September 2022
Costa Mesa, California

served by the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey

Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings from the Norbertine Fathers and Sisters, and the staff, of St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish.
This issue of THE HERALD introduces our new pastor, Fr. Pascal, and our newly assigned priest, Fr. Benedict Solomon, highlights the kick-off of our school year, contains exciting ministry updates, a request for volunteers, as well as information on upcoming events at SJB.

September is the month traditionally dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Below is an article about the devotion.
The St. John the Baptist Parish Community eagerly and happily welcomes our new pastor, Fr. Pascal Nguyen, O.Praem.!

As many parishioners know, this isn’t Fr. Pascal’s first “go-round” at SJB. Father served here at the parish from 2002 to 2009 as a parochial vicar. He was one of the priests in the first group of Norbertines who came to St. John the Baptist when the Diocese of Orange asked St. Michael’s Abbey to staff the parish.  
Fr. Pascal pictured above with (left to right): Fr. Hildebrand Garceau, 2nd Norbertine pastor of St. John the Baptist parish; Fr. Martin Benzoni, 1st Norbertine pastor of St. John's; Sr. Marie Vianney, principal of our parish school at the time; Fr. Philip Smith, also one of the first Norbertines to staff the parish.
Fr. Pascal was ordained on July 2, 1994 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laguna Woods, CA as a priest of the Norbertine Order. 

His priestly ministry has included assignments at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro as a teacher and Campus Minister, St. Columban’s in Garden Grove as a parochial vicar, the 7 years at St. John the Baptist, and then, from 2009 to 2022, he served at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado in various capacities, including the Development and Business offices, while concurrently holding the office of Abbey Treasurer.  
Father Pascal celebrating Holy Mass at St. John the Baptist, prior to the renovation of the church, a project initiated and accomplished by the Norbertine fathers when they came to our parish.
Our entire SJB community looks forward to praying with, working with, and helping, Father Pascal as he embarks on his new ministry as our Pastor!

St. John the Baptist Parish warmly welcomes Father Benedict Solomon, O.Praem.

Father hails from San Pedro, California, where he attended Mary Star of the Sea School from 1st to 12th grade. Father Benedict was ordained as a Norbertine priest in 2010. 

His priestly assignments have included teaching freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior religion at St. Michael's Abbey Prep school for 8 years.
Father Benedict also served as Rector of Mary Star of the Sea Elementary school in San Pedro for 6 years. And for the past 11 years Father has celebrated the Latin Mass at the St. John Paul II Center in Yorba Linda.

Father looks forward to serving the community here at St. John the Baptist.

September 5th
Holy Hour at 7:45 am in the church
9:00 am Holy Mass (the ONLY Mass that day)
No morning or evening prayer
No afternoon adoration
No evening Prayer Service or Confessions
Parish Office closed
11:20 AM
(Pacific Time)
Pray the Rosary with our Norbertine Sisters

The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon.
Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results.
-St. Josemaria Escriva

Register for Zoom Link:


Religious Education (English)
Classes begin Sep 18, 19, 20
1st Holy Communion Preparation
Post Communion Faith Formation
RCIA-adapted for children


English, Spanish, Vietnamese
For additional information contact Christina Ford at

for information click HERE

REGISTRACIONES para el programa 2022-2023
Los Domingos después de la Misa en Español

Traer copia de la fe de bautizo, ó acta de nacimiento si no está bautizado(a)
Para mas informacion, communicarse con la madre Berta
Christian Initiation of Adults

Adults inquiring about Baptism and/or becoming a member of the Catholic Church, please call Tom Grebel, 714.540-2214 x120

Adults interested in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation
click HERE
SEP 9 and OCT 14

6:30 to 8:30 pm

Bible Sharing
with our
Norbertine Sisters

St. John the Baptist Convent
2960 Mendoza Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Our Norbertine Sisters invite young women to a
Monthly Bible Sharing every 2nd Friday of the month.

Please RSVP TO
Knights of Columbus Breakfast Burrito Sale

Join fellow parishioners in the parish hall after the
8 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am Masses for a great breakfast and even better fellowship.
Knights of Columbus CHILI COOK-OFF!
11 AM TO 4 PM

SJB School Fall Gala & Auction!

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022
5:00 PM

at the incredible Balboa Bay Club, Newport Beach

Plan now to "make a night of it" with your friends!
Click HERE for tickets and sponsorship opportunities
After a busy and exciting summer of activities, which included meeting and welcoming our new chaplain, Fr. Benedict Solomon, O.Praem.,
our Youth Ministry is gearing up for a fantastic fall season.
Register for Youth Ministry, see the calendar of activities, and get more information on each event by visiting the Youth Ministry page on our website HERE.



After a summer hiatus, in September, we're excited to bring back our Candlelight Mass!

We will offer confession and adoration before Mass, starting at 7:00pm in a candle-lit church. Mass will begin at 8:00pm. Confessions will continue throughout Mass.

Afterwards, we will head over to In-n-Out for food and fellowship.

Within the Mass, we receive the source of unending grace: God Himself. Truly there is nothing greater! In and through communion, it is Christ who leads us to great heights. (Verso l'Alto!) We hope to see you there.

"The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host." 
- Venerable Fulton Sheen



Our next date day will take place on Saturday, September 17th. We encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity for FREE childcare!

To make sure we have enough volunteers for the amount of children being dropped off, you must register in advance to participate: CLICK HERE to do so!

The school yard, childcare room, and playground will be used with adult supervision. You are welcome to drop off your kids from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. We will watch your little ones all the way up to your high school aged children. We want you to enjoy time with your spouse, to give you the ability to rest, and/or to get things you otherwise could not do (with kids around), done!

