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

John’s earliest memories were formed in Malawi, Africa, where his parents served as medical missionaries.  His family then moved to North Seattle, where he attended St Mark Parish & Grade School as a child and graduated from Shorecrest High School.

John studied Human Biology at Eastern Washington University and Physical Therapy at the University of Washington prior to embarking in a career as a Physical Therapist.  He also spent over a decade competing in and coaching flatwater kayaking racing, which he enjoys to this day.

John entered Mount Angel Seminary in the summer of 2016 and is excited about is helping others discern how to enjoy Christs presence more deeply in their lives.

Andrew Hollands

Bishop White Seminary, College IV

With his twin sister, Andrew was born and raised into the Catholic faith in Des Moines, Washington, and attended St. Philomena Catholic Church and School, and has continued to be a loyal parishioner there. He graduated from Aviation High School in 2013, where he began his discernment of the priesthood.

After completing his Associate of Arts from Highline College in 2015, he moved into the Vianney House at St. Benedict's Parish in Seattle to continue his discernment, while taking classes at Seattle University and working as a food waiter for a retirement house community. He entered Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga University the following year.

Andrew enjoys outdoor recreation, going to the movies with his friends and family, and reading on Church art/history while listening to early music, especially Gregorian Chants. He looks forward to continuing his discernment in seminary, so he, God willing, may celebrate the Holy Mass and help bring people to know, love, and serve the Lord.

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

bishop white seminary, college iv

Marc Jenkins was born into a Catholic and military family, he 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

The oldest of 5, Josh was born and raised in Vancouver, WA at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He went to school there as well through 8th grade, went to Columbia River High School and did two years at Clark College before transferring to Northern Illinois University to finish a degree in Math with two minors in Computer Science and Spanish.

He swam through high school and then coached a swim team for a few years. During college he was active in campus ministry and played a little bit of water polo. Now he enjoys swimming, reading, and running.

He is enjoying the fraternity of seminary life and is looking forward to sharing the sacraments with people as a priest.

Alex Nelson

Mount Angel Seminary, Theology I

The oldest of three boys, Alex grew up in Renton, Washington. Alex and his family converted to Catholicism when he was 17-years old and attended St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church. He graduated from Lindbergh High School and then attended Saint Martin's University where he studied Religious Studies/Philosophy, ran cross-country and track, and was active in campus ministry.

After graduating from Saint Martin's he spent a year working as a youth ministry intern at his home parish St. Stephen the Martyr. He entered seminary in 2016.

In his free time Alex enjoys running, playing soccer, as well as watching and cheering on the Sounders and Seahawks.

Matthew Newland

Bishop White seminary, college iv

Born in Bozeman, Montana, Matthew has lived around the Eastside for most of his life, with his family currently residing in Redmond. He is the oldest of six children. A cradle Catholic, he attended Mary, Queen of Peace parish in Sammamish from the time he was ten years old, and it is the parish he calls home.

He was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school; for the last two years of his high school career, he attended Bellevue College through Running Start and graduated high school with an associate's degree.

He took twelve years of piano lessons growing up and continues to enjoy classical music; he also enjoys reading just about anything. Matthew looks forward to being able as a priest, and by God's grace, to help bring people closer to Jesus, especially through the Eucharist and the other sacraments.

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

Brody was born and raised in Marysville, WA. The oldest of three children in a non-Catholic household, he did not discover the Faith until he went to Western Washington University for college. Upon graduating with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, he was also baptized, confirmed, and received his first communion at Sacred Heart parish in Bellingham.

After working in Marketing for three years at Verbum (the Catholic branch of Faithlife / Logos Bible Software), he began priestly formation at Mount Angel Seminary in the Fall of 2016.

Brody enjoys playing soccer, reading theology, and roasting coffee, and he looks forward to pouring himself out in service of Christ's body when he is (please, God!) ordained to the priesthood.

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.

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 later graduated from 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. 

Want to Learn More?

Find a Vocation Discernment Night in your area