Fr. Hao Dinh, Pastor
Fr. Hao Dinh was ordained a priest in 1993 by Bishop Pierre DuMaine. Since then, Fr. Hao has served as parochial vicar or pastor in eight different parishes, and dean of deanery 5, encompassing nine parishes in the Cupertino-Saratoga-Campbel-Los Gatos area.
He is now pastor of Ascension Parish (2019) and also assists Bishop Cantú in the Chancery as Vicar General (2019) and Chancellor (2020).
He was born in Bien Hoa and grew up in Saigon, Vietnam. He is the youngest in a family of three girls and three boys. His parents passed away in San Jose, and one of his sisters died in Vietnam when she was about a month old. Half of his siblings live in San Jose, others reside in Calgary, Canada.
His journey to the priesthood began in 1969 when he entered St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary in Saigon. It was on July 26, six days after the historic moon landing! Setting foot in the seminary is not comparable to that event, but it was hugely significant to him and his classmates. They were between 11 and 13 years old, leaving home with a desire to prepare themselves for the priesthood. Little did they know that the journey would take much longer than expected. It was because of the fall of Saigon in 1975, which brought an end to a war but peace was not restored, and it started an upheaval in South Vietnam and persecution of the Church. The war was over, but many kept praying for true peace - with justice.
As a result, their priestly formation was disrupted and many of them left the seminary. Those who continued were facing suspicion and scrutiny from the new government, which placed restrictions on student admission and formation. The seminary was shut down again in 1982 when he nearly finished his theology studies.
Then joining his parents and two brothers, he left Vietnam in 1985 through the orderly departure program and settled in Calgary, Canada. In 1988 he was admitted to St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park and was eventually ordained for the Diocese of San Jose on May 15, 1993, exactly 24 years after passing the entrance examination at the seminary in Vietnam on May 15, 1969.
When he began his seminary formation in 1969, he could never imagine becoming a priest in San Jose, and now serving this Parish and this Diocese. It’s a journey that had many twists and turns and took much longer than expected, from Saigon to San Jose, from 1969 to 1993. It’s truly an adventure, and it’s more exciting than landing on the moon!
I am Fr. Reynaldo Pineda Sarmiento, born and raised in the Philippines; I have been a priest since 2014. I am the youngest of five and the only boy in the family.
I studied in a Dominican school for my elementary and high schools and I have a Business Management Degree from a college run by the Benedictines. After college I worked in the hotel and restaurant industry for fifteen years. Part of my hotel assignments were in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines. I was a manager for TGI Friday’s in the Philippines and for a cinnamon shop, part of a Canadian franchise. I was also a free-lance consultant for human resources.
By the grace of God, after working for 15 years in the hospitality industry, I joined the Diocese of San Jose to become a seminarian. For seven years I studied philosophy and theology at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park under the Sulpician priests.
Eventually, I was ordained by Bishop Patrick McGrath on June 7, 2014. My first assignment was at Queen of Apostles Parish where I served as parochial vicar for five years. The Church of the Ascension is only my second parish assignment. I am blessed, excited to serve the community, and to work with the parish staff and Fr. Hao Dinh. Please feel free to visit me in the parish office for a chat or for any services that I may be of help.