Meet Our Friars

Friar John Heinz OFM Conv.

Provincial
Friar John entered the friars while working in the grocery industry, and after attending college studying business administration and accounting. He was also volunteering with the St. Vincent de Paul outreach to the homeless, and to families in need, and entered the Franciscans because of a desire to work with the poor. As a friar, he received a Master of Divinity from Washington Theological Union, and a Master in Social work from Catholic University. Since ordination to the priesthood, he as ministered as a parish priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Hermosa Beach, as a Social Worker with Catholic Charities in Moreno Valley, as Pastor of St. Paul of the Shipwreck parish in San Francisco, as priest and social worker in Sucre, Bolivia, to assist the Friars there to establish “La Casa de San Antonio”, a multiservice center for street children and elderly of migrant workers there, as our Province Vietnam Mission Promoter, and is currently our Minister Provincial. He finds the most satisfaction in ministry working with the people most marginalized in our world. He is grateful that his Conventual Franciscan vocation has allowed such a variety of meaningful experiences.

Friar Victor Abegg OFM Conv.

Vicar Provincial

Friar James Reiter OFM Conv.

Province Secretary and Development Director.
Friar James Reiter grew up in Chicago, IL and entered the friars after high school. He earned a BA in Theology at Loyola Chicago. Friar James’ service to the Order and Province has principally been in education and formation apostolates. Some of his assignments include St. Hedwig’s High School, Detroit, MI, St. Bernard High School in Eureka, CA, and St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey, CA. Friar James has found his over eight years as Novice Master to be his most fulfilling and rewarding ministry, especially in that it combined his love for teaching and contributed to the further development and growth of the Order. Friar James is a devoted raiser of plants, and has a devotion to praying for law enforcement.

Friar Andres Amador OFM Conv.

Friar Andres currently is the Chaplin of the California State Hospital in Coalinga, CA.
After Novitiate friar Andres studied CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, to prepare himself for his current ministry. Friar Andres is well loved and respected especially for his welcoming manner and his listening skills.

Friar Israel Sebastian Arauz-Rosiles OFM Conv.

Friar Israel is currently preparing for Priesthood Ordination and studying at Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Friar Alfonso Borgen OFM Conv.

Friar Alfonso is currently serving as an Pastoral Associate at Christ the Light Cathedral of the Diocese of Oakland, CA.
Friar Alfonso Borgen was born in Managua, Nicaragua and left his homeland after the Nicaraguan Revolution, to come to the United States. While a college student at Saint Joseph’s College Seminary in Mountain View, CA. He met one of our friars while attending a retreat at the seminary, and was inspired to enter the friars. During his years of formation, Friar Alfonso was sent to Madrid, Spain to pursue a degree in Religious Studies then he came back to the USA, and received his MDiv at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park. As a priest, he has served in Southern California and Northern Nevada, at both parishes ministered by the friars, and in diocesan parishes.

Friar Francisco Cabral OFM Conv.

Friar Francisco currently is serving at the Mercy Center Senior Care Facility in Oakland, CA.
Friar Francisco grew up in Oakland, CA, and entered the Friars a few years after high school. He was inspired to join the Conventual Friars by getting to know the community through his spiritual director. Friar Francisco has ministered to youth in parish youth groups, teaching, and Juvenile Hall, and as a jail chaplain for four jail facilities at San Joaquin County. He has served in Spanish speaking and cemetery ministries here in the United States, and at parishes Cristo de Valle and La Segrada Familia with our Friars near Mexico City. He has also served our mission in Tlacoachistlahuaca Guerrero Mexico, and seminary in Acapulco. Friar Francisco is gifted in the restoration of religious statues, and has traveled to Mexico and Spain, learning this craft, and the culture. He enjoys travel, Mexican culture, people, and is an avid Raider fan.

Friar Jacob Carazo OFM Conv.

Rector of the St. Thomas the Aquinas Cathedral for the Diocese of Reno Nevada.
Friar Jacob was born in Cartagena, Colombia and moved to California at the age of seven. He was working as a hospital nurse for almost six years when he came to the friars. As a friar, he completed his BA in History at California State University in Hayward CA, and his Theological studies at the Seraphicum in Rome. He has served as the Parochial Vicar of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, NV, and St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA, as well as St. Paul's Parochial Administrator before his current ministry. Fr. Jacob has a great interest in baseball, especially the LA Dodgers, and is an avid photographer. Fr. Jacob also has a great proficiency in three languages, Spanish, English, and Italian.

Friar George Cherrie OFM Conv.

Friar George is currently serving as temporal administrator at our St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA.
Friar George was born in San Rafael, CA and converted to Catholicism. Prior to joining the friars George worked for Bank of America for over thirty years. For the bank, he began as a teller, and worked his way up to become Chief of Operations for the International Operations of the Bank and then General Auditor of the Bank. He lived in South America for many years and is fluent in Spanish. Prior to entering the Order, he was married and had three children. As a Friar, George worked for St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, where he began as a chaplain, and eventually became an executive vice President and Mission Director. Friar George has also served as Treasurer of the Province for more than twenty years. Friar George has a great love for sports and was an avid player of tennis and racquetball, and he maintains his interest in tennis to this day, mostly as a fan.

Friar Thomas Czeck OFM Conv.

Friar Thomas is currently the Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in Castro Valley, CA.

Friar Christopher Deitz OFM Conv.

