From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Spokane Diocese’s seminarians provide diverse mix of ages, cultures, backgrounds

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 4, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

The Diocese of Spokane currently has 12 men studying for the priesthood in three different seminaries in the United States and Europe. Eight men are enrolled in the formation program at Bishop White. Two men are studying at The American College in Louvain, Belgium, and two are at Mount Angel Seminary, about 45 minutes southeast of Portland, Ore.

The seminarians vary in age, culture, and background. In many ways, they reflect the diversity which is present in the Catholic population throughout Eastern Washington.

Father Darrin Connall, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Spokane, has set a goal of 20 seminarians studying for the diocese. “With 20 seminarians, potentially we would be able to ordain an average of two priests per year,” said Father Connall. “If we had two new priests every year, we would actually begin to get ahead.” Father Connall believes that this goal is quite attainable and that God continues to call young men to the priesthood in adequate numbers.

The following is a listing of each of the seminarians currently studying for the Diocese of Spokane:

Pedro Bautista-Peraza is currently in his second year of theology studies at The American College in Leuven, Belgium. He is 28 years old and a native of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Before going to theology, he successfully completed the English as a Second Language Program through Gonzaga University. Pedro is a skilled photographer who has taken several pictures that have been used in promotional materials for Bishop White Seminary and the Vocation Office.

Andrew Hallett is enrolled in the pre-theology program at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University. A Spokane native, 30-year-old Andrew holds an undergraduate degree in education and had previously been an eighth grade teacher at Assumption Grade School in Spokane. Andrew is a member of St. Thomas More Parish.

Rafael Rodriquez Herrera is studying English as a Second Language at Gonzaga University and living at Bishop White Seminary. Thirty-seven-year-old Rafael has completed theology studies in his native Mexico and has been assisting in parishes during breaks in his studies.

Michael Ishida is 35 years old and comes to the Diocese of Spokane from Seattle. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is currently enrolled in the pre-theology program at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University. Before coming to the seminary, Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with a specialty in cardiology.

David Kuttner is a native of Spokane and a member of St. Thomas More Parish. David is 32 years old and holds an undergraduate degree in education. Dave is enrolled in the pre-theology program at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University. Before coming to the seminary, Dave coached baseball and taught special education students. He also spent a year at St. John’s University studying theology.

Jose Jaime Maldonado is completing his fourth and final year of theology study at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict Oregon. Jose is 30 years old and a native of Monterey, Mexico, where he earned a degree in philosophy before coming to the Diocese of Spokane. Jose did pastoral work at St. Mary Parish in Spokane this summer and is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood next May 2002.

Alejandro Morales is 30 years old and is also enrolled in his second year of theological studies at The American College in Leuven, Belgium. A native of Mexico, Alejandro comes to the Diocese of Spokane from Los Angeles, Calif. Alejandro completed the English as a Second Language program through Gonzaga and then attended college seminary at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon.

Carlos Muñoz-Rodriguez is a 19-year-old seminarian at Bishop White Seminary. Carlos has successfully completed the English as a Second Language Program and is now completely fluent in English. He is a native of Riconada, Mexico and is an avid soccer fan and player.

Matthew Nicks is 19 years old and a junior at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University. Matt is a Philosophy major. He and his family are members of St. Peter Parish, where he attended All Saints School. Matt spent this past summer completing an intensive course in Greek offered through Gonzaga University.

Kevin Oiland was born and raised in Spokane and is a graduate of North Central High School. Kevin is a member of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish. At 20 years old, Kevin is a sophomore at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University, where he is majoring in Philosophy. Kevin also spent this past summer successfully completing an intensive course in Greek through Gonzaga University. On the weekends, Kevin works at a home in Spokane for the developmentally disabled.

Joseph Sullivan is a 50-year-old native of Atlanta, Ga. He is currently in his third year of theology studies at Mount Angel Seminary at St. Benedict, Ore. Before coming to the seminary, Joseph worked as a geologist. This past year he successfully completed a pastoral year at St. Charles Parish in Spokane while living at the Bishop White Seminary.

Alejandro Zepeda is 28 years old and a sophomore at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University. Alejandro is a Religious Studies major at Gonzaga. He is a native of San Mateo, Mexico. Recently Alejandro successfully completed the English as a Second Language Program at Gonzaga University.


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