Priests

Reverend Brandon Manson

Reverend Brendan Manson,
Pastor

On May 25, 1971 my brother, Brian, celebrated his second birthday while my twin brother, Robert, and I were being born – seven minutes apart. My parents had no idea they were having twins and my third brother, Dan, wasn’t sure what to make of it all. Life has been a surprise ever since. As a second-generation Irish-Catholic family I grew up loving all things Catholic and Irish as well as sports and music. We were very active at Blessed Sacrament Church in Westminster and attended the parish school. I graduated from Mater Dei High School (’89) where I kept the bench warm for basketball, played soccer and was involved in various music programs. After high school, I resolved never to go to school again. I set aside college to pursue my passion for music. I played guitar in a rock-n-roll band for a few years until the unfathomable reality set in that I might not be the next American Idol. As a result, I took an entry-level job working with my brother at a Fortune 500 company. I thoroughly enjoyed the financial industry and the constant challenges. I remained with the company for six years working as a customer service manager, a sales representative, loan administrator and account executive in Thousand Oaks, Paramus, NJ, and Chicago. At 25 years old, enjoying my success, full of ambition and wanting to possess everything life had to offer, I realized that I had left the practice of my faith. I took an adult-look at the faith I was taught as a child and was convinced that not only was it true but that it was the only way to gain everything. I returned to sacraments, became involved the local parish, and substituted “power lunches” for daily Mass. This reawakened in me a vocation to the priesthood – a call I had sensed as a child. I tried unsuccessfully to talk God – and myself – out of it but I eventually came to believe that the priesthood wasn’t a sacrifice God was asking me to make but, rather, an answer to prayer: God wanted to give me everything. At 26, I began nine years of seminary formation at St. John Seminary in Boston where I earned Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Divinity. I completed my studies at St. John Seminary in Camarillo with an M.A. in Theology and was ordained a priest June 10, 2006. Despite my earlier resolve never to go to school again and as a way of God demonstrating his sense of humor I voluntarily enrolled at Regis University and graduated with an MBA in Strategic Management in 2012. Although I hardly play my guitar or banjo any more, music is still a significant source of life and joy. A daily dose of ESPN keeps me connected to the world of sports especially soccer and Angel’s baseball and I “donate” dozens of golf balls to Orange County’s golf courses during the few times I play each year. I love to travel, recently began a certified scuba diver and look forward to enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds Dana Point. You may contact Fr. Brendan via email or contact him by telephone at (949) 429-2880.

Reverend Dave Gruver

Reverend Dave Gruver,
Senior Priest

I was born in Lakewood, California, on July 24, 1959. My family is originally from Iowa but moved to California a couple years before I was born. We belonged to St. Columban’s Parish in Garden Grove where I attended grade school through 2nd grade. Later we moved to St. Irenaeus Parish in Cypress where I completed elementary school through 8th grade. I attended Mater Dei High School and graduated in 1977. From there I entered St. John’s Seminary College for four years, majored in Philosophy, graduated with a BA in 1981, and then entered the Major Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity. I was ordained in 1985. I actually credit my vocation to the fine Presentation Sisters and parish priests serving throughout my years at St. Irenaeus. I had a particularly patient 5th grade religion teacher named Sr. Kathleen, who answered all my persistent questions with great wisdom, much to the annoyance of my classmates. She helped me see the reasonableness of religious faith in a way that no one ever had before which started me down the road of questioning that eventually led me to a religious vocation. I have always seen theology as “Faith seeking understanding” and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have found myself in a life trying to help others in the same pursuit. After ordination I was assigned to St. Norbert’s Parish in Orange for four years as a Parochial Vicar, then moved to Santiago de Compostela in Lake Forest for two years. After some struggles with my health I was assigned to St. Timothy’s in Laguna Niguel for six years as a Parochial Vicar. Then I was sent to St. Martin de Porres in Yorba Linda where I served as a Vicar for four years. I left there in 2001 to become the Pastor of Santiago de Compostela in Lake Forest for twelve years, finishing my term of office in June of 2013. Now, I find myself here at St. Edward the Confessor in the role of Senior Priest/Parochial Vicar. As you can see, I have been had many changes of assignment and lots of transitions like this; but one never gets used to pulling up stakes and moving on after making a home in the lives of parishioners and communities you grow to love. Nevertheless, the call to serve God by serving His people is a restless one that keeps one moving, changing and learning for a lifetime. If God continues to travel with me, the journey will never be too long or too difficult, but it will never be boring either. I look forward to all that God has yet to teach me on my journey. Email or contact him by telephone at (949) 496-1307..

