Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Pedro Bautista-Peraza to be ordained a deacon Dec. 6 in Belgium
by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff
(From the Dec. 4, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)
Pedro Bautista-Peraza is in his fourth year of theology studies as a seminarian for the Diocese of Spokane. (IR file photo)
On Saturday, Dec. 6, Pedro Bautista-Peraza, a seminarian for the Diocese of Spokane, will be ordained a deacon, the last step before priesthood. The ceremony will take place in the chapel at The American College in Leuven, Belgium, where he is a student.
Ordaining him will be Archbishop Thomas Kelly of Louisville, Ky.
Bautista-Peraza is in his fourth and final year at the college, studying such topics as homiletics, ritual practicum and parish administration. Earlier subjects included spirituality and mysticism, biomedical ethics, prophets, exegesis and St. Paul.
“Every year, we have to write a long paper,” Bautista-Peraza said, and this year he is writing about spirituality. When he is finished with college next spring, he will have earned a master’s degree in religious studies.
Bautista-Peraza was born in Veracruz, Mexico. His parents are Jose Bautista-Leon and Margarita Peraza-Hernandez who still live in that city.
At age 15, he entered a minor seminary with the Vincentians Religious community, in Jalisco, Mexico. He studied there four years before transferring to the Archdiocese of Mexico City, where he was a student for another four years.
When he was accepted as a seminarian for the Spokane Diocese, he made his home at Bishop White Seminary. Father Richard Root was rector then. Bautista-Peraza attended Gonzaga University and studied English as a second language.
The journey to priesthood “has been quite slow,” Bautista-Peraza said. After earning a degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Mexican University, he took a lengthy time out “to decide what I really wanted to do with my life.” His final answer to the Lord’s call came after that time, he said. He is the first in his family to enter religious life.
Bautista-Peraza helps out at two U.S. Air Force bases in Germany. He assists the priest and community, he said, “in the chapel, in the religious education program with children and adults and in visiting families.” He spent his summers between classes doing parish work at St. Mary Parish in the City of Spokane Valley and at Sacred Heart Parish in Othello, which has a large Hispanic population. Bautista-Peraza defined this as “a blessing from God. It was very challenging and I was able to see all the needs of our people in the vast work that a bilingual ministry demands.”
Bautista-Peraza doesn’t know where priesthood will take him. “I am open to work in any place, with all people and in all situations, whatever the bishop asks me to do.” He sees himself as “flexible, who likes to serve people anytime I can. I like to show people the human face of God in their lives and their everyday situations.”
Even in busy everyday lives, there is time for relaxation. Bautista-Peraza studied photography and once worked as a graphics reporter at a newspaper. Now, he said, he likes to take pictures for fun. He also likes to play the guitar, listen to music and watch movies.