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Recent Graduates

Some GPPM grads from the classes of 2020 and 2021



Congratulations GPPM Class of 2021!
    • My name is Rosie Aguirre, I am from Sonora, Mexico. I am a single parent of an amazing girl named Anysia Alejandra. She is my motivation and she gives me the strength to do my best. I am surrounded by the love of family and friends that give me reasons to give thanks to God every morning. I am passionate about my ministry, as I work with children and youth to develop leadership skills in them and to plant seeds of justice and compassion to serve others, especially those in need. Social justice issues are the best way to teach them how to listen to the invitation from God to be his disciples. In other words, I am committed to showing them through missionary work that they can make a difference in the world and be agents of evangelization. I am grateful to God for giving me another opportunity for life, as I am a cancer survivor, and dedicate my life to the service of others.

    • Jerome Baybayan currently serves at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento as the Director of Lasallian Student Life coordinating all of the student events for school. Jerome loves nerd culture, coffee, theology, and laughter. Jerome has a dedication to serving young people and feels passionate about the work that he gets to do every day, and the community he gets to serve. He's thankful for the time he's spent in the GPPM these last four years and hopes to continue to serve God daily with the knowledge and inspiration he has acquired as a student in the GPPM.

    • Fr. Christopher Bologo is a priest of the Catholic archdiocese of Abuja in Nigeria. He was ordained on July 1, 1995 and worked almost all his years as a priest in Abuja. He was Parochial Vicar and Pastor of several parishes. He was also the chancellor of the archdiocese from 2015-2019. Since July 1, 2019, he has been Parochial Vicar at St. Simon church Los Altos, California and a student in the GPPM program of Santa Clara University. He will graduate on June 11, 2021.

    • Sarah Bonini first started the GPPM program when she was working in Campus Ministry at SCU. Currently, she works in the Alumni Association on the Community Engagement team offering service and spirituality opportunities to SCU alumni. Sarah's time in the Pastoral Ministries program has helped her discern her love of planning retreats and spiritual opportunities for others to connect with each other and God. Her time with the Alumni Association has allowed her to collaborate with amazing friends on campus to expand the current service and spirituality offerings. Sarah started leading an Ignatian Spirituality women's faith sharing group for AMEN, Alumni Mothers Extended Network, a moms of Bellarmine grads group, has led and planned three retreats for the group, and she and a few women also made the 19th annotation together. She then helped organize an SCU alumni opportunity for alums to make the 19th annotation retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. Sarah also has been practicing yoga, and been involved with Ignatian Yoga. After graduating, she is planning on entering the Pierre Favre program at El Retiro Jesuit Retreat Center to become a Spiritual Director and become yoga certified to be able to become an Ignatian Yoga instructor. Sarah is married to Griffin, and they have four beautiful children, Maura (27), Colin (25), Molly (23), and Kate (20) who are the delight of her life. Sarah loves being in nature and has recently been living in Tahoe with her husband, Griffin, and their sweet Golden Retriever, Cheddar.

    • Jennifer Campbell currently serves in the Diocese of Sacramento as the Director of Trinity Pines Catholic Center and Camp Pendola. In this role, she coordinates a summer camp program for young people, directs a retreat center, and coordinates large events in the Diocese of Sacramento (Ministry Days, ON FiRE, and the Confirmation Conference). Jennifer loves all things Disney, coffee, and spending time with friends. Jennifer is passionate about creating opportunities for young people to grow in relationship with God. These four years in the GPPM program have allowed her to grow in knowledge of the Catholic Church. She is thankful for this dedicated time to learn and study that has been given to her as part of the GPPM program.

    • I am Teresa D. Contreras Arevalo, known as Teresita. I am the first in my family to graduate college and continue my education. I am the youngest of three brothers and the only girl. I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and was brought to the USA when I was only 3 years-old and have been a San Mateo resident since. I am married to Jose and have a 10 year-old son, Fabio, and am currently expecting a baby girl that will arrive in September, Fabiana Guadalupe. My biggest dream had always been to get my Master’s and move on to my Doctorate. But beyond that dream was the dream to make my parents proud, Favian and Teresa. They have given their all for their children and taught me to fight for my dreams. Even though my dad was not able to see my finish, he did see me start the program. Without my parents, husband, and son's support I would not have been able to finish this program. This is for them! My mom always said to me "querer es poder" wanting is power, power to fight on and complete that dream no matter how many downs I had. This is also for all those who cheered me on as I continued to study; my brothers and their families (my kids), Pastor, co-workers and all those who have inspired me and cheered me, on a daily basis. Congratulations to all those graduating this year! You have been an inspiration to me. May we cross each other's paths as we work in ministry. Thank you to all the professors, Lynne and Dr. Morris. I also want to thank “The Rev. Francis L. Markey Women in Ministry Fellowship” benefactor for making this dream come true. Paz y Bien to all, may Christ always be the center of who we are and how we serve.

