Meet our Seminarians

Seminarians in the Archdiocese of Seattle have begun their journey toward the priesthood. Meet some of our current seminarians and learn more about seminary life.

Michael Barbarossa

Federal Way, WA

Benjamin Bray

Renton, WA

Deacon Louis Cunningham

Renton, WA

John DePalma

Seattle, WA

Andrew Hollands

Des Moines, WA

Chad Hill

Puyallup, WA

Marc Jenkins

Sumner, WA

Tyler Johnson

Centralia, WA

Josh Nehnevaj

Vancouver, WA

Alex Nelson

Renton, WA

Matthew Newland

Sammamish, WA

Matthew Nguyen

Auburn, WA

Carlos Orozco

Seattle, WA

Val Park

Seattle, WA

Kyle Poje

Tacoma, WA

Deacon Justin Ryan

Bothell, WA

Brody Stewart

Bellingham, WA

Joseph Tapia-Beeman

John Paul Tomassi

Camas, WA

Deacon Anh Tran

Federal Way, WA

Thomas Tran

Dalat, Vietnam

Michael Barbarossa

​Mundelein seminary, Theology I

The younger of two boys, Michael was born and raised in Federal Way. He is a lifelong member of St. Vincent de Paul parish and a recent graduate of Kennedy Catholic High School. As an organist and pianist, he has served in music ministry both at his home parish and at Sts. Peter and Paul in Tacoma.

Michael enjoys bicycling and hiking with his family, loves board games, and is an avid reader of classic mystery novels. He is so grateful for the support of his family and looks forward to priestly service, especially through the Eucharist.

Benjamin Bray

mount angel seminary, theology iiI

Second oldest of five children, Benjamin (Ben) was born and raised Catholic in Renton, Washington and attended St. Anthony parish in Renton. He grew up home schooled and attended Bellevue College, pursuing a degree in elementary education before applying to seminary in 2010. After a year of further discernment at St. Benedict parish in North Seattle, he moved onto philosophical studies at Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga University in Spokane from 2012-2014. After graduating, he moved to Mt. Angel seminary in Oregon to study theology where he now resides.

He enjoys spending time with family and friends, being a WSU Cougars fan and looks forward to continuing in seminary to further discern God's call.

Deacon Louis Cunningham

mundelein seminary, theology iV

Louis Cunningham is the oldest of two children. He was baptized in South Seattle, at his grandparents' -Louis' and Theresa's- home parish.  Louis attended St. Anthony School and then completed his high school education at Kennedy Catholic in Burien.  He entered seminary right after graduating from high school and attended Bishop White College Seminary at Gonzaga University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Classical Studies focusing in Latin language studies.  He currently attends Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. 

He enjoys photography, singing, hiking the mountains, exercising, and coffee.  He looks forward to being back in the diocese to help show how Christ's love permeates each person's existence - even in the mundane tasks of everyday life.

​Deacon Louis was ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 20, 2017.

 

John DePalma

Mount Angel Seminary, Pre-Theology II

Andrew Hollands

Bishop White Seminary, College IV

Chad Hill

mount angel seminary, Theology I

The middle of three boys, Chad grew up in Puyallup Washington and attended All Saints parish.

Chad was the youth minister of Our Lady Queen of Heaven parish for 6 and a half years before he entered seminary. Currently he studies at Mount Angel seminary.

Marc Jenkins

mount angel seminary, college ii

Marc Jenkins was born into a Catholic and military family, Marc is the fourth of six children. His family moved to Washington once his father retired from the Marine Corps in 2004. Participating in the Running Start program, Marc graduated from high school with both his High School Diploma and an Associate's Degree in 2015.

He enjoys spending time with family & friends, reading, sports, and helping others. He looks forward to serving Our Lord and others in whatever capacity God has planned for him.    

Tyler Johnson

pontifical north american college, theology iII

Tyler was born in South Korea but was soon adopted to the United States and has lived in Washington the rest of his life. He was raised Catholic and attended St. Mary's Parish in Centralia where he graduated from high school and attended the community college there. He later attended Central Washington University and received a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. After a short career in graphic design, he went on to work in youth ministry later becoming the youth minister at his home parish. After several years of working with youth, he decided to enter seminary to pursue the priesthood.

He really enjoys sharing his faith and likes playing the guitar, especially leading praise and worship. Tyler is very excited to be in seminary and is looking forward to serving God's people as a priest.

