Churches worth driving to

St. Thomas More, Irvine

St. Thomas More Church, Irvine, exteriorName of Church St. Thomas More

Address 51 Marketplace, Irvine CA 92602

Phone number (949) 551-8601


Mass Schedule Saturday Vigil, 5:30 p.m.  Sundays, 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. & 5 p.m. (Life Teen)  Latin Tridentine, 2nd Sundays at 12:30 p.m.  Chinese Mass, 1st and 4th Sundays, 1:30 p.m.  Spanish Mass, 3rd Sunday at 2 p.m.

Confessions Saturdays, 3 – 4 p.m.

Names of priests Father John Janze, pastor.  Father Bill Krekelberg and Father George Blais, parochial vicars.  Norbertine Fathers Joseph Horn and Charbel Grbavac and Father Joe Justice assist on weekends.  Father Janze is a low-key, but faithful priest.  Father Krekelberg is the diocesan archivist and has a wealth of information about the history of the diocese.

Special activities Adoration on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and 22nd of the month 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. (the designated day for the parish to pray for vocations, as part of a diocesan program to pray for vocations), Knights of Columbus, Right to Life, Legion of Mary,  Filipino Catholic Organization, Saturday Bible Study.

Music Depends on the Mass: Saturday vigil is a cantor, the Sunday morning Masses have choirs.  The Sunday evening Mass is a Life Teen Mass.  (Life Teen may not be for everyone, but the parish has a vibrant youth and young adult ministry program of which Life Teen is a part.  Led by David Calavitta, it draws about 100 teens on Sundays, who stay after Mass for dinner, a talk on the Faith and additional prayer and adoration.)

Fellow parishioners A predominantly English-speaking community.

Parking OK.

Cry room No.

Additional observations St. Thomas More is a church on the eastern side of Irvine in the Diocese of Orange.  It is home to many pious, orthodox Catholics.  It was founded in 1996, and Mass was celebrated out of a house as funding was raised for a church.  An initial building was constructed further south, but the parish re-located to its present site three years ago.  The church made the news two years ago when a vandal spray painted “Kill CATHLicks” in black, 12-inch letters on a walkway next to the church parking lot.  A “disturbed” woman was arrested for the graffiti the following month; she had sprayed offensive comments at sites throughout the county.

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  1. St. Christopher says:

    This is truly dopey. You can get Chinese,or Spanish, or “Life Teen” (?what is that? Do any teenagers go?), or even an occasional good old TLM. What utter nonsense. What kind of church has such a crazy agenda of worship? Answer: A church that does not believe in itself and is trying to be politically and socially relevant to all passers-by. The Vatican needs to correct this, but of course it will not. And, bishops in Germany and Austria get away with far worse. Let them go, Holy Father. Protect the Faith. Another suggestion: with the Grapefruit League right around the corner, let’s have a Baseball Mass. Easy enough to do with today’s Catholic Church; just cry, and cry, and cry, saying that you can’t understand all those big, hard words, and feel marginalized, and hurt. You have the right to comfort, after all, in all forms. Who knows, a Golf Mass? Football, too. Maybe a Stock-market Mass, or one for Heavy-Duty Shoppers. Makes the Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and Baptists look pretty good.

  2. this is a nice article about the parish, inclduing the inspiring bit about teend who attend Mass together and then stay for dinner and a discussion about faith issues — how great!

    however, it’s funny to read the following description:

    “Father Janze is a low-key, but faithful priest.”

    does this mean MOST fiathful priests are in your face? over-caffeinated? hell fire and brimstone?

  3. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the founder of Life Teen, (former) Fr. Dale Fushek:

    Dale Fushek is the leader of the Praise and Worship Center in Chandler, Arizona and the former Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. In 2005 he was charged with 10 criminal misdemeanor counts related to alleged sexual contact with teens and young adults. By February 2010, the charges were adjusted to four counts contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of indecent exposure. On April 15, 2010, Fushek agreed to a plea bargain offered by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in which he pleaded guilty to one of the charges. The four other charges were dropped and he was fined $250, in addition to being sentenced to 364 days of probation.

    On December 15, 2008, the Diocese of Phoenix announced that Fushek had been excommunicated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted for establishing the Praise and Worship Center, a community outside the Catholic Church, in defiance of the bishop’s order for him to cease ministry.

    Life Teen and their masses needed to have been abolished a long time ago.

  4. I would assume that with larger numbers and greater interest on the part of the Hispanic and Asian communities, regularly scheduled masses would arrive. That has happened in many Catholic parishes. This holds true also for those attending the Tridentine rite mass.

  5. Ok so you have “one” TLM a month and the rest is Novus Orodo and that good ole Life Teen Mass stuff, Chinese and Spanish so what you are doing is segregating the entire parish into the Mass of their choice. Now 40 plus years ago you could have been in Hong Kong, Vienna, Madrid, Tokyo, or anywhere in the world and could understand the Mass because it was in Latin and no matter what culture or country you were from you could understand the Mass.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      Be careful, you are making too much sense!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      The only “Life Teen” Mass I ever attended was a Rock and Roll disaster!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • And how divisive do you think you are when you bash these parishes week after week? How does your incessant complaining unite anyone?