    • My name is Rose Anna Cruz and I am in my 17th year serving as the Director of Religious Education at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lancaster, CA, where I oversee the family-based faith formation and currently coordinate the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, both in English and Spanish. I graduated from Jose Rizal University in the Philippines in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree, Major in Accounting. I earned the title of Master Catechist in the Diocese of Los Angeles in 2007. Serving as a Master Catechist, I have overseen the ministry formation of volunteer Catechists in our parish that led to 18 volunteer Certified Catechists and 1 Master Catechist. I am a graduate of the Catholic Bible Institute of ADLA in 2012 and joined the team as a mentor in 2013 up to the present. My involvement in faith formation ministry began when my children were still toddlers, and in my mission to raise them Catholic, to grow up centering all their decisions through God, I became a volunteer Catechist. Every day is a learning journey, a life-long faith formation, and it is not only for my children’s sake to connect with God, but for everyone, so I continued on. I am forever grateful to God who has given me the grace to learn side by side and interact with my cohort whose sharing inspired me to be the person I am now, a servant leader. God’s Word is truthfully a light to my feet (Psalm 119:105) that guided me to take this great opportunity to be with all the professors who guided us to creative and compassionate thinking wherein I learned how to reflect deeper in ways to serve for the common good. I will always be indebted to Santa Clara University, especially to Dr. Joe Morris for his continuous support from day one and to the Religious Education Department of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for giving me the chance to be part of the SCU Pastoral Ministries program.

    • My name is Sister AnhLoan Therese Do of the La Salle Sisters in San Jose, CA. I was born and raised in Vietnam. Growing up in a devoted Catholic family has taught me the importance of the Word of God. Every day at the break of dawn, my parents would wake up the whole family to go to church. And before going to bed, we cite the rosary then say our nightly prayers by reading the Bible together. Even to this day, I still say the prayers that our family said together. As a La Salle sister, I am dedicated to educating the youth especially the poor. Besides educating the youth and preschoolers during the day, I also teach CCE at parishes on weekends. I have a BS degree in Child Development. To love Christ is to know Christ. This love has led me to want to learn more about how I can serve Christ through pastoral ministry. Plus, education is central to my ministry as a sister.

    • My name is Adriana Franco. I was born in Mexico City, and have resided in LA and SB counties in CA, as well as in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA for some time. My immediate family consists of my parents, an older sister, and a younger brother. My sister has 2 sons and a daughter. My eldest nephew has a 4-year-old daughter. I acquired an A.S. from SB Valley College, transferred to CSUSB where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and eventually went back to school to study Pastoral Ministries through the Santa Clara University GPPM program at the Diocese of San Bernardino. I have worked at the Diocese of San Bernardino for 18 years in the Department of Pastoral Services and the Office of Worship. Currently, I am a parishioner at The Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Redlands, where my main ministry is as parish Reader. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend this MA program, which has taught me foundational aspects of our tradition and faith, and am extremely thankful to Santa Clara University and Bishop Gerald Barnes for their support to embark on this educational and faith journey to complete a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministries. I pray that God blesses the GPPM graduating class of 2021 and continues to guide us in our future endeavors!

    • Born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles, California, Gabriela obtained an AA Degree from East Los Angeles Community College and a B.A. from California State University in Los Angeles. She discovered her vocation as a Youth Minister at the age of 18. She served youth in South Los Angeles, then as an undergrad became a Salesian youth minister and moved to Boyle Heights where she served youth at risk and low-income families. Her ministry with the Salesian congregation has provided her the opportunity to serve at-risk youth in the Watsonville area in Northern California. She has served youth from all backgrounds, races, and nationalities. She obtained a Salesian Youth Ministry Certification at the Salesian Institute in Berkeley and a National Youth Ministry Certification from the National Federation of Youth Ministry. Upon completing her M.A. in Pastoral Ministries, Gabriela plans to serve in prison ministry in the Men's Prison in Chino, CA. She also plans to continue her youth ministry work in Boyle Heights using Restorative Justice practices to help the community and youth.