Friar Christopher is currently in residence at Our Lady of Grace Church in Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Chris joined the friars from San Antonio, TX after high school. He completed his Undergraduate degree from UCLA in Philosophy and his MDiv from the Dominican School of Philosophy at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA. Friar Chris has served as Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas Church and Queen of Angels in Riverside CA, and served the order as Vocation Director, Novice Master, Director of Students in Theology, and as Our Minister Provincial. His greatest joy as a friar has been serving the friars as Minister Provincial, and especially working one to one with them as Pastor. His hobbies include genealogy and singing the Sacred Liturgy. Friar Chris has traveled with Gregorian Chant Scholas singing in England, Spain and Italy, and he enjoys listening to music; from Classic Rock to Renaissance Polyphonic Music.

Friar Raphael Drew OFM Conv.

Friar Raphael is currently in residence at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Pismo Beach, CA.
Friar Raphael was a Gourmet Chef for many years in the Restaurants of San Francisco. After his Novitiate, he has served the friars in Castro Valley, Reno, San Pablo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Torrance and other places as friary cook, and caregiver. Friar Raphael is humbly known as the “World’s Greatest Cook”, who enjoys, and is quite talented, in creating his “World Famous” dishes for both our common meals, but especially our public events. Friar Raphael spends most of his spare time in prayer.

Friar John Farao OFM Conv.

Friar John is currently serving as Chaplain at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obisbo, CA.

Friar Paul Fazio OFM Conv.

Friar Paul is currently serving as Pastoral Associate at the St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in the Diocese of Reno, NV.
Fr. Paul was born in Chicago, grew up in Rockford Illinois, and entered the Franciscans after his first year of college. Fr. Paul studied theology at Loyola University in Chicago, Toronto School of Theology, and at the Seraphicum in Rome, Italy. Fr. Paul took solemn vows in 1973, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1974. He has served as Parochial Vicar and Pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hermosa Beach, CA taught at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, CA, has served the province as our Novice Director, Director of Postulants and Theologians, has served as a Chaplain at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, CA, as Pastor of St. Paul Church in San Pablo, among other ministries. Fr. Paul enjoys to continue his study of Theology, is well read, and a Spiritual Director.

Friar John Fleming OFM Conv.

Friar John is currently in residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Br. John Allen Fleming was born at St. Louis, MO, and prior to joining the friars, completed degrees in Social work and Business Admin., and worked as a police officer, a chemical dependency counsellor, and an accountant. As a friar, John has served as bookkeeper at our Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hermosa Beach, and St. Paul of the Shipwreck in San Francisco. Friar John has also managed our Food Pantry, and maintenance of our facility while serving at St. Paul of the Shipwreck. He has also served the province as assistant in the Provincial Office, and as assistant to the Province Treasurer. Friar John has a deep devotion to the Sacred Liturgy and this plays an integral part of his religious life. He believes that focus on the Sacred Liturgy motivates virtuous living. He likewise holds very dear to his heart, ministry to marginalized peoples, especially battered women, recently released convicts in transition, and chemically dependent people. Along with his various duties, Br. John has a great love of classic cinema, especially films such as Casablanca, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Chinatown.

Friar Mark Folger OFM Conv.

Friar Mark is currently serving our General in Rome Italy.
Brother Mark Folger was born in San Jose, CA, and at age 20, he moved out of the Bay Area to study theater in New York City. He worked as a professional actor in New York and Los Angeles until he entered the friars. While in formation, Friar Mark earned a B.A. degree in Performing Arts at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. He also studied Spanish for a semester at the Instituto de Idiomas Maryknoll in Cochebamba, Bolivia. He was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas friary in Reno where he founded a food pantry and taught Drama and Spanish at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School for three years. He served at St. Paul of the Shipwreck friary in San Francisco where he served as a food pantry manager, social outreach director and friary cook. Hoping to serve in a foreign mission one day, Brother Mark undertook two years of night classes to obtain a certificate to teach English as a second language, after which he was assigned to the General Curia of the Order in Rome where he has been learning Italian and translating documents. When the opportunity arises, he enjoys playing music, working with the poor, and hunting mushrooms.

Friar Angel Garcia OFM Conv.

Friar Angel is currently a Novice, in our Conference Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, CA.
Friar Angel Garcia is originally from El Salvador, CA (Central America, not California - smile) but later moved to Los Angeles, CA. He was first inspired by the Franciscans he met while doing volunteer work at San Francis Center in Los Angeles. He moved to Chicago for College, and also did volunteer work in the juvenile detention center with Kolbe House, youth ministry in one of the parishes in the neighborhood of Pilsen, before he entered the Friars. His more than two years of being a friar; postulancy and now novitiate, have been a good experience because there have been moments through ministry and community of joys, sorrows, and opportunities to grow. It is good and it is a nice to be a Friar, to grow and to share with others what God though his grace entrusted to me.

Friar Chris Garcia OFM Conv.

Novice at our Conference Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, CA.
Friar Chris Garcia was born and raised in Dana Point, CA. He met the friars during his junior year at Saint Mary’s College of CA and entered the Friars after he graduated with a BA in Theology and Religious Studies, and while volunteering with his home parish, St Edward the Confessor, in youth ministry. During his postulancy year in Chicago, he ministered with the Little Sisters of the Poor as well as Inspiration Café. While working at the Little Sisters, he had the privilege of working with many wonderful elderly patients learning their wonderful stories which provided much inspiration. His hobbies include running, biking, basketball, watching sports, hanging out with friends, baking, and photography.

Friar Paul Gawlowski OFM Conv.

