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June 16, 2024


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I received a distressing phone call on June 1st around 10:00 p.m. from Fr. Thomas Naval, pastor of Santiago de Compostela Parish in Lake Forest. Fr. Thomas told me that they had their parish appreciation dinner and that Fr. Marco Hernandez had been enjoying the celebration but then said he wasn’t feeling too well and left. Soon after that Fr. Marco collapsed and we learned that the paramedics were treating him. Subsequently, he was admitted to Saddleback Memorial’s ICU and received the sacrament of the sick. Over the course of the next week, many of us, including all the priests continued to pray for Fr. Marco while his family arrived to be with him. Fr. Marco never regained consciousness and then last Monday we heard he developed sepsis. At that point Bishop Vann went to the hospital to anoint Fr. Marco again and to give him the Apostolic Pardon and prayed with Fr. Marco’s family. A little after 8:00 p.m. Fr. Marco went to the Lord.

Fr. Marco was ordained to the priesthood in 2000 originally for the Franciscans in Guadalajara, Mexico and eventually became a priest our Diocese. He served at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Santa Ana (2015-2018), here at St. Edward’s (2018-2023) and at Santiago de Compostela Church (2023-2024). I found Fr. Marco to be filled with joy, faith, hope and zeal. He was an excellent priest and many of you have shared with me how he touched your life and brought you closer to the Lord. At this writing, we will have a memorial Mass here in our Diocese and Fr. Marco will then be buried in his native Mexico. Please pray for the repose of his soul as well as for the consolation of his family. May he rest in peace.


In Christ,







Bishop Tim Freyer




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