray for our spiritual home at Holy Trinity Church, for the priests who are coming, for our parish staff, and for Fr. Reynold and me.
With prayers, I hope this difficult time will be over soon; and God willing, we may see each other again and rejoice.
If your heart desires, the following link is provided for anyone who wishes to contribute to Fr John’s retirement or give a monetary gift of thanks
I asked Fr. Walter, our friendly, priestly fellow parishioner to write a little something for your consideration. He wisely addressed some spoken and unspoken questions that our pandemic emphasizes. So please read on, thoughtfully and prayerfully. And figure out how you can sincerely sing “Alleluia” in a pandemic, or in any season of your life.
The simplest things sometimes make the greatest impression. For me, it’s the assembly’s Easter “Alleluia” that goes unsung and unheard. Yes, we have livestreamed celebrations, and that’s good. But virtual celebrations also remind us of what we long to do but cannot: gather together to sing, hear God’s word, celebrate the Eucharist, and go forth to serve as missionary disciples.
Of course we know why. To gather would be to risk spreading sickness with possibly fatal consequences. It’s far better to stay home and, when we must venture forth, keep a safe distance from others. For now, we must do without that graced rhythm of Catholic worship that grounds and graces our lives. But neither the virus nor the disruption it has brought can invalidate the faith that sustains us in this and all seasons.
In a time of pandemic, that statement might elicit hesitation and even skepticism. How can we praise God in the face of so many hospitalizations and deaths, when millions have lost their jobs, their income, and even the ability to feed their families? How can we sing “Alleluia” when so much is so awful and God seems so far away? Other questions quickly follow. Why is there so much evil in our world? How can God allow good people to suffer and evil-doers to prosper? What are we to make of injustice, violence, and bereavement?
Our ancestors in faith wrestled with these same questions. They experienced war, famine, untimely death, disease and pestilence, unjust systems, corrupt officials, dishonest merchants, perjurious witnesses, and so much more. They knew that life can be capricious, unjust, and cruel— often unbearably so—and that human folly and malice contribute greatly to life’s troubles. But they also believed firmly in one God who made all things, a God who transcends all creation and is beyond human manipulation. They worshiped God as infinite, good, loving, wise, powerful, and just. But if God is so good, why is the world so broken and justice so uncommon?
Old Testament writers responded variously, but generally assumed that God treats people according to their deeds, blessing the virtuous and punishing sinners. Explicit in Dt. 30: 15-20, the principle of just retribution upholds God’s justice. It is easily understood and emphasizes the potential consequences of each person’s daily decisions. It appears in the Gospel (John 9:2), and in the strong feeling among people today that grievous suffering should not befall those who did nothing wrong. Yet it does.
This is the central concern in the Book of Job. Mostly written in poetic form, this extraordinary book rebuts the notion that one’s lot in life reflects God’s just judgment. Job is a prosperous and altogether virtuous man who has suffered a series of unspeakably horrible losses and afflictions. With a searing, visceral lament, Job bitterly condemns the day of his birth and longs for the grave (Chap. 3). In the lengthy conversation that follows, Job’s three interlocutors take different approaches to the same conclusion: Job deserves his troubles and should repent of his sin. But Job has not sinned and resolutely defends his innocence, sometimes angrily, to them and to God.
God’s response is given in the speech from the whirlwind (Chaps. 38-41). Composed by a poet of consummate ability, it reviews many signs of God’s power and transcendence, implicitly
emphasizing the infinite gap between God and creation, including Job (see Is. 55: 8-9). Overcome with awe, Job abandons his case against God and, falling silent, folds his troubles into worship. It is a moment of conversion. He has a personal encounter with the living God and it changes him.
The Book of Job boldly challenges the principle of just retribution, and shows how it can lead people to levy unwarranted judgments on themselves, others, and God as well. It recognizes that innocent people do suffer grievously. Most of all, it eloquently asserts that, instead of undermining faith, our sorrows can prompt us to open our hearts as never before to our infinite God, who is by no means limited by our notions of justice. Allowing ourselves to receive and be touched by God’s gift of personal communion, we can set aside human expectations and embrace sacred, healing silence. We stop bargaining and embrace a purer, less self-centered faith, with fewer strings attached. Our love flows more freely into worship, service, and daily life, transforming everything.
