Born in Nha-Trang, Vietnam, Father Pascal Nguyen, O.Praem. is the oldest of seven children. He was 10 years old when his family emigrated to the United States in 1975. His youngest sister was born ten days after his family stepped off the plane in San Diego at the Naval Hospital. His family stayed in a refugee camp at Camp Pendleton for three months. After having been sponsored by St. Bonaventure parish in Huntington Beach, his family settled in the Orange County area. He was educated and grew up in Orange County, until he entered the Norbertine Community at St. Michael’s in 1986.
After he completed his studies in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Nicholas Parish in Laguna Woods, CA in 1994. Since his ordination he has served as both an administrator and teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro, CA from 1994-2000; parochial vicar from 2000-2002 at St. Columban parish, in Garden Grove, CA; parochial vicar from 2002-2009 at St. John the Baptist parish in Costa Mesa, CA. He is a past Chaplain to the Diocesan Vietnamese Cursillo Movement and has acted as Retreat Director for various retreats organized by the Father Kolbe Missionaries for nearly 14 years.
Q: What is a Norbertine?
A: A Norbertine is a priest who serves the people of God from the fullness of his religious life, with an intimate relationship with both God and his community; whose life is enriched by a life devoted to both the Holy Eucharist, and the Blessed Virgin Mother.
Q: Why are you a Norbertine?
A: I became a Norbertine to live a life dedicated to serving God with other like-minded men, united in heart and mind on the way to God. I met a Norbertine who was chaplain of a youth group, and asked him about his life, his habit. He told me to come and see. I came to visit and ended up applying to join that summer.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your ministry?
A: I love being with the people whom I have the opportunity to serve, whether it be young or old. Serving in the parishes really gave me the opportunity to share in the lives of so many good people, learning from them, being inspired by them, and being there for them at some of the most significant celebrations of their lives. God has called us to be channels of his grace and love. May that be my lot for all my days.
ST. PASCAL BAYLON (1540-1592) was born into a family whose parents who were virtuous Spanish peasants.
Between the ages of 7 and 24 he worked as a shepherd and always paused to pray when he heard the church bells ringing at Mass for the Consecration.
In 1564 he became a Franciscan brother and spent all his spare moments praying before the Blessed Sacrament, reaching the heights of mystical prayer.
On one occasion, while traveling through France, he defended the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and narrowly escaped death at the hands of an angry Huguenot mob.
Feast day: May 17th (or in some places on February 11th)
Patron saint of: Eucharistic Associations, Eucharistic Congresses and Shepherds