Meet our Priests

Fr. Nagel on Teaching

Fr. Kurt Nagel of the Archdiocese of Seattle talks about why he loves teaching as a priest.

Fr. Cal on Priesthood

Fr. Cal Christiansen of the Archdiocese of Seattle talks about why the Church needs priests.

Fr. Todd on Blessings of Priesthood

Fr. Todd Strange of the Archdiocese of Seattle speaks about how priesthood allows someone to be present in very important moments of peoples' lives.

Fr. Ramon on Discernement

Fr. Ramon Santa Cruz gives advice to anyone discerning God's calling for their lives.

Fr. Francis on Hearing the Call to Priesthood

Fr. Francis Thumbi reflects on how his childhood experiences drew him to the priesthood.

Fr. Roy Baroma

Fr. Ben Bray

Fr. Cal Christiansen

Fr. Thanh Dao

Fr. Brad Hagelin

Fr. Tyler Johnson

Fr. Tuan Nguyen

Fr. Matthew Oakland

Fr. Bryan Ochs

Fr. Carlos Orozco

Fr. Felino Paulino

Fr. Todd O. Strange

Fr. John Walmesley

Fr. Roy Baroma

pastor, Holy Family, Auburn

 

Fr. Ben Bray

PAROCHIAL VICAR, ST. CHARLES BURLINGTON, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION MOUNT VERNON, IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY SEDRO-WOOLLEY, SACRED HEART LA CONNER, AND ST. CATHERINE MISSION CONCRETE

Date and place of Ordination: 6/22/19, St. James Cathedral

Favorite field of study: Spirituality--learning to integrate and teach various approaches to the spiritual life.

Favorite saint: My role model for priesthood, after Jesus, is St. John Paul II. His deep love for people made him a wonderful example of spiritual fatherhood, as he witnessed God's immense love for each and every one of us. I hope to reflect these values in my priesthood.

What person or experience most influenced you to answer the call to the priesthood?: Fr. Gary Zender came to St. Anthony in Renton when I was 8 and he clearly loved being a priest! He would laugh and welcome everyone while at the same time preach with passion and conviction. Not only could I see myself being a priest, but it helped knowing that priests could be joyful, smiling, and happy! Also, my father, Richard Bray. He has lived a life of sacrifice and love. He taught me the importance of commitment. His example has helped me look at my priesthood throught the lens of commitment, sacrifice, and fatherhood.

Favorite recreations: I enjoy sports, especially college football...Go Cougs! I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, board games, movies, walks, and reading.

Fr. Cal Christiansen

PASTOR, ST. PIUS X, MOUNTLAKE TERRACE

Date and Place of Ordination: 6/7/08, St. James Cathedral

Greatest Joy as a Priest: The multiple dimensions of ministry; celebrating the sacraments, youth ministry, administration, working with families/marriages/individuals in crisis...I love the variety and complexity of priestly ministry.

Greatest Challenge as a Priest: The same as the joys; the multiple dimensions of ministry; celebrating the sacraments, youth ministry, administration, working with families/marriages/individuals in crisis...

Scripture Passage that Inspires You: There are many, but the one that I return to on a regular basis is Dirac 2:1-5: "My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials...."

Favorite Recreations: I enjoy active/endurance activities; skiing, running and cycling/road biking.

Fr. Thanh Dao

​Pastor, vietnamese martyrs parish, tukwila

Fr. Brad Hagelin

PASTOR, ST. LUKE, SHORELINE

Date and Place of Ordination: 6/11/11; St. James Cathedral

Greatest Joy as a Priest: Witnessing the spiritual awakening of those who have been “asleep,” and also spiritual growth of parishioners in general. It is amazing to see what God can do with anyone who has opened their heart to His grace.

Greatest Challenge as a Priest: The overall spiritual apathy of our culture. My uncle, Fr. Rick Ganz S.J., well phrases it: “existential torpor and indifference.”

Scripture Passage that Inspires You: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” Romans 8:31-32

Favorite Recreations: Skiing, Cooking, Watching the Seahawks and Gonzaga Basketball.

 

Fr. Tyler Johnson

PAROCHIAL VICAR, HOLY FAMILY KIRKLAND

Date and place of Ordination: 6/22/19, St. James Cathedral

Favorite field of study: Christology. As Pope Benedict XVI says, everything stands and falls on the person of Christ. The credibility of Christianity rests on Jesus. Christ himself is a mystery; but better understanding who he is and why he came on earth will certainly impact and affect our life.

Favorite saint: My favorite saint is the humble St. John Vianney. As he says, "The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus."

What person or experience most influenced you to answer the call to the priesthood?: There were two people who really helped me answer God's call. The first was the youth minister at my home parish when I was volunteering in the youth group. Her zeal and love for the faith eventually led me to love the faith more deeply. The second, Fr. Todd Strange. He was the first priest to ever directly ask me to consider a priestly vocation. It certainly makes a difference when a priest asks you point blank, "Have you ever considered becoming a priest?"

