What is it like ministering to the needs of high school students? Fr. Damien shares his role in the school’s mission

By Kimberly Porrazzo     8/8/2017

Teenage angst. It comes with the territory when you work with high school students. The students at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, however, have a special person they trust when they need to turn to someone for help, understanding and guidance. That person is Father Damien Giap. 



Fr. Damien, now 10 years into his role as chaplain at JSerra, could be likened to the character Maria in “The Sound of Music.” He’s young. He’s not the stereotypical priest. He’s full of energy. He loves to have fun. And the students love him. 

Pat Reidy, vice president of Mission and Faith at JSerra, said what students find in meeting Fr. Damien is that “you can be seriously Catholic and be seriously fun at the same time.” Reidy added, “Father Damien is central to everything we do here. We like to say that Campus Ministry is the heartbeat of JSerra. I would say that without father’s dynamism I don’t think we’d be able to accomplish that mission.”