Two native Angelenos, a New Yorker and a Mexican-born Juan Diego House seminarian will be ordained May 31 to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Archbishop José Gomez will ordain Fathers Andrew Chung, Christopher Felix, Juan Ochoa and John Palmer in a morning Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. All have completed their theological formation at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, including year-long internships at parishes throughout the archdiocese, and recently completed service as transitional deacons.
“God uses those men who are not perfect and sinful, to demonstrate that his love and mercy endures and overcomes the weakness and shortcomings of humanity,” noted Father Felix, citing the words of St. Matthew’s Gospel: “For God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). “I feel humbled and honored to be called to share in the priesthood of Jesus through ordination.”
Following are brief profiles of the new priests, who will begin their first assignments as associate pastors on July 1.
Father Andrew Seungku Chung
Age: 29, born in Los Angeles.
Parents: Back Chul and Se Hyang Chung.
Education: St. Brendan, Loyola High School, Los angeles; UC Davis, majored in Sociology (minor in Education.
Home parish: St. Gregory of Nazianzen, Los Angeles.
Internship: Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Santa Clarita.
Transitional Diaconate: St. Finbar in Burbank.
First Mass as priest: June 1, 5 p.m. at St. Gregory of Nazianzen.
First Assignment: St. Mariana de Paredes, Pico Rivera.
On becoming a priest: “Jesus Christ is my primary inspiration for becoming a priest. Other inspirations are the priests that set examples of a life worth living as a priest, especially my uncle, Father Alex Chung; my pastor, Father Mark Choi; and my spiritual director, Benedictine Father. Aelred Niespolo. I am humbled and honored to share in the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ.”
Father Christopher Mario Felix
Age: 27, born in Mission Hills.
Parents: Mario and Cynthia Felix.
Education: Sylmar High School; Ave Maria University, B.A. in Theology.
Home parish: Guardian Angel, Pacoima.
Internship: St. John Vianney, Hacienda Heights.
Transitional Diaconate: Our Lady of Grace, Encino.
First Mass as priest: June 1, 7 p.m. at Guardian Angel.
First Assignment: St. Anthony, San Gabriel.
On becoming a priest: “The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Trinity, the Eucharist and service are at the core of my priesthood. By Mary’s Fiat and example, I have a special Mother in heaven to intercede for me. Through her example of completely offering one’s life with a simple response, I am drawn into a personal and intimate relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is nourished by Word and Sacrament, in service of God’s people, the Church.”
Father Juan Jose Ochoa
Age: 28, born in La Barca, Jalisco, Mexico.
Parents: Guillermo Ochoa and Genoveva Sahagun.
Education: Mother of Sorrows School (2001) and Cathedral High School (2005), Los Angeles; Juan Diego House (2005-2009) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (2009), B.A.
Home parish: St. Patrick, Los Angeles.
Internship: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Downey; St. Anastasia Westchester.
Transitional Diaconate: St. Peter Claver, Simi Valley.
First Mass as priest: June 1, 2 p.m. at St. Patrick.
First Assignment: St. Emydius, Lynwood.
On becoming a priest: “Pope Francis has inspired and challenged me as a future priest to go out to the margins, and to be a personal witness to the Word of God. I believe that priestly ministry is not just acting in the person of Jesus Christ in the celebration of the sacraments, but also imitating Him in service to others.”
Father John Adrian Palmer
Age: 54, born in New York City.
Parents: John and Ann Palmer.
Education: Locust Valley (N.Y.) High School; Yale University (New Haven, Conn.), B.A. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.), J.D.
Other Careers/Professions: Attorney.
Home parish: Good Shepherd, Beverly Hills.
Internship: Transfiguration, Los Angeles.
Transitional Diaconate: Good Shepherd, Beverly Hills.
First Mass as priest: June 1, 12:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd.
First Assignment: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Lomita.
On becoming a priest: “As a priest, I hope to share in Jesus’s mission by helping people to know and experience God’s merciful love so that they, in turn, can help others to know and experience His love, and ‘so that they may all be one’ (John 17:21) with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”