Vocation Director
Friar Paul joined the Conventual Franciscans after getting to know the friars as a Parishioner of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hermosa Beach, CA. He was working as an Electrical Engineer in the Aereospace industry at the time. As a friar he has; served as a teacher of Religion and Physics at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, CA., received his MDiv at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley CA, has served as Social Outreach Director, Associate and Pastor of St. Paul of the Shipwreck Church in San Francisco, and as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Grace in Castro Valley CA. His most memorable ministries were; founding and managing the Sister Thea Bowman Food Pantry, the After School Sports and Arts Academy, and community organizing for homeless housing, and anti-violence especially through street vigils. It was as a pastor that he learned to love administering the sacraments, preaching, teaching, and pastoral ministry. Friar Paul is an advocate of the New Evangelization, and enjoys sports and music in his leisure time.

Friar Masseo Gonzales OFM Conv.

Friar Masseo is currently the founder and President of El Padrecito Ministries in Guadalupe, CA.
Fr. Masseo Joseph Gonzalez was born in San Pablo, CA, and entered the friars after being inspired by the witness of the Friars at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, where he was a parishioner. Through high school and after, Friar Masseo was very involved in the street life, and away from the church. An accident in a street fight, resulted in the amputation of one of his legs, and brought about a deep conversion of heart. After entering the friars, he completed a BA in Chicano Studies, and went on for his theological studies at the Washington Theological Union. After ordination, he served in parish ministry and taught high school, but in his heart and mind, he felt called to minister to those among whom he grew up with. In 2010, he began, El Padrecito Ministries which reaches out to urban youth, and to those involved in gangs, and to bring them back to the Sacraments. Fr. Masseo also is active in music and uses the motto and branding logo of “authentic Catholic hip-hop,” making every effort to preserve the integrity of the musical genre, while ensuring that the message produced through this music is truly Catholic. This has resulted in formation of musical ventures such as Foundnation. In all of this, Fr. Masseo stresses devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which reflects his own deep devotion to Our Lady and his commitment to the spiritual models of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

Friar Stephen Gross OFM Conv.

Friar Stephen is currently in residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Friar Stephen Gross was born in Chicago, IL. He entered the novitiate at Lake Forest, IL after graduating from High School. He completed a BA in Philosophy, with a minor in History, before completing his MDiv. Friar Stephen has served in various ministries throughout his life, including teaching, formation, parochial ministry, as well as mission work to Native Americans, and has served as a bi-ritual priest to the Ruthenian Eparchy of Phoenix. He has likewise remained active in his ministry to the Secular Franciscans (OFS). Friar Stephen puts great emphasis on his love for the Byzantine Ritual Churches in Union with Rome, and has great love for his service to them. He likewise values his ministry to the Secular Franciscans. In his free time, he enjoys deepening his knowledge of the Ecclesiastical History of the Slavic peoples, as well as Church history more generally.

Friar Thomas Hamilton OFM Conv.

Friar Thomas is currently serving at the Cathedral of St. Thomas Aquinas for the Diocese of Reno, NV.
Friar Thomas grew up in Los Angeles CA, and entered the friars after High School and working for several years for the LA County Library. As a friar, Thomas received his Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from DePaul University in Chicago, and Masters of Divinity from University of Toronto. He has ministered as a High School Teacher at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance CA, as a parish Priest at St. George in Stockton, St. Paul’s in San Pablo, and other parishes. He has also worked as a chaplain in jail ministry. Friar Thomas has been a friar nearly 50 years now. He has enjoyed all his ministries, but especially teaching High School Religion. Friar Thomas continues his interest in Spanish, and Mexican history and culture.

Friar Robert Herbst OFM Conv.

Friar Robert is currently serving the Diocese of Oakland, CA as the Chancellor and Judicial Vicar, and Moderator of the Curia.
Fr. Robert was born in Chicago, IL, and completed his college at St. Mary’s University in MD prior to entering the Franciscans. After completing novitiate, he was sent to the Dominican School of Theology in Berkeley where he completed his M.Div., and then Gallaudet University where he received an MA in Education, focusing on Ministry with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ordained to the presbyterate in Hermosa Beach, he served as pastor of St. Thomas Church in Riverside for 9 years before being assigned to the Collegium Paenitentaria Apostolica at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City – a ministry of the Franciscans. While ministering at St. Peter’s, he completed his Doctorate in Canon Law, the first earned doctorate in St. Joseph Cupertino province since its inception. Returning to the US, he is currently serving as the Chancellor, Judicial Vicar, and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Oakland – while continuing to minister to the Deaf community in the Diocese and assisting various parishes, especially in the Extraordinary (Latin) Form of the sacraments.

Friar Joseph Martin Hoang OFM Conv.

Friar Joseph Martin is currently studying Theology in San Antonio, TX.
Friar Joseph Martin was born and raised in Vietnam and came to the United States after High School. He received a Bachelor degree in Accounting at California State University in Fullerton. Friar Joseph Martin began to discern his vocation during college where he met a Franciscan Friar who inspired him to join the friars. Friar Joseph Martin is currently studying Pre-Theology at the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio Texas, and hopes to continue studies at the Oblate School of Theology to be ordained a priest. Friar Joseph has realized that his vocation is to serve God and His Church. He desires to submit himself to His will, to follow in His footsteps, and to make Him and His love known to others. His most meaningful ministry so far has been helping children to know and believe in God by teaching them in parish religion classes. Ministry has taught Friar Joseph Martin to change his own lifestyle, attitude, and point of view about the material world. He strives to live a simple life. He has found that life as a friar is the best way for him to fulfill God’s will, because he has more time to spend with God in prayers and parish work. Living in the Conventual Franciscan religious community, provides a chance to seek and give support to others who share the same belief.

Friar Anthony Howard OFM Conv.