email: avirrey@stedward.com;

Fr Armando Virrey

Rev. Armando Virrey

I was born and raised in the desert area of Sonora, Mexico. As a child, I found I had a talent for art and I wanted to develop that talent as a life career. As time passed, my heart would pull me in another direction. But, I continued to focus on art as a career, even when somehow I knew there was another life path for me. At 25, I realized I had a calling from God, and I surrendered myself to Him. I began to recognize that this calling had been there since my childhood in many ways and I entered the seminary. The soft voice of God touched my heart and I listened. I joined a young-adult group in my parish and talked with my pastor. That conversation was a turning point and a vocational retreat confirmed my new direction. The doubts that used to haunt me began to vanish once I made the choice God had put in my path. Thanks to the continued assistance of my spiritual directors, the priests in charge of formation, and through my personal moments of adoration and the prayers of many people who supported me, I realized and confirmed my choice again in God’s direction. In spite of this awareness, in 1997, I left the Seminary of Tijuana and moved to California to continue my art studies. Providentially, I lived and worked in a church as coordinator of the Hispanic Community. God, who was guiding my steps all along, called me again while I was working there. In 1998, I joined the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. With them, I finished my theology studies at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon. Through prayer and spiritual guidance, I realized that my calling was not to religious life but to diocesan. So, in November 2000, I arrived at the Diocese of Orange. Bishop Brown assigned me to the Church of St. Joseph in Santa Ana, where I began my Internship, which I concluded at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. It was on June 7, 2003, I fulfilled my destiny and I was ordained as a Priest of Christ.

My first assignment was at St. Boniface in Anaheim where I served for four years. My second position was at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano where I had the privilege of serving God’s people for another four years. The Holy Spirit called me to continue in my ministry life serving in the parish of St. Mary’s in Fullerton for three years.

Now a new chapter of my life brings me to the community of St. Edward and San Felipe de Jesus Chapel where I will continue to serve Jesus Christ and the community. I pray daily to our Lord, through his blessed Mother, to continue to give me the wisdom, love, and zeal to serve

