Rev. Vincent Woo, J.C.D.

Assistant Professor of Pastoral Studies


Rev. Vincent Woo, J.C.D. is a canon lawyer involved in parish ministry, tribunal work, academic research, and seminary formation. Hailing from Hong Kong, he discerned his vocation while pursuing his tertiary studies in the United States. Under the tutelage of Joseph Cardinal Zen at Holy Spirit Seminary, he was ordained in 2017 for the Diocese of Hong Kong. His first assignments included ministries in a parish, a hospital, and a homeless shelter in Hong Kong. While pursuing his doctoral degree, he was a regular confessor at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is serving at
at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Burlingame.

As a canon lawyer, he has worked as a stable advocate for the Archdiocese of the Military Services, USA. He has also conducted pro bono advocacy work assisting Catholics in various dioceses concerning their marriage nullity applications. Currently, he is training permanent deacons at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Additionally, he serves as an appointed member of the Research and Development Committee of the Canon Law Society of America.

He regularly contributes to academic journals on topics pertaining to sacramental and liturgical law. Most recently, he has been invited by Raymond Cardinal Burke to speak at the Speculum Iustitiae Conference for Canon and Civil Lawyers in La Crosse, WI.

He believes that canon law is intrinsically oriented toward the salvation of souls and regulating justice in the Church. He hopes to instill in seminarians the idea that true pastoral charity must be based on faithful and loving observance of the law in the celebration of the liturgy and in the accompaniment of Catholics who struggle with their marriages.

Apart from canon law, Father Woo has a keen interest in the liberty of the Church in China and Hong Kong. He has appeared on EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, and he has been quoted in the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report. His hero is Ignatius Cardinal Kung, who was jailed by the Chinese Communist Party for almost 33 years for
refusing to join the patriotic association in the 1950s.

Selected Publications

“Cremation and Beyond: The Pastoral Accompaniment of Families of Deceased Catholics who Choose Illicit Funeral Alternatives.” Studia Canonica (in press).
“The Celebration of Daily Mass with No Faithful Present after Vatican II.” The Jurist (in press).
“Historical Development of the Times of Ordinations: A Proposal to Revitalize Ember Saturday Ordinations.” The Jurist 79 (2023).
Ceremonial for Priests, by Marc Caron. Book review in The Jurist 79 (2023).
Does Traditionis Custodes Pass the Juridical Rationality Test?: A Canonical-Theological Study,
by Réginald-Marie Rivoire. Book review in The Jurist 79 (2023).
Sacred Oils, by Paul Turner. Book review in Antiphon 26 (2022).

Conference Presentation

“The Canonical Right of a Priest to Celebrate Mass individuali modo in light of the Post-
conciliar Teachings on the Eucharist.” Invited Presentation at the 2024 Speculum Iustitiae
Conference for Canon and Civil Lawyers in La Crosse, WI (forthcoming).



B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2006
M.Sc., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2009
S.T.B., Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology and Philosophy, Hong Kong, 2016
J.C.L., Catholic University of America, 2020
J.C.D., Catholic University of America, 2023
Dissertation: “The Laws of Ember Days: Fasting, Ordination and Liturgical Rites”