Pastoral Associate at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA.
Friar Anthony grew up in Detroit, MI, and has known the Order for his entire life. As a friar, he completed his studies at St. Anthony on the Hudson Seminary, in Rensalier, NY, and the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure (The Seraphicum), in Rome, Italy. Friar Anthony’s first assignment was in parochial ministry at St. George’s Parish, in Stockton, CA. After that year, he went on to teach at Bishop Montgomery High School, in Torrance, CA for ten years. After that year he returned to parochial ministry, as well as later serving in chaplaincy to Carmelite Nuns in Alhambra CA, and as post novitiate formator in our Province. His time at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, in Riverside, CA proved to be the most transformative experience of his priesthood. He firmly holds that the intellectual tradition of the Order is necessary to the formation of the friars, and remains adamant about his own continued intellectual and spiritual growth.

Friar Joseph Kim OFM Conv.

Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Fr. Joseph Kim was born at Orange, CA, and completed a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Psychology from St. John’s Seminary & College in Camarillo, CA, before he entered the Friars. He studied for the priesthood at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Berkeley, CA) and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. As a friar, he has served as a Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas Aquinas in Reno, NV, before his current ministry. Friar Joseph is very active, and strives to put joy into every ministry. He believes that joy comes from the person, and not from the place. Joseph is an avid runner and enjoys exercise and eating well. He hopes to serve the Church and the military personnel of our country, as a military chaplain.

Friar Bruce Lamb OFM Conv.

Friar Bruce is currently in Residence at Holy Family Friary in Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Bruce was a high school teacher in Compton CA, and had completed his BA from UCLA and Masters in Educational Administration when entered the friars. As a friar, he completed his MDiv at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and was ordained to the priesthood. Friar Bruce has served the friars as a prison and hospital chaplain, as a parish priest, as a math and religion high school teacher, and as a retreat director. Some of his assignments include Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hermosa Beach, CA, Pastor at St. Paul’s Church in San Pablo CA, teaching at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance CA, and retreat director at St. Clare’s retreat in Soquel, CA.

Friar Roberson Lubin OFM Conv.

Friar Roberson is currently studying in San Antonio, TX
Friar Roberson was born and grew up in Les Cayes, Haiti, and lived in Dominican Republic where he taught French and Creole. He moved to Lakewood, CA. furthering his study of English as Second language, before he entered the Friars. Friar Roberson is currently doing his undergraduate studies at San Antonio College. Beside Haitian Creole, Roberson speaks French and Spanish fluently and is leaning English. Friar Roberson enjoys working with helping people. During Postulancy in Chicago he was volunteering at the Little Sister of the Poor, St. Thomas Canterbury soup kitchen, Inspiration Cafe in Broadway, Solidarity Bridge and St. Stanislaus Kostka soup kitchen. During the Novitiate in Indiana he volunteered at the Hospice Care and the Sister of perpetual Adoration. Right now in San Antonio, he is helping at St. PJ's (St. Peter and St. Joseph) home for children under the Guidance of Catholic Charities. He enjoy running, taking a long walk, ridding bike, he loves playing soccer, watching basketball and reading.

Friar Patrick Lytell OFM Conv.

Friar Patrick is currently in residence at our Holy Family Friary in Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Patrick grew up in Los Angeles, CA. He completed a BA in Business from CSU Los Angeles, and later completed his MBA from the same institution. He entered the Order with considerable managerial experience from working in a variety of capacities in the film industry for twenty-four years. Friar Patrick has ministered simultaneously as a vocation director and teacher at Bishop Montgomery High School, at Torrance, CA. He served two Ministers Provincial as their secretary, served as second term as vocation director for the province, and up to the present, serves as the Vicar of Holy Family Friary, in Castro Valley, CA. He took great joy in teaching and most especially in his ministry as vocation director. He maintains his love for film, especially the older classics, to this day.

Friar Peter Mallin OFM Conv.

Friar Peter is currently serving as Chaplain at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Redondo Beach, CA.
Friar Peter got to know the Friars when he was going to High School at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance CA, when the friars taught there. Friar Peter entered the friars after high school. Friar Peter studied Theology at the Dominican School of Theology and Philosophy at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Since his ordination, Friar Peter has served as Pastoral Associate in St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, NV, and has served as Chaplin at Little Company of Mary Hospital for many years now. He is just finishing his Doctorate in Bioethics.

Friar Carlos Morales OFM Conv.

Friar Carlos is currently serving as Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Friar Carlos Morales Rojas was born at Alajuela, Costa Rica. He entered the Friars at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 1983. After his ordination, Fr. Carlos served as the Vocation Director for the Central American Custody. He likewise served for a period as a parochial vicar. Much of his service has been in formation, but he served twice as Custos of the Central American Custody. During this time, he worked to maintain strong community ties, in a diverse and international jurisdiction. In 2013, he came to the United States to assist the friars of our Province in ministry to the Hispanic Community, at our Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, at Hermosa Beach, CA.

Friar Francisco Nahoe OFM Conv.

Friar Francisco is currently serving as our Vietnam Mission Promoter.
Friar Francisco came to the Order at the age of twenty-two, out of college, where he’d been involved in a campus ministry that provided an exceptionally rich experience of Catholic spirituality and tradition. Since then, he’s served the Church and the Order in California, Costa Rica, Italy, Poland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Vietnam and has ministered in Catholic education, Catholic campus ministry, Franciscan formation, Catholic radio, adult faith formation, parochial ministry, teaching ESL and mission promotion. At present, he preaches mission appeals throughout the western United States. The beauty, dignity and solemnity of the Roman Liturgy well celebrated first led him to join the Order and to seek ordination to the priesthood. Even today he would say that his greatest joy derives from participating in the sacred mysteries. An ethnic Polynesian, Fr Francisco travels frequently to his family’s home on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific.

