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Two Seminarians Continuing Education in Diocesan Tribunal


Two seminarians from Saint Patrick Seminary are spending the school year working in the Tribunal Office for the Diocese of San José, under the guidance of Father Andy Ligot, JCD, Judicial Vicar and Judge.

John Hwang and William Mamangun are spending the academic year doing their Field Education learning.

Here the seminarians are in their own words.

Beomjung ‘John’ Hwang

I am Beomjung ‘John’ Hwang, a seminarian from Saint Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park. I am studying for the Diocese of Suwon, South Korea. I was born and raised in a devout Catholic family, and my aunt is a Religious sister.

My family has been amazing supporters for my vocation to the priesthood. My parents presented me to God at a shrine in Korea when I was in my mother’s womb, which I happened to know later, after I became a seminarian in 2011. I discerned my vocation to the priesthood when I was in the military service for two years to fulfill my duty as a Korean man; after I finished my second year at the Koren seminary. God’s love guided me to respond with my free, yes, to his gentle and faithful calling. It was an unforgettable moment that I felt the interior freedom.

Now, I am in my third year of Theology, which means that I have two more years before the priesthood. I’m looking forward to my diaconate ordination, next April. As I am getting close to the priesthood, my studies and interests are focused more directly on my future priestly ministries such as Sacramental Theology, Catholic Social Ethics, Historical Theology, and Spiritual Encounter of East & West. Among these classes, my favorite one is on the Sacraments, which are necessary for our salvation. Also, the Sacraments accompany us from birth to death.

As a future minister of Sacraments, I want to become a priest who promotes and encourages people to enjoy sacramental life as devout Catholics. Thankfully, I have a great privilege to learn and experience it at the Tribunal Office of the Diocese of San José throughout this academic year. I’m sure it will be a precious opportunity for me to learn how to promote and support happy marriage and family life for the people of God.

William Mamangun

My name is William Mamangun. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Guam in 2005. I am studying for the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam and currently am in my third year of Theology at Saint Patrick Seminary. I want to become a priest because I want to love and serve God and minister to His people, especially through the celebration of the sacraments. I know that it is only through God’s grace that I will be able to accomplish this. However, I am determined to do my part in my formation, part of which is studying Theology. I am blessed to have the opportunity to learn more about God and the Catholic faith, which helps me in my spiritual life and will be vital in my future ministry. This semester, I am taking the following courses: Theology of the Eucharist, Theology of Marriage, Catholic Social Ethics, Historical Theology, Ecclesiology, and Field Education.

My Field Education assignment is at the Tribunal Office of the Diocese of San José. I believe that this assignment will provide me with a better understanding of the judicial processes that take place in the Tribunal Office especially that of Annulment. It is my hope that my exposure to this process and learning about what parties go through during this time, will give me ideas that will aid me, in the future, in counseling those who undergo the painful process of Annulment. Most importantly, my goal is to have a deeper knowledge of the Church’s understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, and learn about the areas that couples should focus and try to work more on during their marriage preparation, and especially during their married life, which will hopefully allow me to minister to them in the best way possible.

I am thankful to our Supervisors, Father Andy Ligot and Mrs. Zaira Martinez-Robles, and all the personnel at the Tribunal Office for their warm welcome and their willingness to accommodate and support us in our field education. I am confident that their guidance will greatly help in preparing me for my future ministry.

Finally, I am truly grateful to be on the journey towards priesthood. Please pray for me, and all my brother seminarians at Saint Patrick Seminary. May God give us the grace to grow in holiness so we may minister to His people in holiness, and truth. Thank you.