A BIT ABOUT ME
Perhaps you already know me, but if not, here’s a bit of biography for you:
In 1952, I was born into a large family which eventually numbered eleven children. I was lucky #7. My mom and dad had their hands full, of course, keeping us fed, a roof over our heads, and raising us with values and character traits that would serve us well as we grew into adulthood. As a Catholic family in the 1950’s and 60’s, Mass on Sundays and parochial schools during the week were integral parts of our family life.
Since childhood, I had a pretty good idea that I intended to be a priest when I grew up. That I did. Following high school at Gonzaga Prep, I entered the seminary on the campus of Gonzaga University where I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Speech Communications.
Following my years at Gonzaga, I was assigned to continue my studies in theology at The American College in Louvain/Leuven, Belgium. There, I completed a Masters degree in Theology and the coursework for a PhD from the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL). I didn’t finish the doctorate then, but returned home to Spokane to begin my life as a parish priest.
Over the course of the next forty-two years, I have served in a wide variety of parishes, most with Hispanic communities, so I have spent much of my adult life learning to speak and read Spanish. I also spent one year as pastor of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan in Guatemala’s altiplano and eight years serving first as Vice-rector, then Rector/President of The American College in Louvain/Leuven, my former seminary. While in Belgium, I finally completed my doctoral degree with a dissertation on the many Belgian clergy who were sent from The American College to the Pacific Northwest as missionaries in the 19th century.
While in Belgium, I also took on the life of the pilgrim by walking the Camino De Santiago de Compostela, first from the French frontier to Compostela (500 miles), then from Leuven to Bordeaux, France, and finally, from Bordeaux to the French frontier (Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port), another 1000 miles or so. I’ve written two books about my life as a pilgrim; you can find details on the Books page.
On September 30, 2021, I completed six-plus years as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Spokane and am now settling into, as our local euphemism for retirement calls it “senior status”. I see retirement now as a great gift, one that I wish to use doing what I like doing best, ministering pastorally without the management stuff. I am sharing this gift of retirement by living for now in Cuenca, Ecuador tending pastorally to the Catholic expat community that has settled here in recent years. I celebrate Mass with them every Sunday at 10:00 am at the Iglesia San Francisco in the historic heart of the city, offer a weekly scripture study, and offer them the other sacrament and pastoral services as requested. Cuenca is a beautiful city located high in the Andes mountains and there is much to see, do, and learn here.
One thing that I intend to do is to continue reflecting on the mysteries I encounter along the way and the graces that are shared with me through words and images. I like writing, I like speaking, and I like photography as ways of expressing the blessings and challenges of this life.
Thank you for joining me…along the way.