Friar Tammylee Ngo OFM Conv.

Friar Tammylee is currently serving in Vietnam as a formation Director.
Friar Tammylee worked in the Electronics Industry in Irvine, CA for seven years before entering the Friars. After novitiate he received his BA in Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and MDiv at ST. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. Since Ordination he has served as Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in San Pablo CA and in Formation in our Vietnam Mission. Friar Tammylee enjoys cinema and walking for recreation.

Friar Maximillian Tuan Nguyen OFM Conv.

Pastoral Associate at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA.
Friar Tuan Maximilian Nguyen was born in Vang Tau, Vietnam and entered the Friars after coming to the United States. He completed his academic preparation for priesthood, at Holy Names College and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. As a friar, he has served in American Martyrs’ Parish in Manhattan Beach, CA and at the Cathedral of St. Thomas Aquinas in Reno, NV. After his time in parochial ministry, he served as a missionary and formation director in Vietnam for eight years. Having an excellent command of English and Vietnamese, Friar Tuan enjoys cinema and plays the flute, and has a great love for the priesthood.

Friar Ronald Olsen

Friar Ronald, our founding provincial of our St. Joseph of Cupertino Province, is in residence in Minnesota.
Was originally from our St. Bonaventure Province and was assigned to Teach High School at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance CA, where he led a group of friars to found a new Custody in 1978, and we the St. Joseph of Cupertino Province in 1981. He has served as became our first Provincial, and lead us through our first ten years as a Province. Friar Ronald also has served as Pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Superior Wisconsin, and has served the Diocese there in various capacities.

Friar Michael Paul OFM Conv.

Serving at Holy Family Friary in Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Michael joined the friars after college and has served at our friary in Arroyo Grande, at the Mission of San Antonio de Pala, and at our Holy Family Friary in Castro Valley, CA. His ministries have included the care of both our aging friars, and of our facilities. Michael shares his considerable skills in all aspects of building and maintenance, from plumbing, to roofing, to electrical, construction, carpentry, auto-mechanics, and much more. He is truly a "Jack of All Trades". He also seeks to mentor others in these areas, especially those who may have come across hard times and are trying to rebuild their lives, employing them and teaching them his skills as they together maintain and care for our properties. Michael shows his great love, patience, and care as he has journeyed with many of our sick friars, helping them through both illness and through their embrace of "Sister Death".

Friar Jerry Payne OFM Conv.

Friar Jerry is currently serving at the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents, Kellyville Australia.
Before entering the friars, Jerry lived at and served in a Reservation in New Mexico, and has been a Manager of Movie Theaters. After Novitiate Friar Jerry has served our Holy Family Friary in Castro Valley, and St. Paul of the Shipwreck church as manager of Maintenance, and has also been a parish administrator and Manager of the Food Pantry at St. Paul of the Shipwreck. Friar Jerry also has run a soup kitchen and social outreach program in Syracuse New York, has been a fundraiser for the ministries, and is currently ministering at the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents in Kellyville, Australia.

Friar Viktor Perez OFM Conv.

Fr. Viktor is currently serving as Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Coalinga, CA.
Friar Viktor has served in prison and hospital chaplaincy, as Pastoral Associate and Pastor of several of our Parishes in New Mexico, California, and Nevada. Friar Viktor also spent over two and a half years in Rome where he served as an extraordinary confessor at the Sacred Penitentiary at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, hearing the confessions of pilgrims visiting Rome. Friar Viktor has also enjoyed ministering to the poor and outcast in his many ministries including at St. Paul of the Shipwreck Catholic Church in San Francisco, California, where he manage the Sister Thea Bowman Food Pantry, and currently where he works with migrant workers, and with Friar Andres Amador at the Coalinga State Hospital where he celebrates Sunday Mass to the civilian detainees held by the State of California after these men have finished their prison sentences from sexual predation. Friar Viktor Father Viktor has also enjoys being Spiritual Director of Cursillos, Spanish Marriage Encounter, the Secular Franciscan Order, and as Chaplain to the “Hermanos de la Luz” – “the Penitentes” of New Mexico.

Friar James Phan OFM Conv.

Assistant Novice Master at our Novitiate in the Philippines.
Friar James is a convert to Catholicism from Buddhism while in the refugee camp in Pulau Galang, Indonesioa. He was living in Orange County, CA and completed his AA degree in nutrition at Golden West college before he entered the Friars. After novitiate, he studied Philosophy at the Dominican School of Theology at Berkeley and Theology at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park. Since Ordination he has served in our Vietnam Mission working with the Lepers in Von Mon, and is now serving in formation. Friar James has been inspired by the example of the Friars whom he has lived with over the years, by their witness to Christ and by their expression of simplicity, meekness, kindness, fraternity, and joy of being Franciscan Friars. James talents include sewing and decorating, and has generously used these gifts to decorate our Churches and Friaries.

Friar Allen Ramirez OFM Conv.

