Meet our new Parochial Administrator, Fr. Quan Tran.
He will be here [at St. Hedwig’s] officially July 1st. Fr. Quan Tran was ordained in June 2011, after which he went back to Rome to finish his licentiate in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. In 2012 he was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newport Beach, and then Christ Cathedral. His last assignment is at St. Bonaventure in Huntington Beach.
Prior to entering the seminary, Fr. Tran worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Orange for ten years. He received his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law, and Bachelor in Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York. For seminary training, Fr. Tran attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, while earning a Bachelor in Sacred Theology and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the “Angelicum.”
In 2017, Father started his Fullness of Grace apostolate to help Christians grow in their faith by forming a deep spiritual life in which they live out their vocations to holiness, intimacy with God, and bearing witness to Christ: www.fullnessofgrace.org. In November of 2020, Father published his first book, The Imitation of Mary: Keys to Growth in Virtue and Grace. Besides giving talks, retreats and spiritual direction, Father enjoys going for walks, exploring different cuisines, and contemplating the beauty of nature.
From St. Hedwig’s May 3 Facebook posting:
From an April, 2021 interview
Catholic World Report: What was it like growing up in Vietnam and then coming to the United States?
Fr. Quan Tran: I was born in central Vietnam, and grew up near Da Nang, where the United States had a major air base during the Vietnam War. In 1975, when the South Vietnamese government in Saigon fell, I fled with the first group of “boat people” from Vietnam. I was young, but still have memories of the experience.
I remember being crammed into a Volkswagen van with my family and my extended family. My grandfather who was with us was a prominent anti-communist, so we were careful to hide him. My grandmother encouraged us to pray the Rosary so we wouldn’t be discovered.
We headed for the sea, and found a boat in which to escape. We went to Singapore, but we were not allowed in. We transferred to a larger boat and sailed to the Philippines, where we were put in a refugee camp that was once a U.S. military base. We next went to a refugee camp in Guam, and then one in Arkansas.
My father wrote to the only American he knew, a woman in Denver, only putting her name and “Denver, Colorado” on the envelope. Miraculously, it made its way to her, and she agreed to sponsor us. My family moved to Denver, where I grew up. I later moved to Orange County, California, where I had relatives, and because I liked the weather….
CWR: What led you to the seminary?
Fr. Tran: I had drifted away from my faith, and in college stopped going to Mass. I had a girlfriend who was a devout Catholic, however, and got me to go back to Mass with her on Sundays. Then I had another girlfriend who introduced me to daily Mass, the Rosary and Eucharistic adoration.
I prayed to God to lead me to what he wanted me to do. My girlfriend suggested I become a permanent deacon, and three other people suggested I become a priest. At age 36 I began exploring the ministry, and was drawn to the priesthood. It was scary, as I had never thought about becoming a priest. I had to be celibate, despite my plan to marry and have a family. But it was also exciting, as I thought it might be what God was calling me to do.
I had been attending Mass at St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, staffed by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. The priests there were on fire for the faith. One became my spiritual director, and I joined their community. I took a year leave of absence from the district attorney’s office, sold my house and my car, and found homes for my four dogs.
I spent a year in their seminary in Boston, and found out it was not for me. I came back, found another spiritual director, and decided to join the diocesan seminary. I studied at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park for a year, then four years at the Angelicum in Rome. I was ordained in 2011.
CWR: What did your family think about your decision to become a priest?
Fr. Tran: When they heard I was thinking about the seminary, they were shocked. They thought I was throwing my life away. They had an intervention to talk me out of it. When I was in the seminary, my father would come to see me and try to talk me out of it. He’d say, “Have you got this out of your system?”
Once I was ordained, however, my family accepted it. They don’t fully understand it – many in my family do not practice the faith – but they can see I am happy and fulfilled as a priest….
CWR: Why did you found Fullness of Grace?
Fr. Tran: I had an inspiration to help people grow in holiness. It is a universal vocation. But grace requires a proper disposition and response to bear fruit. When we look at the Blessed Mother, who is full of grace, we can see and imitate her qualities. I began to communicate this with people, which spawned the idea for my book, The Imitation of Mary: Keys to Growth in Virtue and Grace….
The above comes from an April 9 story by Jim Graves in the Catholic World Report.