Photo: Rafael Alvarez/Angelus News

He Died Doing What He Loved

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On Saturday, Sept. 19, a friend of the Marian Fathers, Fr. Adrian San Juan of Norwalk, California, passed away suddenly at the age of 43. His passing came soon after he collapsed while he was officiating a wedding ceremony at St. Linus Church, where he had been serving as administrator for about one year. He received Last Rites and died at a hospital in Whittier, California.

Father Adrian was born in 1976, the last of six children in Valenzuela, Philippines, outside Manila. His family recalls that even before starting elementary school, Fr. Adrian showed signs of a vocation.

In 2002, Fr. Adrian was diagnosed with testicular cancer just a few months before his diaconate ordination. Though chemotherapy left him sickly and thin, he was nevertheless ordained a deacon of the Archdiocese of Manila. Thanks to the prayers of family and friends, his cancer went into remission the next year, and he was ordained to the priesthood in 2003. After this near death experience, Fr. Adrian felt as though he were given a second chance at life. He attributed his recovery to Divine Mercy, Our Lady, and St. Thérèse.

After spending six years ministering in parishes and schools in Manila, Fr. Adrian transferred to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2010 to be closer to his family. He was officially incardinated as a priest of the archdiocese in 2015. He served at several parishes, including at St. Peter Claver Church in Simi Valley from 2015 to 2019.

Father Adrian was known as a holy, prayerful priest with a good sense of humor, which made him popular among the youth. He was a wonderful homilist who exuded love for the Eucharist. Father Adrian was also an excellent pianist, composer, and vocalist.

Upon his passing, his family and parish family received an outpouring of love and support on social media. Bishop Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said, "Father San Juan's joy-filled witness to the Gospel will be missed by the many family, friends, and parishioners who knew and loved him."

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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