Father DePaul Doan - Biography

fr DePaul275x325pxFather DePaul DoanFather DePaul was born to Catholic parents in Da Nang, Vietnam, the third of six children (three brothers and two sisters). He spent his entire childhood there and many of his early fond memories involve his close connection with the local Catholic church, bicycling to church regularly to help the local priest with daily chores.

In 1989, while in his late-teens, his family moved to Los Angeles as part of the American government's sponsorship of Vietnamese likely to be persecuted by the Communists for their political or religious beliefs. His father had been a soldier and his mother a government worker. The family settled in San Bernardino, California. Now too old for high school and with little or no English, young DePaul found work first as a waiter and then in a local manufacturer of electronic audio components. His wages help support his family.

He continued to feel the call of his Catholic faith. "You know when I came to the US, it was not just to make friends or to make money, it was also to find Jesus." he says. He worked for three years to support his family while his older siblings left home to get married and his younger siblings attended school. But eventually, he knew it was time to leave and he joined the religious order of St. John the Baptist. "It was very difficult. I was crying and my family was crying." he remembers. He lived with the Brothers for two years but was still uncertain of what course his life should take. Then, he recalls with a laugh that he, along with half a dozen other Brothers were posted to Taiwan. "It was another world. I did not know Chinese and was still learning English and no one knew Vietnamese. For awhile, we had to use sign-language." He did, however manage to learn basic Mandarin before being assigned back to the United States in Queens, New York. Over the next seven years, he was a novitiate taking his vows to the priest hood and studying philosophy. He went to Rome in 2002 to study theology and in 2005 returned to Taichung, Taiwan where he was ordained a Deacon. In 2006 he returned to Astoria, New York where he was ordained a priest with the St. John the Baptist congregation at Mt. Carmel in the Brooklyn Diocese.

His congregation sent him to the Vancouver Archdiocese in 2006 where he spent two years at St. Bernadette's parish and five years at St. Mathew's parish before coming to Star of the Sea Parish in August 2013.

Father DePaul loves to swim, is an avid soccer fan and says with a chuckle that he could not get through the day without copious amounts of coffee.