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


Twelve men now enrolled in dioceseís priestly formation program

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 2, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

The Bishop White Seminary community celebrated Mass in the student chapel at Gonzaga University at the beginning of the school year. With the students, in the front row, are Msgr. Robert Pearson, Senior Priest in Residence; Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University; Bishop William Skylstad; Father Kenneth St. Hilaire, House Spiritual Director; and standing at right, Father Darrin Connall, Rector of Bishop White, Director of Seminarians, and Vocations Director for the Spokane Diocese. (IR photo courtesy of Bishop White Seminary)

Isaac de la Cruz recently joined the Bishop White Seminary community from his home state of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Isaac has completed two years of theology and major seminary and he is currently enrolled in the English as a Second Language Program at Gonzaga University. After three semesters of studies at Gonzaga, Isaac will go on to complete his theological studies in preparation for ordination.

Jeffrey Core was born in Great Falls, Mont. His family moved to the Diocese of Spokane shortly after his birth and Jeff grew up in St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Philosophy and History from Holy Names College in Oakland, Calif., and was director of campus ministry at the University of Great Falls prior to joining the priestly formation program. Jeff is in his second year of theology studies at Catholic University in Washington DC..

Ricardo Flores Mendez was born and raised in Mexico. He began his seminary formation at the Seminario Hispano in Mexico City and transferred to Bishop White Seminary in 2003, where he studied English. Ricardo completed his undergraduate degree at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore., and currently is in his first year of theological studies at Mount Angel.

Jason Hiner is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., although he spent his teen years in California and is a graduate of Temple City High School in Pasadena. Jason served the LíArche (residential facility for people with mental disabilities) community in Spokane prior to joining the Bishop White Seminary community. He graduated from Gonzaga University in May 2007 with a degree in philosophy and is currently in his second year of Theology studies at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict Ore. Jasonís parents are members of St. Mary Parish in Spokane Valley.

David Kuttner is a native of Spokane and grew up in St. Thomas More Parish, where his parents continue to be active members. A graduate of Eastern Oregon State College, David worked as a teacher and baseball coach before joining the formation program. He is currently in his fourth year of theological studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. David is scheduled to be ordained to the diaconate on Oct. 9, 2008 at St. Peter Basilica, and to the priesthood on June 26, 2009 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Deacon Matthew Larsen was born in Deer Park and has a large extended family living throughout the Spokane and Chewelah area. After attending local schools, Matthew graduated from Gonzaga University with a bachelorís degree, after which he earned his law degree from Gonzaga Law School. He worked both as a corporate lawyer and as a public defender before joining the seminary community. Matthew is currently in his fourth year of theological studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 2009 at the Cathedral of our Lady of Lourdes.

Kris Leistritz will begin a pastoral year assignment on Oct. 1 at Assumption Parish in Spokane. After a year of parish ministry he will return to his third year of theological studies at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. Kris is a graduate of Tri-cities Prep and holds a bachelorís degree in philosophy from Gonzaga University. Krisís family lives in Pasco, where they are members of St. Patrick Parish.

Jeffrey Lewis is a native of Spokane and a graduate of Mead High School. Before entering seminary, Jeff earned both bachelorís and masterís degrees in Business from Washington State University. A talented musician, Jeff has played trumpet in parishes throughout the diocese. He is currently in his second year of Theological studies at The Theological College at the Catholic University of America.

Luta Nsubuga was born and raised in Uganda, where he served as a teacher before coming to the United States in 2000 to study at Washington State University. While at WSU, Luta earned a degree in biology. He spent a year of pre-theology at Bishop White Seminary and is currently in his third year of theology studies at The Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington D C. He is scheduled to be ordained a deacon on April 18, 2009.

Deacon Kevin Oiland is in his fourth and final year of theological studies at Mount Angel Seminary. Kevin was born and raised in Spokane and is a graduate of St. Patrick grade school and North Central High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy while living at Bishop White Seminary. Kevin spent a year doing pastoral work at St. Augustine Parish in Spokane and last summer he studied Spanish language and culture in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 2009.

Siloť Perez Gomez is currently a junior at Bishop White Seminary and Gonzaga University, pursuing his undergraduate degree in philosophy. He is a native a Vera Cruz, Mexico and previously studied at the Seminario Hispanio de Santa Maria de Guadelupe in Mexico City. Last summer, Siloť engaged in volunteer pastoral work at the parishes in Oroville and Tonasket.

Tyler Smedley was born in Vancouver and raised in Eastern Washington. He joined the Diocese of Spokane formation program following graduation from Gonzaga University with a degree in philosophy. Tyler was born in Vancouver, Wash., but spent many of his growing years in Othello. He recently began his second year of Theology studies at The Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.


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