Fr. Allen is serving as Pastoral Associate at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Pismo Beach, CA.
Friar Allen Anthony Ramirez was born at Los Angeles, CA, and entered the friars after graduating from Bishop Montgomery High School where the friars ministered. Friar Allen completed a BA in Humanities, at Loyola Chicago, and his studies for the priesthood at the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College. Friar Allen then served the Hispanic community at St. Ida’s Parish in Chicago, IL, before returning to CA, where he has served teaching in high schools, serving as an interim principal, later serving as a candidate director, post-novitiate director, until he was named the pastor of St. Paul’s Parish at San Pablo, CA. He served as pastor until his election as the second Minister Provincial and served in that capacity from 1991, until 2001. During that period, he helped to establish missionary presences in Mexico, serving the indigenous peoples, the Province assumed the care of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, at San Francisco, CA, received the care of the Parish of St. Paul of the Shipwreck. At the end of his tenure as Minister Provincial, Fr. Allen served as the Private Secretary to the Minister General, and lived and worked at the General Curia of the Order, at The Basilica of XII Holy Apostles, at Rome. Since his time in Rome, Fr. Allen returned to CA and has served as Rector of the Shrine of St. Francis, Chaplain to St. Francis Korean Community in Los Angeles, and Bishop Montgomery High School. He now has taken up residence at St. Paul’s Parish, Pismo Beach, CA. He has a great love for reading, and loves to minister to the “passerby.” He likewise believes that the Sacred Liturgy must occupy the principle place in the life of the friar. Fr. Allen holds that this focus moves the friar to virtuous living.

Friar Christopher Saindon OFM Conv.

English Teacher, Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Chris joined the friars while working professionally as an actor, and being inspired by Friars in his home parish St. Paul in San Pablo. As a friar, he completed his BA in English and Philosophy from Holy Names University in Oakland. He has ministered as a teacher, at middle school thru college, in parish youth ministry, and in high school and University campus ministry. He has enjoyed working closely with the catechetical community of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles planning and executing liturgies for the regional and diocesan religious education congress. Friar Chris enjoys introducing his students to theater and opera, and giving workshops and retreats for adults and young people.

Friar Lazaro Sandoval OFM Conv.

Friar Lazaro is currently Pastor at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA.
Friar Lazaro got to know the Friars while he was a parishioner of St. Paul of the Shipwreck in San Francisco when the Friars were serving there. One day while serving Mass, Fr. Steve asked him if he had considered becoming a friar. Turns out he was, and joined us shortly after that. He studied Theology at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, served as Deacon at St. Paul of the Shipwreck, as Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hermosa Beach, CA, and now as Pastor of St. Paul Church in San Pablo.

Friar Kevin Schindler-McGraw OFM Conv.

Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Castro Valley, CA.
Friar Kevin completed his BA from Purdue University in Elementary Education, where he was inspired by the Conventual Franciscan campus Minister, the movie Brother Sun and Sister Moon, and biographies of St. Francis. As a friar, he received his MA in Theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and Doctorate in Judaic & Biblical Studies at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. He served in Rome and Assisi in general administration, as Rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, the National Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco, taught Seminary and worked in Formation in Cambridge England, and as Pastoral Associate at St. Lawrence Martyr in Redondo Beach, CA. Friar Kevin especially enjoys ministry as an educator, in adult Bible studies and spirituality. He enjoys hiking, movies, and reading.

Friar Alphonse Van Guilder OFM Conv.

Pastoral Associate at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Pismo Beach, CA.
Friar Alphonse entered the friars while a student at Loyola University in Chicago. As a friar, he completed his BA degree in Philosophy with a minor in Education at University of Dayton Ohio, and Theology at Assumption Seminary in Chaska Minnesota. Friar Alphonse has taught in the Minor Seminary, taught high school at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance CA, has ministered as a parish Priest, hospital chaplain, and was prison chaplain at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, CA for more than 10 years. Friar Alphonse still loves serving after nearly 60 years as a friar! He has especially enjoyed his work in formation, and is well known for his ability to make people laugh and smile, using his sense of humor, jokes, and even costume to bring joy to the patients he visits.

Friar Luke Vu OFM Conv.

Friar Luke is currently serving in our Vietnam Mission as Mission Director and Formation Director.
Friar Luke studied Theology at St. Patrick Seminary, after his novitiate year. While a deacon he served at St. Paul of the Shipwreck in San Francisco, and since ordination has served as a Pastoral Associate at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA and as a formation director and Delegate to our Mission in Vietnam.

Friars of our Vietnam Delegation

Peter Maria NGUYỄN HỮU PHƢỚC

Friar Peter was born in Dong Nai Province of South Vietnam, and was a waiter and English teacher and entered the friars after completing his BA in English. After Novitiate, he has received his completed his Theology training at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon and is serving as a Transitional Deacon. Peter has served in Parish catechesis, as a cook for disabled children, and Peter has also served at St. Paul Parish in Pismo Beach, CA. Peter likes to work with the poor, and would especially enjoy working in a nursing home or doing farm work. He enjoys volleyball soccer and reading in Vietnamese and English.

Peter VŨ BÌNH QUỐC

Friar Peter was born in Saigon and is serving as the Vocations Promoter. Prior to entering the friars, he worked on the Parish staff at his Church. Peter has received his BA in Philosophy at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon. Friar Peter has served in Parish catechesis, teaching disabled children, and enjoys reading in theology and liturgy, playing chess, soccer and ping pong. He hopes to continue his studies to become a professor of theology or liturgy.

Anthony Maria LÊ SỸ DƢƠNG

Friar Anthony was born in Hương Khê rural district in Hà Tĩnh Province (Central Lowlands), and worked in agricultural labor before entering the friars. Friar Anthony received his Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, and is currently serving as a Transitional Deacon. He has served as Formation Director, in direct assistance to the poor and Lepers at Văn Môn Lepersariam, and at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hermosa Beach, CA. Friar Anthony enjoys working with the poor, and would like to serve with Catholic Charities. He enjoys reading, chess, swimming, soccer, volleyball, ping pong, badminton, and fishing.