Jesus inherited this legacy of Jewish piety and faith, along with the expectation of an innocent but suffering servant who would bring forgiveness to many (Is. 53). Sent by God, he proclaimed the Kingdom and brought God’s saving love to hurting people in a broken world. God though he was, Jesus took our human flesh, pitched his tent among us, and lived our human reality to the full (John 1: 14). Alike to them in all things but sin, he reached out to his brothers and sisters through his healing touch, powerful word, and personal invitation to share his life and mission.
All along the way Jesus felt the bite of injustice, suffering and sorrow. His ministry began with the execution of John the Baptist and ended with his passion and death. Walking among sinful people, he encountered betrayal and bereavement, violence and rejection. And yet he loved his own and loved them to the end (John 13: 1-2). At his core was his personal communion with God his Father and the deep, reciprocal love between them (John 17: 1-3, 20-24). “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and gave him a name above every name, that … every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father” (Phil. 2: 8-11). Suffering transformed, faith vindicated, commitment blessed, love triumphant, brokenness made whole, communion extended. In faith, we receive it all through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us.
As we live through this pandemic, I hope each of us will find time to visit the sanctuary of our hearts, hear God’s voice there, and consider how we will walk the rest of our journey. For sure we’ll still have our trials and troubles as Job and Jesus had theirs. May those challenges lead us to know our loving Lord more personally and be transformed by the communion he offers each one.
That communion with our crucified and risen Lord is the source of our “Alleluia.” It is our inspiration to rejoice, love as we have been loved, proclaim his Gospel, and continue his mission of justice and peace.
The Lord is risen, he is truly risen, Alleluia! Let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!
Walter J. Woods
Fr. Reynold writing here. I hope that everyone who is reading this is doing well. However, I know that some of you reading this are in fact not doing quite so well. Truly, I’m so sorry about that. See, in a parish like ours we run the gamut of human experience. Some folks are healthy; some are battling illness. Some are blissful; while others are struggling with grief. Some are worry-free; some others are fearfully anxious. Some of you are full of faith and some of you are having trouble believing. Some are feeling safe and secure; others aren’t sure what tomorrow will bring or if tomorrow will even come. Some are peaceful; others are full of rage. Some are engaged; while others are bored silly. Some are just numb; while some of you are feeling all the emotions mentioned above at once. Basically what I’m getting at, is that anyone reading this email at any given point can be anyplace in their state of life, their state of emotion, their state of faith, and their state of grace.
And it’s kinda of funny…maybe if you’re like me when I’m at my strongest and especially when I’m at my weakest, I feel my individuality profoundly. When I’m feeling strong, I can have a singular personal pride. Then when I’m weak, I can often feel utterly alone. We’ve all experienced such a range of mind, spirit and emotions. We all know what it is to feel our individuality. What we tend not to remember when we’re strong or weak or even just “bleh” is this paradox: there is solidarity in being individuals. There is community in our aloneness because we all experience singular pride and utter loneliness. I would hypothesize that solidarity is more important to us as creatures than individuality. In a primeval metaphor, “we are a pack of lone wolves”. I would go so far to say that this solidarity forms a community which is brought together by a need for salvation. That community is the Church. The solidarity of all that is human, in grace or disgrace, is redeemed by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This solidarity is given a mission through the Holy Spirit. And in solidarity we reflect the love of God the Father – by worshiping, by giving thanks, by living, moving and being together throughout all the ages.I’ve been thinking about this kind of stuff over the last few days. It started with my friend Pastor Craig from the Nazarene Church in Guymon, Oklahoma. He wrote on his blog…
“Often the Christian life is approached as if it is an individual pursuit. There is very little thought given as to how the body of believers might enhance one’s spiritual well-being… It’s as if the average Christian believer has concluded: The Church should not be too close, but never out of reach just in case we need to make a request.”
Now from a Pastor’s point of view, or a theologian’s point of view, or a Christian’s point of view these four lines could give birth to volumes of books. So let me simply say this – everybody needs to see paradox in the human experience, especially in the Christian embrace of humanity. We are individuals who need relationships, living in a solidarity of strengths and weaknesses; being together in a communion of faith, hope and love. We should give a lot of thought about how our participation in the Church shapes, forms and molds us in the image of Christ. The Church should always be in reach and the Church should always be reaching out for us and for all humanity.So please join me in praying for each other, for our parish and for our Church. Think about these concepts and as we begin to think about being Church in a slightly different day of mid-pandemic, let’s seek the best way to be Church. Let me know what y’all think. As we’re able to return to Church in one way or another in the coming weeks and months, let’s figure out even more how we are to be the Church in both solidarity and community.
Grace and peace to all y’all!