Fr. Michael Fernando Thomas Purugganan Gazzingan (yes, quite a long name!) was ordained for the Diocese of Ilagan, Philippines on December 10, 2003. He served in his Diocese being a Vicar for a year and a Pastor for 5 years. He moved to the Diocese of San José in September 2009 when the Diocese of San José, California needed a Filipino priest in the Parish of St Maria Goretti.
Fr. Michael stayed in St Maria Goretti for almost five years under the pastorship of Fr. Steven Brown. He was assigned to oversee the Parish Lifeteen group, and the PhilAm community, aside from daily Mass and other Sacraments and sacramentals. He also took care of the Bereavement Ministry.
After St Maria Goretti he stayed shortly at the Parish of St Athanasius in Mountain View. Then from Mountain View he moved to St Frances Cabrini under Fr. Michael Hendrickson as the Pastor. He worked half day in the parish and the other half at The Good Samaritan Hospital where he acted as a Chaplain for Catholics.
Finishing his contract in Cabrini Parish, he was asked to assist in the Parish of St Thomas Aquinas, Palo Alto. He stayed there from 2016-2019. At St. Thomas Aquinas parish he took care of sick calls, permanent Mass for the old and the aged in Lytton Garden, Lifeteen and was the clergy representative for Tuesday night religious presentations.
His sojourn brought him to St Joseph Parish in Mountain View where he was assigned to oversee the English RCIA, Lifeteen, and celebrated Masses at Cuesta Rehab Center, before the pandemic.
Early this year, the office of the Vicar for Clergy informed Fr. Michael that the Parish of St Nicholas & St William would be needing someone to fill in the shoes of Fr. Anthony Uytingco whose term was about to end. He gladly accepted the new assignment. “Change is beautiful. One gets to widen his horizons and meet more people.”
Fr. Michael is Fr. Mike to some and Fr. Gelo to his family and those who knew him from college formation. He was born on the 28th of January 1976 to Bob and Nina who are both retired teachers. He finished his Bachelor in Philosophy, AB Classical and Licentiate in Philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. After two years of regency, where he worked in a Telecom company, he went back to the same university to finish his theology and Masters in Philosophy.
He has a younger brother, Fr. Mark, who is also a priest and the pastor of St. Victor in Berryessa, San Jose. He loves sports like basketball, tennis, mountain biking and golf. He also enjoys cooking. Fr. Gelo looks forward to serving the Parish of St Nicholas & St William. He always believes that a community (parish) becomes more productive when each plays the roles entrusted.