Missionaries of the Holy Spirit photo by Jose Salame
The men to be ordained lay before the altar as the people pray a litany of saints.
Missionaries of the Holy Spirit photo by Jose Salame
The men to be ordained lay before the altar as the people pray a litany of saints.
HILLSBORO — Even the balcony of St. Matthew Church was jammed as two young men were ordained, one a transitional deacon, the other a priest. Rev. Mr. Juan Antonio Romero and Father Juan Pablo Patino, members of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, were ordained here earlier this month amid a happy crowd of families, friends and other members of their religious congregation.

Rev. Mr. Romero, 37, was born in Ciudad Juarez and came to the U.S. as a teen. He lived near Santa Barbara, Calif. and began working after high school. The family moved to Las Vegas, where he met the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and went through formation. He professed first vows in 2002 then went to Mount Angel Seminary for college. He completed a year of internship in southern California, working with a vocations director, visiting parishes. After getting a degree from Notre Dame, he is enrolled in a program for formation directors taught in Morelia, Mexico. He will spend a year as a deacon in Huntington, Park. Calif. 

Father Patiño, 32, was born in Mexico City and came to the U.S. at age 9. He was raised in California. After some college, he entered the Missionaries. He professed first vows in 2001 and then went on to finish college, working in the field in social outreach and church jobs. Father Patiño spent a year-long internship at St. Matthew, where he was religious education coordinator. Last year, he was sent to Rome, where he helped in the congregation’s financial office and obtained a spiritual theology degree with an emphasis on formation.

The ordaining prelate was Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio. He's also a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, founded in Mexico at the start of the 20th century, a time of anti-clerical turmoil and revolution in the country. There are 354 men in the community.

It was Archbishop García-Siller who brought the first group of Missionaries of the Holy Spirit to Oregon more than 15 years ago, wanting to serve local Spanish speakers and send his young recruits to Mount Angel Seminary. Now, the order not only has a house of studies in Mount Angel, but has moved its U.S. headquarters to a former convent at St. Francis Parish in Roy. The charism of the order is offering spiritual direction, helping people see where God is present in their lives.

Father Domenico Di Raimondo, the newly-moved provincial superior, says the ordination was a joyous occasion. The Missionaries have for 15 years tended St. Matthew Parish.

Archbishop John Vlazny recently wrote about the missionaries in his Catholic Sentinel column.

"The good Lord is obviously blessing our church with capable coworkers and marvelous evangelizers, particularly for our growing Hispanic community," the archbishop wrote.