Paul Raphael LÊ ĐỨC CHÁNH

Friar Paul was born in Nha Trang in Khang Hoa Province (South Vietnam), and was working as a waiter in Saigon and private English teacher, and had completed his BA in English before entering the friars. As a friar he studied theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon and was Ordained a Deacon at St. Paul Church in San Pablo, CA. Friar Paul has served in parish catechesis, has taught disabled children, and enjoys volleyball, soccer, and reading in Vietnamese and English. He hopes to continue to work with the poor.

John Baptist ĐOÀN CAO THUẤN

Joseph Pio TRẦN VĂN DƢƠNG

Friar Joseph was born in Xuân Trường Huyen of Nam Dinh Province (North Vietnam), and had completed studies in Civil Law before entering the friars. He is currently completing his Theology studies at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon. Frair Joseph as served in parochial ministry, and enjoys music, travel, soccer, ping pong and swimming. Friar Joseph hopes to serve abroad and work with leprosy patients.

Joseph Cupertino PHẠM VĂN NHƢƠNG

Friar Joseph was born in Xuan Duong in Nam Dinh Province, entered the friars at age 19, and is studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon. Friar Joseph has served orphaned and disabled children, parish catechesis, and as a cook. He enjoys music, playing trumpet, chess, soccer, ping pong, badminton, and swimming. He hopes to further his studies in English, work as a foreign missionary, and continue to serve the poor.

Peter Eurmado HOÀNG THÀNH ĐÔNG

Friar Peter was born in Thống Nhất in Dak Lak Province, and entered the friars at age 20. He has studied at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, and at the Seraphicum in Italy. He is preparing to be ordained, and has served with our friars distributing food to the poor, in youth catechesis, and working with disabled children. He especially enjoyed attending World Youth Day in Poland recently. He hopes to serve the order as a Spiritual Director and Seminary Professor. His pastimes include reading, soccer and fishing.

Dominic NGUYỄN CÔNG HOÀI

Joseph Maria TRẦN VĂN LONG

Friar Joseph was born in Xuân Trường in Nam Định Province, and entered the friars at age 19. As a Friar, Joseph has studied Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon and at the Seraphicum in Italy. He enjoyed attending the World Youth Day in Poland, and has served in food distribution to the poor, parish catechesis, marriage preparation, and as a cook. He enjoys reading, soccer, ping pong, swimming, and hopes to serve in Canon Law, parish ministry, youth ministry, and in service to the lepers.

Dominic NGUYỄN VĂN TIẾN

Friar Dominic was born in Phú Bình in Thái Nguyên Province (North), and had completed a Bachelor in Science in Computer Technology, and has spent time with the Jesuits, before coming to the Friars. Friar Dominic has completed his Theology studies with the Friars at Franciscan Institute of Saigon, and has served at our lepersarium in Văn Môn. Friar Dominic enjoys playing the guitar and ping pong. He hopes to continue to serve the poor, and work as a tailor in the order.

Dominic HOÀNG THÀNH NGHĨA

Friar Dominic was born in Dong Nai, had completed his BA in Foreign Languages, and was working in business before entering the friars. He continues his studies in Theology as a Friar at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, has served in parish ministry, and enjoys music and soccer. He hopes to serve the order as a missionary.

Joseph NGUYỄN CHÍNH LUẬN

Friar Joseph was born in Dak Lak (Central Highlands), had completed studies in English and Business Administration, and had worked in business management and sales, and was in formation with the Jesuits, before entering the friars. He is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, has served in parish ministry, Eucharistic Youth leadership, parish catecheisis and in service to the lepers at Văn Môn. He enjoys music, playing flute and keyboards, soccer, basketball, ping pong and swimming. Friar Joseph hopes to use his business skills to help the order grow.

John Baptist NGUYỄN NGỌC ĐIỀN

Friar John was born in Buôn Ho in Dak Lak Province (Central Highlands), and had completed his studies and was working as a motorcycle mechanic before entering the order. He is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, enjoys playing the guitar, saxophone, and flute, and playing soccer, ping pong and volleyball. He has served in parish ministry, and hopes to continue his studies in the Franciscan charism and spirituality.

Peter NGUYỄN NGỌC DUY

Friar Peter was born in Huế, and completed training as a computer technician, and working in website security and design when he entered the friars. Friar Peter is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, has served in parish catechesis, distribution of food to the poor and at our leprosarium in Văn Môn. He enjoys working on computers, graphic design, reading in English, playing soccer and ping pong, and hopes to continue to serve the poor and lepers.

Joseph TRẦN VĂN CƢƠNG

Friar Joseph was born in Xuân Trường Huyen of Nam Dinh Province (North), and studied Sociology before entering the Friars. Friar Joseph has recently completed his Theology studies at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, and has served in parish catechesis and visiting the sick at a local hospital. Friar Joseph enjoys soccer, ping pong, badminton, and hopes to be Ordained and work in Hospital Chaplaincy, and continue to serve the elderly and the lepers.

Micheal NGUYỄN KHẢI HOÀNG

Friar Michael was born in Phan Rang in Ninh Thuận Province, and had completed training in Vocational Tourism and was working in hotel management when he entered the friars. He is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, and hopes to be ordained and serve in Pastoral Ministry. Friar Michael has served distributing food to the patients in the local hospital, and enjoys music, are, soccer, ping pong and badminton.

Joseph NGUYỄN VĂN NHÀN

Friar Joseph was born in Viet Tri in Phu Tho Province (North), had completed training as an auto mechanic, had worked Road Crew manual labor, and was an Aspirant with the Dominicans before entering the Friars. Friar Joseph is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon. Friar Joseph coordinates food distribution to the sick at Thủ Đức Hospital, and enjoys chess, soccer, ping pong, and volleyball.

