St. John the Baptist Church

11150 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito, CA 94530 | Phone: 510 232-5659 | Email:

Fr. Thuong's Silver Jubilee

Parish News

In looking back 25 years ago, I have clearly recognized the presence of God in my life. 
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my God and my Mother Mary for taking care of me with Their Loving Embrace. Also I would like to thank our Bishop Emeritus John Cummins, who ordained me, Bishop Allen Vigneron, Salvatore Cordileone, Alexander Brunett and Michael Barber, who nourished and cared for me as a priest. I would like express my sincere gratitude to all my Oakland brothers priests, my family members, my dear parishioners, my benefactors and my friends who pray and who have walked. Because of your support and encouragement, I have become the best of who I am. 

I was born and raised in Vietnam.  I began my priestly vocation in the seminary of the Long-Xuyen Diocese in 1968 at the age of 12. Upon graduation from high school and preparation for college in 1975, Vietnam had fallen to the Communist regime.  All seminaries were closed and taken over by the Communist government. All seminarians had to return home to avoid prosecution and execution.  I also returned to my home village parish and served the parish school as an “interim principal.” With the help and assistance of the village pastor and the parishioners, I was able to attend the “hidden underground night class” to continue my seminary college education. Religious life was getting more difficult, especially for seminarians, and the chance to become a priest seemed impossible. 

Therefore, in May 1981, with the help of a friend, I left Vietnam by boat and finally arrived in California in December 1981. After about six months of language studies, I entered St. Joseph’s College Seminary and graduated in 1986. I moved on to St. Patrick’s Seminary to study theology. By the grace of God, I was ordained on May 24, 1991. My first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole (1991-1993). Next, I served as a diocesan director of the Vietnamese Pastor Center (1993-1995). Then I was made pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Oakland (1995-2001), and I moved to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church as pastor in San Leandro (2001-2011). 

In short, I have always believed in what our Lord Jesus spoke in John 14:2: “I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  For me, what it means is not just the heavenly place, but also all the earthly places where He has sent me and will send me for the fulfillment of my ministerial mission. I am deeply grateful to Jesus for choosing me as His priest in doing His work. And may our Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and also my Heavenly Mother, keep me close to her Beloved Son the Lord Jesus always. 

I would like to personally reconsecrate each moment of my priestly life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary where I can be loved, be joyful and at peace.

Fr. Thuong Hoai Nguyen 


​​​​As Catholic Christians, we are committed to knowing, loving and serving God 
by obeying His commandments and serving our brothers and sisters with love and respect.​

​© 2011 St. John the Baptist Church. El Cerrito, CA. ​​

St. John's Vacation Bible Day Camp

Eventbrite - Vacation Bible Day Camp 2016

St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in El Cerrito

St. John's School Gym
June 20 - 24, 2016
9 am - 5 pm

Your kids will be transported in our "Cave Quest," following Jesus, the Light of the World. All day campers are $170 or morning only option are $70. We are working on some very special games, sports, special science experiments, service projects, tasty treats and amazing music. It's time for your kids to make new friends and be part of our camp community.

Questions? Call Pam Vincent (510) 507-8694