Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



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


Five ordained priests for Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus

the Inland Register

(From the July 1, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

(Photos courtesy of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.)

Five men were ordained priests of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus last month.

The ordinations took place Saturday, June 19, at the Cathedral of St. James in Seattle. Ordaining the men was Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett.

The five new priests are:

Father John Bentz SJ Father John Bentz, 41, from Drewsey, Ore., has BAs in theater and English literature from Gonzaga Universtiy. He was part of the team that opened St. Andrew Nativity School in Portland, Ore. He has been on the founding teams of five different theaters, was an instructor of acting at University of San Francisco, and was assistant to the resident director of The Lion King in New York. His plans include working with immigrant Latino populations in performance projects to preserve cultural heritage and to help build the Oregon Provinceís vocation program.

Father Craig Hightower SJ Father Craig Hightower, 34, from Renton, Wash., graduated from Seattle University with a degree in criminal justice and taught U.S. history, Church history, and Christian morality at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash., where he also coached soccer (one of his nieces was on the team). He spent some summers doing repair work and rebuilding houses and churches in Alaska and spent other summers working at St. Andrew Nativity School in Porltand, Ore. His first assignment will be teaching and directing Ignatian Identity at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane.

Father Thomas Lankenau SJ Father Thomas Lankenau, 45, from Denver, has a BS in wildlife biology from Colorado State. He taught religion and biology at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane and did pastoral ministry at a reservation in Montana. He taught English for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Zambia. He is also a freelance writer on environmental spirituality. An avid birdwatcher, heís tallied nearly 500 species in the United States; he visits Yellowstone annually to watch the grizzly bears and wolves. After ordination, he will teach science and religion at Seattle Prep, and he hopes to work as a chaplain at a national park during summers.

Father Bryan Pham SJ Father Bryan Viet-Hung Pham, 28, from Dalat, Vietnam, majored in philosophy, political science, and religious studies at Gonzaga University and has an interest in civil and canon law. At Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash., he taught world cultures, science, and U.S. government and was co-director for diversity. In Canada, he worked as a legal assistant for Jesuit Refugee Service and as a parish deacon, and he spent a summer in India working at a leper colony. He enjoys tai chi, yoga, running and skiing. His next assignment is as associate pastor at St. Ignatius in Portland and liaison for Jesuit Social International Ministry.

Father James Tran SJ Father James Taiviet Tran, 44, also from Dalat, Vietnam, has a bachelorís in electrical engineering from University of Washington in Seattle. He taught electronic lab courses and coached senior design projects in the department of electrical engineering at Seattle University. He has also directed silent retreats, was chaplain at a youth detention center in Seattle, and coordinated and taught RCIA at a parish in Oakland, Calif. He enjoys cooking Vietnamese cuisine and tasting other spicy Asian foods; he also loves the outdoors. He will be parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Seattle.


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