All children that are dropped off need to have eaten a full meal before arrival and be dressed appropriately for the weather.
We are currently in need of ushers for our Sunday
9:30 am, 11 am, and 5 pm Masses.

The most important role that the usher serves is that of hospitality. The usher is often the first person worshipers encounter when they arrive at church. The usher has the opportunity and responsibility to represent the rest of the assembly in offering hospitality. Offering a smile and a word of welcome can have a profound impact on people as they arrive, especially if they are visitors to the parish.

If you regularly attend the 9:30 am, 11 am, or 5 pm Sunday Mass, and are interested in serving our parish in this important ministry, please contact our head usher, Joe Laguna at or complete the online Usher Interest Form HERE.
Reminder that our parish has a subscription to FORMED, a premier online platform filled with over 4,000 Catholic studies, movies, audio dramas, talks, e-books, and even cartoons for our children.

  • Content from over 60 apostolates, including Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, and the Knights of Columbus.

  • Material that is professionally produced, engaging, and solid in its catechism.

Best of all, this material is free to SJB parishioners. 
To gain access to all of FORMED’s content, follow these simple steps:
  • ·        Go to 
  • ·        Enter our parish’s zip code: 92626
  • ·        Select St. John the Baptist, Costa Mesa
  • ·        Enter your name and your email address
That’s it! You’re in.

You may also get the free FORMED app for your phone by searching FORMED Catholic in your app store.


And . . . we’re off and running . . .
. . . into the 2022-2023 School Year!
SJB School welcomed back students, parents, and alumni on Sunday, August 22nd with the traditional Ice Cream Social. 

There was a buzz in the air as students eagerly perused class lists to see who their classmates and teachers will be this academic year. Moms, dads, faculty, and school administrators shared stories of summertime activities, adventures, and vacations. 

The next morning, Aug 22nd, marked the first day of school!

Always special and exciting! Fresh haircuts, new shoes and backpacks, lots of smiles and hellos.

The first morning assembly of the school year included the raising of the flag, pledge of allegiance to the Cross and to the flag, a reading from the Holy Gospel, short message and blessing from school rector, Fr. Damien, and a special welcome from principal Paula Viles to our new teachers, our Norbertine sisters, and to our new pastor Fr. Pascal!
For information on St. John the Baptist Catholic School, visit the school’s website:

May God smile upon and bless our students, parents and families, teachers, sisters, and administrators this year!
Save the Date!
SJB Spaghetti Dinner
Join us on Friday, September 23rd from 5:30 - 9:00 PM.

Enjoy Food, Drinks, Music, Games, Prizes and so much more, all while reconnecting with the SJB school community!

The dinner will take place outdoors in our courtyard - temporarily transformed into the Piazza di SJB - while the school's blacktop area will feature a variety of games and activities.

INDEED . . .

Wonderful things continue to happen at
SJB School!
Parents who would like to learn more about our school are encouraged to click the link below:

or call (714) 557-5060


to the 237 people who have signed up for Adoration in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel . . .

and to the 82 people who have made recurring adoration commitments

Please prayerfully consider signing up.

We are using an electronic sign-up system, called WE ADORE HIM. Signing up, checking in, and finding substitutes is simple and easy.   

1)   Sign up by going to our SJB Adoration Chapel website: Click HERE. 

2)   Once you are on the SJB Adoration Chapel website, click on SIGN UP at the top of the page to create your account, set your password, and input your information. The activation code is STJOHNCHAPEL.

3)   Among the choices you’ll have is how to receive notifications of your adoration time(s) – by text, by email, or by phone. 

4)   Another choice will be if you are willing to be a substitute. 

5)   Checking in for adoration will be done on an iPad located just outside the Adoration Chapel. You’ll see your name on the screen, and just check in! 

6)   Log-in to your account to update your information, see your upcoming adoration commitments, and to request a substitute. 

7)   If you request a substitute, the system will contact – one by one – those who have indicated they are willing to be a substitute. If the first person declines to be a substitute, the system moves on to the next person, etc. Once a substitute is found, you’ll receive a message telling you your spot is filled. 

Contact Tony at the parish office if you have questions or need help signing up. He may be reached at or by calling (714) 540-2214. 


Be a vocation prayer warrior!

Help our parish pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Sign up to take home a beautiful Crucifix from the Holy Land for one week. This commits your family to use it in a daily prayer for vocations.

The Crucifix is received by the family at one of the Vigil or Sunday Masses, and is returned to the parish rectory office by 5 PM the following Friday.  
You may sign up HERE
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September is the month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The month of September is traditionally dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary with the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows being observed on September 15. The Feast follows immediately after the celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the 14th of the month, and thus emphasizes the Blessed Mother’s involvement with the mystery of Salvation, as she stood weeping in deep sorrow at the foot of the Cross.

The seven great sorrows that Mary lived in relation to her Son, as they are recorded in the Gospels or through tradition are: the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Holy Child at Jerusalem for three days, meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary, standing at the foot of the Cross, Jesus being taken down from the Cross, and the burial of Christ.

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary are often depicted by an image wherein Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is pierced by seven swords.

Devotion to the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary dates back to the twelfth century, when it was first established in monastic circles under the influence of St Anselm and St Bernard.

The Cistercians and then the Servites started to spread the devotion. It was widely embraced during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, especially in the Rhineland and Flanders, where Confraternities of the Sorrowful Mother sprang up. This devotion was officially promulgated by the Pope Pius VII in the early nineteenth century.

PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS (attributed to St. Bonaventure) :
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honour, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen.

-compiled from various sources, including
The Church at Prayer, A.G. Martimort
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum
Catholicism, Pure and Simple.
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