Josh Nehnevaj

Mount Angel Seminary, Pre-theology II

Alex Nelson

Mount Angel Seminary, Theology I

Matthew Newland

Bishop White seminary, college iv

Matthew Nguyen

mount angel seminary, pre-theology i

Carlos Orozco

mundelein seminary, theology iii

What do you get with a person with deep interests in drawing and natural sciences? A seminarian of course!

Carlos Orozco emigrated from Mexico as a child, and grew up in the Seattle area. He felt a vocation to the priesthood in his involvement at his home parish Holy Family in White Center.

His creative and explorative mind has greatly influenced his relationship with God and looks forward to sharing those gifts in service to the community.

Val Park

mount angel seminary, theology ii

Born in Incheon, Korea as the oldest of two boys, Val has also lived in Vietnam, moved briefly back to Korea before finally moving to Seattle in 2003.

He has attended King's High School then studied History at Western Washington University. 

His favorite hobbies include playing basketball, watching basketball and thinking of basketball. Val is looking forward to be sent to wherever it is that God wants him to be.

Kyle Poje

pontifical north american college, theology i

Born and raised in a loving Catholic family, Kyle grew up as the oldest boy of seven siblings.

As the final destination of his father’s military career, Kyle landed in Spanaway, Washington where he graduated from Bethel High School and attends Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish when he is home from Seminary.

He enjoys snowboarding, playing soccer, and canoeing every chance he gets. As he continues to discern his vocation to the priesthood, Kyle is greatly looking forward to preaching and administering the sacraments for the people of God.

Deacon Justin Ryan

mundelein seminary, theology iv

The oldest of four, Justin was born and raised Catholic in the Snohomish County area and attended St. Brendan's Parish and School, and also graduated from Archbishop Murphy High School. 

Justin completed a degree in Accounting from Gonzaga University where he was active in campus ministry and soccer refereeing.  After working in commercial real estate appraisal for three years, he entered seminary in the summer of 2013. 

He enjoys soccer, running, and reading, and looks forward to helping people encounter Jesus Christ through the Church as a priest.   

Justin was ordained to the transitional diaconate on
May 20, 2017.

Brody Stewart

mount angel seminary, theology i

Joseph Tapia-Beeman

​bishop white seminary, college ii

A member of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Renton, Joseph was raised as an only child, attended St. Anthony School in Renton, and high school at Kennedy Catholic in Burien.  He began his journey as a seminarian right after high school, and is currently studying at Gonzaga University.

 

An avid musician, Joseph plays the piano and is now learning how to play the organ.  He also enjoys making his own versions of music pieces in his free time, although unfortunately they are not for sale.  

 

Joseph’s love for the priesthood largely came through

his time as an altar server, which he began in 2007 and

eagerly continues to this day.

John Paul Tomassi

mount angel seminary, theology i

John Paul Tomassi was born fourth out of five children in 1995.

He grew up in Camas, attending Holy Redeemer Parish in Vancouver. He attended Camas High School and Seton Catholic High School, graduating from Seton in 2013; after which he has been attending Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga University.

Currently, he loves music, especially singing, coffee, the occasional swim, and spending time with the seminary community.

Deacon Anh Tran

mount angel seminary, theology iv

The youngest of six siblings, Anh was born and raised Catholic.

Anh moved to the United States with his mom in late 1999 and entered Federal Way High School in early 2000 as a sophomore. After high-school Anh attended Highline Community College and finished his associate degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He also attended Renton Technical College for Pharmacy Technician Program and began working at Tacoma General Hospital for two years.

Anh discerned his vocation to the priesthood during these two years with his spiritual directors Fr. William McKee and Fr. Thanh Dao. Currently, Anh is studying at Mount Angel Seminary as second year theology seminarian.

He enjoyed playing Table Tennis, flying stunt-kites and spending time with family and friends.

Anh was ordained to the transitional diaconate on
May 27, 2017.

Thomas Tran

Pastoral year - st. michael, olympia

The oldest of five children, was born and raised Catholic in Dalat, Viet Nam.

Thomas attended St. Mary primary school and Dong Da public High School. Thomas graduated in Viet Nam and He will be graduating at Gonzaga University in May, 2015. During his years at GU, Thomas involved with Students for Life Club, Bible study group at Catholic Studies House, Knight of Columbus council 11134. Thomas also worked at the House of Charity in Spokane and volunteered at St. Joseph Care Center in Spokane.

He enjoys cycling, soccer, bowling, swimming and going to the movie. Thomas looks forward to preaching and teaching as a priest. 

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