 
Deacons
Deacon Victor Samano

Deacon Victor Samano

I was born in August 26, 1943 in Moroleόn Guanajuato, Mѐxico. At the age of 8 I became an altar server (monaguillo) for several years. A priest and uncle of mine on my father’s side invited me to the seminary when I was 12 years old. After one year in the seminary in Guadalajara Jalisco, I decided that my call was definitely not to become a priest. I returned home and finished the 8th grade in my hometown. In 1961 I met Martha, my wife of 45 years of marriage (married on February 10, 1965). Two of our children were born in Mexico and the youngest was born in Laguna Beach, California. We migrated to the USA in October 1968 and lived in Capistrano Beach for 9 years. I worked picking fruits and vegetables in Medford, Oregon and Davis & Lodi, California. Other positions I held were 4 years as greens keeper for San Juan Hills Country Club and 4 years as custodian at Marco Forster Middle School. I was promoted to Food Services as delivery driver for 10 years. In 1983 I was attending San Felipe de Jesús regularly with my family when Deacon Jesse (Felipe de Jesús) Michel invited me to become a deacon, which I was not ready for. In 1985 Fr. Colman Nolan, our Pastor at that time, invited me to become a deacon for the second time. When Monsignor John V. Coffield visited my family, I asked him for advice. He inspired me with his love of God, La Virgen de Guadalupe and for our mother Church, so in 1986 I became an aspirant to the diaconate formation. Msgr. Juanote, as we call him, was in our home on a weekly basis helping me with classes and encouraging me to continue, even though I did not speak, write or read the English language. Juanote – what a living saint!! After 4 years of formation, on May 19, 1990 I was ordained by Bishop Norman McFarland and assigned to San Felipe de Jesús parish. I retired from Capistrano Unified School District in August 2005 after 32 years of service. Another challenge came along; to assist our current Pastor at San Felipe de Jesús, working in the office, answering questions from the parishioners, and giving information for baptisms, marriage etc. I have served for 20 years as a permanent Deacon. I love and enjoy serving the people of God. I love the ministry and I love serving those in need, any kind of need. I have been blessed by God’s call and I thank God for the opportunity to serve. And for the work that my wife Martha and I do at San Felipe de Jesús, the Diocese of Orange and wherever we go. You may contact Deacon Victor via email or leave him a message at (949) 521-0103 (voicemail) and he will get back to you.

Deacon Al Scaduto

Deacon Al Scaduto

I am very excited that my first assignment as a deacon will be here at St. Edward the Confessor parish. My wife, Linda and I have been parishioners here for the past 14 years and it is here that I heard God’s call to the diaconate. St. Edward holds a special place in our hearts. I grew up in the little town of Glendora. My Italian heritage was a big part of my childhood. As a boy I worked in my father’s Italian market where he taught me the lessons of life and he emphasized that my dreams can be achieved through hard work. Sunday family meals prepared by my mom after church were an all day event. One of the smartest things I ever did was to continue to ask Linda to marry me until she finally said yes. We will be celebrating our 46th anniversary this month. We are the proud parents of two fabulous sons, Tony and Greg. They both married wonderful women. Our daughters-in-law, Lynn and Heather, have blessed us with four beautiful vivacious grandchildren. After graduating high school I immediately set my sights on becoming a police officer. I joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department where most of my career was spent patrolling the streets and investigating crimes in the roughest parts of the county. I retired from the Department after 35 years of service at the rank of Division Chief. I conducted my undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of La Verne. My spiritual life has taken many twists and turns. I became more connected with my faith after experiencing events that made me realize that I constantly need God by my side. After retiring, Linda and I began doing missionary work overseas in Third World countries and developed a passion to serve the poor and the forgotten. We became associates of an order of brothers called The Missionaries of the Poor who have missions all over the world. Some of our favorite pastime activities are camping, fly-fishing, stand up paddling and any outdoor adventure that gives us the opportunity to savor God’s creation. Over time various priests asked me if I had considered becoming a deacon. I rejected the idea due to my age and questioned if being an old cop was the right background for becoming a member of the clergy. After some serious prodding by the Holy Spirit, Linda and I prayed long and hard for direction. We knew it would result in a significant change in our lives, so with a little trepidation, I submitted an application and placed our future in God’s hands. After 5 ½ years of formation, digesting about 40 text books, completing mountains of homework and with God’s blessing I was ordained on October 26th. Formation to the diaconate involves the discernment of two people, husband and wife. Not many people know that the wife of a deacon candidate, in support of her husband, is required to attend and complete all the course assignments for the entire program. A wife also has to give her husband permission to be ordained. After all of Linda’s hard work and performing hundreds of hours volunteering to serve others, she sat in the pew and watched as only I got ordained. That’s true love and dedication! I am so grateful for her support and commitment to serve our heavenly Father. She is the love of my life. She will serve in her own ministries, but there will be occasions that we will perform pastoral duties as a deacon couple. You may contact Deacon Al via email or leave him a message at (949) 496-1307 and he will get back to you.