With its 2021-22 academic year under way, Thomas Aquinas College is welcoming new chaplains at both of its campuses: Rev. John Mary Chung in California and Rev. Carlos Viego in New England.
A priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, a native of South Korea, and a convert to the Catholic faith, Fr. Chung joins Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., and Rev. Robert Marczewski in Santa Paula. He succeeds 17-year chaplain Rev. Cornelius M. Buckley, S.J., who departs Wednesday for the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.
“Thomas Aquinas College is a very rare place where truth, goodness, and beauty easily lead one to seek a life of holiness,” says Fr. Chung. “My hope is that, through the sacraments, preaching, and individual spiritual direction, I can help the community grow in virtue and have an even deeper communion with Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Fr. Chung holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seoul National University and master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1998 to 2006 he chaired the Korean program at Smith College, where he taught Korean language, culture, and literature. Discerning a vocation to Christ’s priesthood, he left academia for the seminary and was ordained in 2011. Over the last decade, he has served at various churches in the Bay Area, including Nativity Parish in Menlo Park and St. Elizabeth, Star of the Sea, and St. Philip’s parishes in San Francisco.
“We are grateful to our old friend Archbishop Cordileone for blessing Thomas Aquinas College with the ministry of Fr. Chung, who, in his short time on campus, has already shown great concern for the spiritual well-being of our students,” says Dr. John J. Goyette, dean of Thomas Aquinas College, California. “We are very glad to welcome him here.”
With the continued growth of the College’s three-year-old New England campus — which, for the first time, now has students in all four classes — the College also sought the aid of an additional chaplain to support Rev. Greg Markey, head chaplain and assistant to the dean for religious affairs in Northfield. Filling that role will be Fr. Viego, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark.
“I accepted the chaplaincy at Thomas Aquinas College, New England, because the Catholic cultural mission of the College is also my own,” says Fr. Viego. “True education, culture, and civilization have their source and perfection in the Person of Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, and in the historical reality of our Catholic culture.”
Born in Schenectady, New York, and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, Fr. Viego is a graduate of Seton Hall University. He earned a licentiate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America, a master’s of divinity from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, and a doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Ordained to the priesthood in 1998, he has served at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, St. John the Evangelist in Orange, St. Leo Church in Irving, and Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack.
“We are very blessed to have Fr. Viego, a longtime friend of Fr. Markey, join our community. His love for the liturgy and his experience with spiritual direction will be greatly appreciated,” says Dr. Thomas J. Kaiser, dean of the New England campus. “We thank Cardinal Tobin and the Archdiocese of Newark for his service.”