Stephen TRẦN NHƢ TẢNG

Friar Stephen was born in Buôn Ma Thuột in Dak Lak Province, joined the friars after working in manufacturing and a Café, then continued his pre-Theology studies in Food Production, Confections and Baking while living in the Residency program with the Friars. Friar Stephen is currently studying Theology at the Franciscan Institute of Saigon, hoping to be ordained and serve in a Pastoral Ministry. Friar Stephen helps coordinate the food distribution to the sick in the local hospital, and enjoys playing guitar, organ, and playing soccer and tennis.

Joseph VÕ QUỐC CƢỜNG

Friar Joseph was born in Saigon, and had completed a Bachelor degree in Nuclear Physics and Information Technology and was serving as a college instructor when he entered the friars. Friar Joseph is currently studying Theology at the Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum in Saigon, and hopes to become ordained and develop and supervise vocational training for poor children, and work at the lepersarium. Friar Joseph enjoys nuclear physics and energy, sustainable energy resources, kung fu, aikido, ping pong, and badminton.

Joseph LÊ VĂN VƢỢNG

Friar Joseph was born in Hà Tĩnh, and entered our residency program when he was 18 years old. While there he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and is currently studying Franciscan Institute of Thủ Đức, after which he hopes to be Ordained. Friar Joseph has served in Parish Ministry, and hopes to continue to work with the poor, and follow the Franciscan Life which he loves. He enjoys music, travel, soccer and ping pong.

Vincent PHẠM VĂN DUẨN

Friar Vincent was born in Thái Bình (North – Red River Delta), had studied Management, Interpretation and English, worked as a sales manager and supervisor, and had spent time in formation with the Redemptorists before joining the Friars. He is currently studying Theology at the Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum in Saigon, and hopes to become a Priest. Friar Vincent has ministerd in distribuiting food to the sick, parish catechesis, music, evangelization and outreach. He enjoys music composition, choral conducting and playing guitar and piano. He also enjoys basketball and ping pong. Friar Vincent hopes to found Catholic Schools and be an Evangelizer.

John Baptist NGUYỄN PHẠM THẾ

Friar John was born in Saigon, had attended Vocational College in Melbourne Australia, and was working there in the retail, service, and restaurant industries. He is currently studying Theology at Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum in Saigon and helping distribute food to the sick in Thủ Đức Hospital. Friar John hopes to be Ordained and be a Missionary in Laos, Africa or China. Friar John enjoys design, event decoration, dance, travel, badminton, and swimming.

Paul TRƢƠNG VĂN MỸ

Friar Paul was born in Nghệ An Province (Central), and had received a Bachelor in Humanities and professional training in Teaching and Choral Conducting, and had spent time in the OFM formation Program. Friar Paul is currently studying Theology at Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum in Saigon, and hopes to be Ordained and work in the education apostolate, formation and the Franciscan Youth Movement. Friar Paul distributes food the the sick at Thủ Đức Hospital, and enjoys music, choral conducting, and soccer.

Dominic NGUYỄN VĂN HIỂN

Friar Dominic was born in Thủ Đức in metro-Saigon (South), and had studied Music at the Franciscan Academy of Music in Saigon, and had been in the Aspirant program with the OFM friars, before coming to us. He is currently studying at the Centrum Dominicanum Studiorum in Saigon, and hopes to become Ordained and serve in the Parish as Priest and in Music Ministry, and composition. Friar Dominic serves the patients at Thủ Đức Hospital, and enjoys music, voice, composition, music theory, keyboard, guitar, and choral conducting, in addition to digital graphic design and gardening.

John Baptist TRẦN VĂN HƢỚNG

Friar John was born in Cẩm Xuyên rural district in Hà Tĩnh Province (Central Lowlands), and came to the friars when he was 18. While in our residency program, Friar John has received formal training in Information Technology and as a Polyclinic Physician Assistant. Friar John has worked as an Acupuncturist in Saint Anthony Clinic, and has served in Parish Ministry and Catechesis. Friar John hopes to continue to serve the poor, especially the elderly and infirm. Friar John enjoys Information technology, chess, ping pong, soccer, and badminton.

Joseph LÊ PHẠM VIẾT HOÀNG

Friar Joseph was born in Hà Tĩnh, after having received his Bachelor of Arts in English, and spending time in the formation program of the Diocese of Nha. He received his Theology training at Franciscan Institute of Thủ Đức, and has ministered in Parishes as a catechist. Friar Joseph wishes to serve the order in farming and serving the lepers in Văn Môn. Friar Joseph enjoys volleyball, soccer, and reading in Vietnamese and in English.

Joseph ĐOÀN MINH VŨ

Friar Joseph was born in Hà Tĩnh, and prior to joining the friars, received his Bacherlor of Arts degree in English, and worked as a tutor, and was in the formation program for the Diocese of Nha. Since joining the Franciscans, Friar Joseph has completed his Theology at Franciscan Institute of Thủ Đức, and has served disabled children as a cook. Friar Joseph has also served as a parish catechist.

Jerom VŨ THÁI HỌC

Postulants of our Vietnam Delegation

Joseph TRẦN CÔNG TÂM

Dominic ĐINH CÔNG CHƢỞNG

Micheal LÂM VĂN VINH

Joseph TRẦN VĂN ĐỨC

Joseph ĐÀM KIM HOÀN

Joseph VŨ ĐỨC HUYNH

Joseph NGUYỄN QUỐC HUY