10/19/2011 12:05:00 PM Gresham church welcomes new seminarian
Chrispine Otieno is one of the newest additions to St. Henry Parish. The seminarian in residence is prepared to observe parish life.
Born and raised in Kenya, Otieno arrived in Oregon four weeks ago from Rome, where he lived for six years studying and preparing for priesthood. Besides English, Otieno speaks fluent Italian, Luo and Swahili.
Otieno credits his grandmother, Isabella, as his first great inspiration, opening him to the call of priesthood because of her faith and deep love for praying. Every evening at 6 p.m. his grandmother would gather everyone in her homestead for rosary and evening prayers. Her children and their families would come together in worship and prayer.
Another influence in Otieno’s journey to priesthood was his grandmother’s daughter, also named Isabella, who was a Franciscan nun. Otieno also credits a priest from Ireland who brought the Gospel to life by his committed involvement and ministry in the community.
Otieno remembers the genuine dedication of this priest that he began thinking about becoming a priest himself around 1993, when he was only 6 years old.