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Archdiocese Welcomes Eleven New Priests at Annual Ordination Mass

– Eleven new priests will be ordained for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the annual Ordination Mass on June 1, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (555 W. Temple Street). Archbishop José H. Gomez will preside over the Mass. –

Eleven new priests will be ordained for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the annual Ordination Mass on June 1, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (555 W. Temple Street). Archbishop José H. Gomez will preside over the Mass. As in prior years, the ordination is ticketed and will be open to family members and friends of the ordinands. The Mass will be livestreamed via and

“This year we are blessed with 11 men being ordained to the priesthood for our local church. This is the biggest class we’ve had in several years and are excited for these men to join in sharing the message of the Gospel,” said Fr. Peter Saucedo, the Archdiocese’s director of the Office for Vocations that hosts the ceremony. “More and more I am convinced of the need for people to encounter Jesus Christ, with the many challenges that we encounter in life, people are seeking for something more, and these men with their diverse backgrounds and experiences are excited to bring them the only thing that could truly fulfill that desire. We ask for your prayers for these men, that they might inspire young people to encounter Christ and consider their vocation.”

The men who will be entering the priesthood are Deacons Thomas James Green, Miguel Cabrera, Joseph Eunwoo Cho, Stephen Philip Watson, Eduardo Pruneda Tovar, Marko Rudela, Anthony Huynh, Alejandro Reynaga, Jaime Arriaga, Eric Adalverto Mejia, and Lucio Trinidad Moreno. All have completed five to seven years of theological formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, preceded by four years at Queen of Angels Center (for those who had not earned a university degree, which is mandatory), plus their service as transitional deacons and a year-long internship at different parishes in the Archdiocese. They will celebrate their first Mass as priests on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, and will begin their parish assignments throughout the archdiocese on July 1.

The Ordination Mass is a sacramental ceremony in which a man becomes a priest and is enabled to minister in Christ’s name and that of the Church. The essential rite of the Sacrament takes place during the Laying on of Hands and Prayer of Consecration, an ancient tradition in the Church, mentioned in the Bible. The ceremony includes various rituals, rich in meaning and history, such as prostration, or when the men being ordained lay face down before the altar as a symbol of their dependence upon God and the prayers of the Christian community. They will also receive their investiture, the vest or robe used by the priests when they celebrate Mass, from a priest, and will be anointed with chrism oil, only used during baptisms and the anointing of the sick and dying.

Following are brief biographies of the soon-to-be priests. Video stories of each of the new priests are available at

Dcn. Thomas James Green
Hometown: Pasadena, California
Home parish: St. Dorothy, Glendora
Parish assignment: St. Philomena, Carson

Dcn. Thomas James Green was born in Pasadena and raised in Glendora, California with two loving parents and an older sister and brother. In high school, he was determined to play football in college. He ended up deciding to play at a junior college to get a scholarship at a 4-year university. However, in his third game he had a devastating knee injury that ended up being a catalyst for him to reflect on his life, get closer to God and enter the seminary. He was surprised to hear his football coach say, “Go change the world, man,” when Green told him why he was quitting the football team. After three years, he discerned out of seminary to teach and coach football at St. Paul High School. Two years later he heard God’s call again and decided to re-enter the seminary.

Dcn. Miguel Cabrera
Hometown: Oxnard, California
Home parish: St. Mary Magdalen, Camarillo
Assignment: St. Pancratius, Lakewood

Dcn. Miguel Cabrera attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School and Santa Clara High School. He grew up riding horses on his small family ranch. Throughout his teens and early twenties, he trained in Taekwondo and received a 2nd degree Black Belt. He attended two years at Ventura College and transferred to San Diego State University (SDSU) where he got a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Religious Studies. As he neared the end of his college career, he decided to take a job with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) ministry group and served for two years. He left FOCUS to enter seminary in 2017. Although there is a special place in his heart for young-adult ministry, Cabrera has found a love for ministering to the sick, especially those in the hospital where he reminds them that their spiritual care is important. 

Dcn. Joseph Eunwoo Cho
Hometown: Highland, California
Home parish: St. Joseph, Pomona
Parish assignment: St. John Vianney, Hacienda Heights

Dcn. Joseph Eunwoo Cho is the oldest of two sons of immigrant parents from South Korea. Having a brother with cerebral palsy matured and humbled him as he helped his parents cared for him. He graduated from Chapman University in Orange County with an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Business Administration and a minor in Leadership and Organizational Studies. He began studying for his CPA exam, but while studying, thoughts about becoming a priest suddenly resurfaced. His uncle on his father’s side was a priest in South Korea, so the idea of Cho someday becoming a priest wasn’t so far-fetched for him or his family.

Dcn. Stephen Philip Watson
Hometown: Modesto, California
Home parish: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Santa Clarita
Parish assignment: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Santa Clarita

Dcn. Stephen Philip Watson was born and raised in Modesto, CA in the Diocese of Stockton. His parents, who still live there, passed along a strong and fervent faith to him and his two sisters and two brothers. After high school, he attended culinary school where a Disney World representative offered him a 1-in-2,500 chance to join its culinary intern program. He had reached a dream destination but was still left unfulfilled. Later working as a caterer, he decided to go back to Mass and to adoration regularly when he decided to enter formation with a community of priests known as the Eudist Fathers. He was with them until he joined the Archdiocese in 2019. He did his internship at Resurrection Parish in East L.A., completed his theological studies at St. John’s in Camarillo and began ministering as a deacon at St. Kateri Parish in July of 2023. 

