After faithfully serving St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church for 17 years, Fr. John Lam, SDB retired from the parish on May 1, 2023.
Fr. Lam is a kind and compassionate pastor, always available to help someone in need. He was present to welcome newborns, joined couples through the Sacrament of marriage, visited the sick, and walked with many through the final steps of life. Fr. Lam will now return to Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco, where he had previously served for 15 years.
Through God’s grace, St. Bridget now welcomes Fr. Peter Pong as the new pastor of St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church. Fr. Pong has been serving as the associate pastor for two years, overseeing the liturgical ministry of the parish.
On May 20, 2023, more than 400 St. Bridget parishioners and friends celebrated Fr. Lam’s retirement with a traditional Chinese banquet. Joseph Ng, President of the Chinese Catholic Association of Los Angeles, thanked Fr. Lam for his 17 years of devoted pastoral care and highlighted Fr. Lam’s steadfast determination which drove the effort to build the new Mary Help of Christians Center. Under his leadership, the completion of the Center is in sight. Fr. Peter Pong, SDB, our newly appointed Pastor of St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church, thanked Fr. Lam, welcomed and introduced honored guests. Fr. Mel Trinidad, SDB, Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco of the United States Western Province, recognized Fr. Lam for his long and distinguished service to the Salesians of Don Bosco. Bishop Edward W. Clark, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region, also thanked Fr. Lam for his faithful service to St. Bridget, and wished him continued blessings for his future pastoral work. Fr. Jim Nieblas, SDB, Director of the LA Salesian community, shared his appreciation for Fr. Lam’s pastoral care to the St. Bridget community. Fr. Lam thanked the St. Bridget community for their many years of loving support and with his usual humility, asked for forgiveness if he had offended anyone.
Richard Cheung, President of St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church Parish Pastoral Council, presented a video that summarized Fr. Lam’s 17 years of service to St. Bridget, featuring parishioners sharing their personal messages of gratitude and well wishes. The video presentation continues with a time lapse video of the construction of the Mary Help of Christians Center and a tour of the Center led by the youths of St. Bridget.
Rose and Won Ng presented Fr. Lam with a souvenir sign dedicating Fr. Lam’s office in the Mary Help of Christians Center. Matthias Lee and Veronica Loh presented Fr. Lam with a handmade 3D picture of St. Bridget Chinese Catholic Church. And Richard Cheung presented a photo album featuring Fr. Lam’s 17 years of service.
Many parishioners from Northern California also attended the celebration dinner and welcomed Fr. Lam back to their community. The celebration dinner concluded with various group pictures, providing each St. Bridget sodality with the opportunity to personally bid farewell to Fr. Lam.