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 will be ordained priests June 26 in Spokane

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the June 12, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

On Friday, June 26, at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, Bishop William Skylstad will ordain three men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Spokane: Deacons David Kuttner, Matthew Larsen, and Kevin Oiland.

Deacon David Kuttner’s hometown is Spokane, where he grew up in St. Thomas More Parish. His parents are Dave and Bernadine Kuttner, and he has a brother and sister, both of whom are married with families. Deacon Kuttner graduated from Mead High School in 1987. He earned a B.S. degree in Physical and Health Education from Eastern Oregon State College, in LaGrande, Ore. Before entering Bishop White Seminary in 2001, for four years he taught special education courses in mathematics at a public high school in Hoquiam, Wash., where he also coached baseball. For one year, prior to entering Bishop White, he did graduate studies in Theology at St. John University, College-ville, Minn.

During his deacon year in Rome, Deacon Kuttner worked in university ministry with architecture students from the University of Notre Dame. He also made two trips during this year, one at Christmas, the other at Easter, to Ethiopia and Lithuania respectively, where he lived and worked with the Missionaries of Charity. He also served as a deacon during this year at two Missionaries of Charity houses in Rome.

The Missionaries “have been a constant witness to me of the spiritual gift of ‘poverty,’ which they live so deeply in their total dedication to the poorest members of the human family,” Deacon Kuttner said. “Their presence and influence this year has changed my life and heart, and I am grateful we have the Sisters in our own Diocese of Spokane.”

“As a priest, I look forward to simply praying with people and being an instrument through which people come to deeply experience Christ’s personal love for them, especially in and through the gift of prayer,” he said. “As for what I might find most challenging as a priest, I would imagine it would be to suffer in love on behalf of others, especially those God is calling me to serve in the parish.”

Following ordination, Father Kuttner will be assigned as Parochial Vicar to his home parish of St. Thomas More, in Spokane.

Growing up in Deer Park, Wash., Deacon Matthew Larsen was born July 25, 1974, the youngest of the four children of Carl and Dorothy Larsen, now of Spokane’s Mary Queen Parish. With his family, the future priest participated in the life of St. Mary’s Presentation Parish in Deer Park and attended Riverside Elementary School. Before he began high school, his family moved to Spokane, where he graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1993.

Deacon Larsen earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology and English from Gonzaga University. Subsequently, he earned a J.D. degree from Gonzaga School of Law, passed the bar exam for Washington State, then worked as legal counsel for a mortgage brokerage firm in Spokane Valley before becoming a Public Defender in Okanogan County.

During the past year, Deacon Larsen served in ministry at St. Joseph Parish, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., while completing a degree in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he will be assigned, as Parochial Vicar, to St. Mary Parish in Spokane Valley.

“I am most looking forward to beginning my life as a priest and celebrating the sacraments,” Deacon Larsen said. “I believe that this is the life that God has called me to live, and I look forward to living out my calling. I think the biggest challenge about being a priest will be letting go of my own will and (surrendering) myself completely to the will of God.”

Growing up in Spokane, Deacon Kevin Oiland is the only child of Laura and Kevin Oiland, Sr. He graduated in 1999 from North Central High School, and prior to entering the Bishop White Seminary he worked at a home for persons with developmental disabilities.

During the past year, while completing his studies at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon, he ministered as a deacon on weekends at a parish in Portland, Ore. He expects that most of the members of his extended family will attend his ordination on June 26.

Following ordination, Father Oiland will be sent as Parochial Vicar to St. Patrick and St. Francis of Assisi parishes in Walla Walla. He will also serve as chaplain and teach at DeSales High School.

“Among the many aspects of priestly ministry,” Deacon Oiland said, “I particularly look forward to the chance to bring people to Jesus Christ on a daily basis, especially in the sacraments. While the priesthood is a joyful life in union with Christ, that union also means being united with him in his suffering. The most challenging part of becoming a priest then is knowing that the cross is integral to our service.”

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