Dcn. Eduardo Pruneda Tovar
Hometown: Hacienda de Bocas, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Home parish: Saint Mariana de Paredes, Pico Rivera
Parish assignment: Mission Basilica San Buenaventura, Ventura

Dcn. Eduardo Pruneda Tovar was born and raised in Hacienda de Bocas, a small town north of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, known for its deep Catholic roots. As the third of four brothers in a Catholic family, he grew up close to the parish priest, observing his life and ministry. Though his family never discussed the priesthood, he felt a calling from a young age, often playing at being a priest and celebrating “Mass” for his brothers. At 16, he entered minor seminary in Mexico while in high school. A few years later, while taking a year off to visit the U.S. and to learn English, he met a lay missionary group and joined them on a mission trip to Sierra Leone. The experience gave him hope, seeing the generosity of children with no material possessions sharing the little they had. In 2013, he joined the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to continue his formation.

Dcn. Marko Rudela
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Home parish: Immaculate Conception, Monrovia
Parish assignment: St. Clare of Assisi, Santa Clarita

Dcn. Marko Rudela was born in Los Angeles on the day of the Northridge earthquake in 1994. He is the son of two Croatian immigrants and has three brothers. Growing up he attended Sunday Mass with his family, and he started playing an active role as an altar boy from the fifth grade onward. He strongly felt the call to the priesthood in his third year of college studying to become an engineer, when he started to go to frequent adoration and pray the rosary. Since then, the Eucharist has always been at the center of his prayer life. He hopes to be able to be there for the people of God, especially if they need some spiritual guidance.

Dcn. Anthony Huynh
Hometown: Garden Grove, California
Home parish: Maria Regina, Gardena
Parish assignment: St. Mary of the Assumption, Whittier

Dcn. Anthony Huynh is the only child to Vietnamese immigrant parents. He graduated from Cal State University, Los Angeles in 2017 with a B.A. in Social Work. During vacation one summer in Vietnam, he crossed paths with an old friend of his father who was a priest involved in a slightly different kind of social work that sparked his curiosity. He was struck by the simplicity of how his priest friend lived, not owning many material things and just the fact that he was happy with life, doing his priestly ministry, working with the locals in the villages. Soon after he decided to enter formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Dcn. Alejandro Reynaga
Hometown: West Covina, California
Home parish: St. John the Baptist, Baldwin Park
Parish assignment: St. Anthony, Oxnard

Dcn. Alejandro Reynaga was born in West Covina and raised in Baldwin Park. He is the second of three children to parents who immigrated from Mixtlán, Jalisco, Mexico. Reynaga was raised Catholic, but it wasn’t until his first Communion that he truly felt at home in the Church. He worked as a catechist teaching confirmation class at St. John the Baptist and that set him up to be what God wanted for him. What Reynaga is most looking forward to in becoming a priest is to continually grow into being a spiritual father for those who need it. Recognizing that we’re living in as distracted a world as ever, Reynaga hopes to cut through it all to announce the love of Jesus Christ.

Dcn. Jaime Arriaga
Hometown: Tenancingo, Mexico
Home parish: St. Louis of France, La Puente
Parish assignment: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Downey

Dcn. Jaime Arriaga was born in Tenancingo, State of Mexico, and he is the youngest of three siblings and was not raised in a fervent Catholic home. He started coming back to church after a retreat in 2009. That retreat changed his life and led him to be more involved with the church. Not satisfied with what he was doing, he began to question what was the purpose of his life until he finally asked God, “What do want from me?” He began thinking about priesthood and soon after he started going to a discernment group. He joined the seminary shortly after. As his ordination approaches, Arriaga hopes to minister and be a sign to everyone, but especially those less fortunate, including immigrants and the homeless.

Dcn. Eric Adalverto Mejia
Hometown: Pacoima, California
Home parish: Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Pacoima
Parish assignment: Our Lady of the Assumption, Ventura

Dcn. Eric Adalverto Mejia encountered good role models in his youth, one of whom invited him to the parish’s altar serving program “Guardians of the Altar” when his mother enrolled him in confirmation classes at his home parish near the housing projects where he lived. By the time he got to East Valley High School in North Hollywood, Mejia was a self-proclaimed troublemaker, but at his parish he developed a sense of brotherhood. He was open to a vocation to priesthood because of the example given by his parish priest. He spent his time in community college discerning and then entered seminary. Just as the Church found him during a difficult time in his life, he sees his mission as a priest as “providing a place of support, of listening, of encouragement” for those who need it most.

Dcn. Lucio Trinidad Moreno
Hometown: Atemajac de Brizuela, Jalisco, Mexico
Home parish: St Philip Neri, Lynwood
Parish assignment: St. John the Baptist, Baldwin Park

Dcn. Lucio Trinidad Moreno was born and raised in Atemajac de Brizuela, Jalisco, Mexico. He has four siblings and thirteen nieces and nephews. Looking back, Trinidad credited his great-grandparents for transmitting the love for the faith. Although he moved to Southern California at the age of 11, he believes they played the most important role in his vocation: teaching him about the faith, bringing him to daily Mass, and encouraging his prayer life. After graduating from Dominguez High School in Compton, he returned to Mexico for a year to take care of his great-grandmother, and even considered enrolling in seminary there. But after her death, he returned to California and entered seminary formation in Los Angeles in 2015. He sees a need to “meet people where they’re at” and accompany them, especially those still searching for answers.

For more information and to view the ordination, visit and LA Catholics – Angelus News.