  6. I am a parishioner of St Thomas More in Irvine. I take exception to may of @St Christopher’s comments. His comments tend to the negative on nearly any topic. STM is a very active and vibrant parish. Most masses are standing room only. Fr Janze may be “low key” but he is an incredibly faithful man and an excellent priest. All of our priests are excellent homilists and confessors. The community is very diverse — with active Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino & Italian communities. I recommend that anyone who is able, please come and join us for mass.

  7. @A lady. Please try to dismiss the hurtful comments by some of the posters here who say insensitive things. Sadly, they do it week after week, bashing an entire parish, the priests, and the whole parish community because they only like one form of the mass.
    Catholic means universal and one of the things that I love about the Church is the beautiful diversity she has in her; encompassing everyone.
    Your parish and the hardworking priests do not deserve to be bashed. I hope one day they will learn to be more respectful when talking about priests and about the parishes that make up the Church that Our Lord suffered and died for.


    don’t worry about people in here attacking your community ofr your leaders.

    there is not one single parish everyone in this blog would be happy with.

    in fact, i fear in the next life we’ll all be complaining still…”too many harps!”

    “the clouds are too fluffy!” blah, blah…

  9. There was and never is a bashing of priests, parish or the people, just telling the truth when it comes to the “Novus Ordo” and how wrong Vatican 2 was implemented by the Bishops. It never called for an end The Traditional Latin Mass, Gregorian chant, tearing out the communion rail, ripping out the High Altars, ripping out the kneelers. Instead, it brought us the following, felt banners, dancing nuns, altar-girls, lay lectors, clapping, hugging, hand holding, communion in the hand, drums, tamborines, polka, mariachi, rock, and all profane music, empty convents, empty seminaries, molesting priests, all of which has happend since the Council. Mass attendance was at 75% in the U.S. before the Council, the seminaries and convents and Catholic schools were packed and flourishing. All of these are facts, and please if you can dispute them please do, I think you cannot simply because what I and others who love the Church and Mass of All Times in this nice blog state week after week is true. And please refrain from using that “Liberal” wording of “hurtful & insensitive”, these are simply facts that cannot be disputed. As for the differant “communities” of the parish I have in mine Slovak, German, Filipino, Hispanic, Croatian, Korean, and we all share our cultures in the Feasts we have, yet we share the one thing that unites us, The Traditional Latin Mass which we all understand!! It crosses all social and ethinic boundries, think about that.

    • JANEK, what nonsense.

      the problem of child abuse has been around for ages, just to cite ONE problem area you imagine the be caused by the second vatican council.

      as for the different ethnic communities you cite, they were divided LONG before the 1960s as well, with germans not worshipping with irish in some cases, and blacks not being allowed to receive COMMUNION in white parishes.

      you’re just suffering from nostalgia, thinking that latin would make everything rosy and hunky-dory in a world that is anything but…

    • Janek,
      Please have faith in the idea that Our Church is not just that mass. I love the TLM. I lived in Chicago where you have a lot of Ukrainian Catholics, who have a gorgeous liturgy and under Church their leadership in Chicago, you could have the TLM all day long if you want. When I moved to my new home in California to get married we asked for a TLM for our wedding mass and were denied by the bishop. Long story short, after some back and forth with the bishop and a canon lawyer, we opted for the novus ordo in Latin and tried to incorporate as much traditional things as we could. I will never understand why the Bishop did what he did; he will have to explain it to God and I don’t envy him for that but I am married none the less.
      I think Vatican 2 was implemented too quickly. And I think a lot of the things that bother you bother me. I think the reason why some in church leadership are not friendly to the TLM (or tradition in general) is because it, ultimately, represents a theology they don’t like. I pray I’m wrong.
      But here’s where I think you have tremendous potential for good. You and I understand a tradition that Church needs, I think desperately. But at the same time you say ‘the TLM which everyone understands’ is what unites us. This is wrong. First, what unites us is Christ and his Church. Second, sadly, not everyone understands, or even knows about the TLM. I know people that if you ask them what a Latin mass is they might guess you are talking about something from South America. I don’t mean to scandalize you; I simply mean to offer you perspective. If you want to get people enthusiastic about tradition and all it has to offer, you need to do so joyfully. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me with complaints about “traditional Catholics” and asked me why they are so cranky. They come to me because they know I am traditional and I try to explain to them the best I can what was taken away when things changed, but they don’t get it. You can’t blame them or get angry at them for any of this – most have no other basis of comparison.
      So, about these posts – when you criticize the new mass, in my mind, you are criticizing the priest saying it. You criticize the parish community that is providing it. They don’t deserve yours or anyone else’s criticism. They need your joyful example.

  10. To all at St. Thomas More:
    I have known Fr. John Janze for almost half of my life. He has baptized my two children, I have went to Hockey games, rode snow mobiles, and also have went to a few concerts together. I also worked together on a Folk Group with him. I just turned 71 years old this past month, and I have as of yet, not met a better priest and a human being like Fr. Janze.
    God Bless Fr. John Janze

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