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

Deacon to be ordained to priesthood Aug. 6 at Cathedral

by Jami LeBrun, Inland Register staff

(From the July 29, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Deacon Pedro Bautista-PerazaDeacon Pedro Bautista-Peraza will be ordained to the priesthood Aug. 6. (IR file photo)

Deacon Pedro Bautista-Peraza will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Spokane at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6 in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, 1115 W. Riverside Ave. in Spokane. He recently completed his priestly formation at The American College in Louvain, Belgium, where he was ordained a deacon last December.

Deacon Bautista-Peraza was born in Veracruz, Mexico in 1973. The sixth of eight children, Deacon Bautista-Peraza was always actively involved in his Roman Catholic faith and discerned a possible vocation to the priesthood at an early age.

“When I was a kid I was an alter server for several years,” said Deacon Bautista-Peraza in an interview via e-mail. “After a few vocational talks in the parish and also under the direction of priests, I went to the seminary for high school with the Vincentian Fathers,” an order of priests founded by St. Vincent de Paul to minister to the poor.

After four years with the Vincentians, Deacon Bautista-Peraza transferred to the seminary in the Archdiocese of Mexico City for four more years, where he earned a degree in philosophy. After completing his degree, he decided to take a break from the seminary and “do something else for a while.” Deacon Buautista-Peraza went to the Metropolitan University, where he studied Mexican history and worked as a photographer for the mass media. He left his family and friends in Mexico to come to the United States in 1998, when he entered Bishop White Seminary to continue his priestly formation and become a priest for the Spokane Diocese.

Deacon Bautista-Peraza said the United States was a good fit for him because he knew he was called to be a priest and has always been attracted to foreign cultures.

“It is a combination of something that is new for me – Anglo culture – and something I was born with – Mexican culture,” he said.

Coming to the United States was difficult for Deacon Bautista-Peraza. When he arrived, he spoke no English. For the first few months at Bishop White Seminary, Deacon Bautista-Peraza said he went through culture shock, homesickness and depression. However, the prayerful support of his family in Mexico and his participation in Gonzaga University’s English as a Second Language program helped him through the rough period.

In 2000, Deacon Bautista-Peraza left Bishop White Seminary to complete his priestly formation at The American College in Louvain, Belgium. He said his ordination to the diaconate helped to prepare him for the priesthood.

“Service is the essential aspect of being a deacon,” he said. “I have been really enjoying this part. I believe there is a whole vocation to serve other people.”

Despite the fulfillment he has found as a deacon, he looks forward to his upcoming ordination. Deacon Bautista-Peraza is anticipating “celebrating Holy Eucharist with the community (he is) working with.”

“To be a minister of Christ and his Church really makes me very happy,” he said. “With Christ as model, the priestly ministry is different from any other ministry. The power to forgive sins in the name of God, the power to transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ makes it different from any other ministry in our Church.”

Deacon Bautista-Peraza is not the only one looking forward to his ordination to the priesthood. Father Darrin Connall, Vocations Director for the diocese and Rector of Bishop White Seminary, believes Deacon Pedro will be an excellent priest.

“Pedro has a great zeal for priestly ministry,” said Father Connall. “He is a very mature candidate. He’s responsible and insightful. He cares a lot about people. He has good leadership skills.”

After Deacon Bautista-Peraza’s ordination to the priesthood on Aug. 6, he plans to go back to Mexico for a few weeks to visit his family before assuming his first assignment Sept. 1 as parochial vicar of St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi Parishes in Walla Walla.

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