Favorite recreations: I enjoy a variety of things, most especially music, baseball and movies. I regularly play the guitar and sing. I also enjoy the outdoors, particularly camping and hiking.

Fr. Tuan Nguyen

PASTOR, ST. ANN/SACRED HEART, TACOMA

Hometown: Renton, WA. is where my brothers living or Kien-Giang, South Vietname is my Mom's living with other siblings.

Date and Place of Ordination: 6/13/92 at St. James Cathedral, Seattle, WA. by Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy.

Greatest Joy as a Priest: Being with people, meeting, sharing and chatting with people.

Greatest Challenge as a Priest: Too much work, It's never done!

Scripture Passage that Inspires You: "Simon, Son of John, Do you love me?" (John 21)

Favorite Recreations: Traveling, fishing, skiing, hiking, reading and walking.

Fr. Matthew Oakland

PASTOR, HOLY ROSARY, SEATTLE

Hometown: Lacey, WA

Date and Place of Ordination: 6/12/10 St. James Cathedral.

Greatest Joy as a Priest: Each and every day, I get to share in people’s joy as they come to know Jesus Christ and follow Him more closely. And in and through prayer, the Sacraments, counseling, visits to the sick, teaching classes and the many other facets of priestly life and ministry, I get to help them.    

Greatest Challenge as a Priest: Our culture is one which is becoming ever more hostile to faith, and to Jesus Christ and His Church in particular. Many willingly settle for worldly joys when they could possess the pearl of great price.

Scripture Passage that Inspires You: Jesus Christ, yesterday and today; the same forever – Hebrews 13:8

Favorite Recreations: Reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, spending time outdoors in God’s beautiful Creation.

Fr. Bryan Ochs

PASTOR,
ST. MARY, CASTLE ROCK; ST. CATHERINE, CATHLAMET; IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, KELSO; ST. ROSE DE VITERBO, LONGVIEW

Fr. Carlos Orozco

PAROCHIAL VICAR, ST. LOUISE DE MARILLAC BELLEVUE

Date and place of Ordination: 6/22/19, St. James Cathedral

Favorite field of study: My first love since childhood has been biological anthropology. We are called to love God, and our neighbor as ourselves. In this call, it is important to understand what it means to be human, in all its dimensions.

Favorite saint: My spiritual life is highly influenced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Merton. Though they are not declared saints, their spiritual writings have deeply influenced my creative way of relating to God, the world, and the Eucharist.

What person or experience most influenced you to answer the call to the priesthood?: It was Holy Week 2006. After the Holy Thursday Mass homily, my pastor, Fr. Philip Bloom, called up 12 people for the washing of the feet, something I witnessed yearly. This time, something was different. I was completely captivated by every gesture. At the moment of kneeling and pouring water on the feet of the first person, I was overcome with grace. All my doubt of God's existence became certainty of his love for me and for others. I had an unexplainable desire, a need, to take the priest's place. I had an encounter with Jesus Christ that night--he met me in my doubt and gave meaning to my life, and all I wanted was to respond with a life of service.

Favorite recreations: Too many? Artist (Instagram @mindofcarlos), Earth Explorer (I have a goal to hike all 58 national parks; Instagram @eyeofcarlos), Exotic Pet/Plant Keeper (since childhood, mostly fish, reptiles, amphibians, orchids, and carnivorous plants; Instagram @petsofcarlos). I also enjoy cutting hair, trying new ethnic foods, working out, and watching wildlife documentaries.

Fr. Felino Paulino

SENIOR STATUS

Fr. Todd O. Strange

PASTOR, ST. JOSEPH ISSAQUAH

Date and place of Ordination: 6/13/09, St. James Cathedral

Favorite part of being a priest: As a priest, I have the privilege of being part, a bridge of sorts, of so many moments that mark people’s lives—joyous ones and difficult ones—moments that they either want or need to know God is with them. It’s truly a blessing to be part of that.

Favorite saint: St. Joseph is my favorite saint. Without having received a word from him, he says so much to us about what it means to be courageous and faithful to what God asks of and entrusts to us, even when it’s filled with uncertainties, causes for fear and is downright humbling.

What person or experience most influenced you to answer the call to the priesthood?: Fr. Michael G. Ryan and Fr. Peter Chirico, each in their own ways, had significant impact on me. I was always moved by how Fr. Ryan celebrated the Mass so beautifully, as well as his ability to connect with the faithful. Fr. Chirico was generous in taking time to talk to me and answer questions, and is the one who asked me, “Have you ever thought about being a priest?”

Favorite recreations: I enjoy outdoor activities, whether it’s paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, camping.

Fr. John Walmesley

SENIOR STATUS

Ordination: 6/1/74, St James Cathedral.

Greatest Joy as a Priest: Preaching, presiding, and funerals.

Greatest Challenge as a Priest: Finding time for prayer and nurturing my contemplative side.

Recreation: Cross-country skiing.