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

Three priests, one deacon to be ordained July 7 at Cathedral

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the July 6, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

(Photos: IR files)

Three deacons will be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Spokane on July 7, and one seminarian will be ordained a deacon.

All four ordinations will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, with Bishop William Skylstad presiding.

Deacon Michael Ishida, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, was born Nov. 1, 1964. A registered nurse, Deacon Ishida worked in cardiac care prior to beginning studies for the priesthood. He completed studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where his excellent grade point average earned a generous scholarship.

After ordination, Father Ishida will serve as pastoral associate of St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier parishes in Spokane.

A native of San Mateo Atenco, Mexico, born July 17, 1973, Deacon Alejandro Zepeda Labastida studied English as a second language (ESL) at Gonzaga University, where he also earned a degree in philosophy. Deacon Zepeda recently completed four years of theology at the American College, Catholic University of Louvain, in Leuven, Belgium. He will serve as pastoral associate at St. Patrick Parish in Walla Walla, following ordination.

Deacon Zepeda says that he is “looking forward to bringing the message of Christ, and to care for those to whom I will minister as a priest.” He believes that his biggest challenge as a priest will be “to be attentive to the needs of the people I will encounter daily in my life as a priest. I consider myself to be an introvert, and I have to overcome this because I believe the church needs pastoral priests who care for people” and be present to them.

Deacon Miguel Angel “Gustavo” Ruiz Juarez was born Nov. 24, 1978, in Mexico City. Following ordination, he will serve as pastoral associate at St. Patrick Parish in Pasco.

An exceptional student, he completed the ESL program at Gonzaga University, as well as studies in philosophy. He completed theology studies at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore. Prior to ordination, he has been helping out at Sacred Heart Parish in Othello.

Born Oct. 25, 1987, in Oaxaca, Mexico, seminarian Luis Alfonso Castillo Rivera is happy because his parents were able to get visitor visas in order to attend their son’s ordination as a deacon.

Luis completed ESL and philosophy studies at Gonzaga University. As a deacon, he will return to Mount Angel Seminary to complete his last year of theology.

Always helpful and cheerful, Luis did more than his share of washing dishes while he was at Bishop White seminary. He is helping out this summer at Holy Family Parish in Clarkston.

All three of the men who are natives of Mexico currently hold legal religious worker status in the U.S. They will begin the application process for permanent residency shortly after ordination.

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