Q As one who likes photography, what are some of your favorite pictures of people, places or things you have taken?

A  I got interested in photography while serving as an active duty Army Chaplain stationed in Egypt near the Gaza Strip. I was able to lead many pilgrimages of our troops to the Holy Land sites in Egypt and Israel where the opportunities for photography were unsurpassed. This was also a wonderful opportunity for some remedial religious education of many young soldiers. It’s difficult to say which photos are my “favorites” as every country has its unique features. That being said, the most spectacular landscapes are in the Andes mountains of Chile and the Himalayas in Asia. My prime interest now is focused on portraits of people in many countries.


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St. Augustine Church, New Roads


Q  What are the unique features of Kathmandu that make it one of your favorite places to visit?

A God works in mysterious ways! In 2011, while on a tour of central Asia, I was visiting many of the ancient temples and shrines when I chanced to meet some very young Buddhist nuns in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. I learned that they are refugees from Tibet, where the communist Chinese had driven them out of their homeland; and found that they depend on sponsors to assist them in their education and livelihood. After sponsoring one of the children, our little family has grown to 12 over the past six years. What impresses me most about them is their spirituality and “focus.” On my second visit to their convent, I was blessed by a 3-year-old nun – life was never quite the same after that! Even the littlest ones never ask for toys or video games, they only want school supplies, clothes and love. Some of them are orphans who asked if I would be their “dad;” and the others call me “grandpa.” I visit them at least once or twice per year.

Q Are there some important lessons that your sibling sister has taught you?

A My sister, Maureen, is my inspiration. As a daily communicant, she is not only deeply committed to the Church and evangelization but seems to have unlimited energy caring for her children and grandchildren, for various charitable projects, for the homeless and for underprivileged children.

Q You are handy at fixing things around the church. What was one of the most challenging projects, and what has been one of the most gratifying to complete?

A The most challenging project was renovating our old St. Augustine convent which went unused for decades. It was restored to become the new Novitiate House for the Josephite Fathers and Brothers. With the help and support of many parishioners we were able to create a beautiful home for young men studying for the priesthood. Our parishioners have been enriched by their presence. In fact we celebrated the profession of our first novice, Bro. Joseph Kikanda, last Sunday (July 16, 2017) during our 11:00 a.m. liturgy.

Q Other than family members, who is one of your favorite role models?

A The role models that inspire me are two of our newest saints – Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Both of them lived the Gospels and gave of themselves without hesitation.

Q Tell us something most people may not know about you.

A Hmmm … I entered the seminary at age 14 for the Diocese of Los Angeles, but transferred to the Josephites after my second year of college. I served as military liaison from the Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai, to the Vatican Secretariat of State in Jerusalem. I was certified as a Holy Land guide by the same Vatican office in Jerusalem.