    • Eva Hernandez is a practicing Catholic, whose relationship with God is blessed and is essential for her life. She has been married for 19 years to Juan Pablo and has three wonderful teens;Pablo, Carlos, and Paola. Daughter of Armando and Eva and sister to Cinthia, Eva has been blessed by her family as their support and love have always been her cornerstone. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Eva understands the caveats of both worlds and cultures. Having gone through chemo, surgeries, and now an autoimmune disease, Eva is grateful for each day of her life, her family, and the opportunity to serve the people of God.

    • Daniel Lesieutre and his wife Teresa just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary! Daniel is currently involved in several ministries within the church and other organizations, some of which have been on hold during the pandemic. He currently leads the RCIA program at St. Christopher’s parish in San Jose and has been involved for many years. He was a Baptismal Preparation Catechist for over 20 years. He also serves as a Lector and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. He is looking forward to returning to hospital ministry where he provided spiritual care as a Eucharistic minister at O’Connor Hospital. Daniel has also been involved in several youth ministry programs directing service programs for Middle School and High School students. He is also an active member of the Knights of Columbus and a Past Grand Knight. In addition, Daniel is a founding board member of the Silicon Valley Region of Odyssey of the Mind (nonprofit – volunteer) a creative problem-solving competition for students.

    • I was born in Morelia Michoacán, Mexico. I am married to my lovely wife, Lupita, and I am a father of a 26 year-old son and a 24 year-old daughter. I enjoy serving others through the Catholic Church, which inspired me to take the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, in hopes that I can be a better disciple of Christ.

    • Jennifer Merritt is the Director of Community-based Learning at the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University and an adjunct lecturer in the Child Studies Program. She is overjoyed to be receiving her degree in Pastoral Ministries from SCU. Outside of work, she enjoys music and theater with her daughter, Wylie (an SCU Second Year) and her son, Skyler (a sixth grader and piano enthusiast). She finds joyful kinship in celebrating life and being grateful for the many gifts of God's Creation with her partner Dan, extended family, and friends.

    • Carol Monnig, class of 2021, is a wife, busy mother of three boys, property manager, volunteer, and scholar, from Southern California. She has three degrees in Interior Design from Orange Coast College and a Bachelor's in marketing from California State University, Fullerton. She ran a successful interior design firm from 2004-2009 and was awarded the honor of Alumni at the Top from California State University, Fullerton, in 2007. After creating liturgical decor for her past parish, Carol was nominated to the Liturgical Committee for the local diocese in 2006. Currently, she is a property manager for a multimillion-dollar home in San Diego County. She volunteers in many capacities at her local parish St. Martin de Porres, and a Catholic school named St. Francis of Assisi. Carol joined the Graduate Program of Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University to further her liturgical design consultant career aspirations. She wants to use her talents to provide parishes with their liturgical furnishing needs and continue to assist children in getting to know God in their lives. She enjoys date nights, playing with her children, snow skiing, hiking, and walking her standard poodle in her free time.

    • I am Bill Perry, a Catholic since 1987. I was raised in the Presbyterian faith, but my journey toward Catholicism began when I married my wife. When my first child was preparing for her First Holy Communion, I decided that I needed to know more about the Catholic faith. I was mentored by the associate pastor at the parish and received my Catholic sacraments of communion and confirmation the following year. From that time on, I have participated in many ministries in the Roman Catholic Church. I graduated from the ILM program in 2008 and I currently serve as a Eucharistic Minister and the Social Justice Coordinator at the Church of the Transfiguration. I am also a Fair-Trade Ambassador for Catholic Relief Services. I participate in many justice programs which involve prison ministry, Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl, St. Vincent De Paul, and unhoused individuals in the community. The GPPM program has been instrumental in influencing my life, my faith and my ministries for the purpose of proclaiming the Kingdom of God for the greater Glory of God.

    • Sandra Quintanilla was born and raised in San Jose, CA, and currently resides and is a parishioner in Morgan Hill, CA. The Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries (GPPM) is a beautiful blessing and has enhanced her knowledge as a Catechist and a Catholic. She has been involved in faith formation annually as a graduate of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (ILM) class of 2014 and a volunteer with the Diocese of San Jose for over twenty-five years. After a thirty-year career in public service with the County of Santa Clara beginning at entry-level and finishing as the Tax & Collection Manager, Sandra retired on 12/31/2020. Her additional education involves an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of San Francisco in Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She is a mother of two; Anthony and Erica Quintanilla. Dad is Luciano Tavares (lovingly known as Grandpa). Her brother Ed and family reside in California. Life isn’t always easy, yet together our family is grateful for our journey in peace and love. Our home is dedicated to our Mother in the name of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

    • My life story is simple. I was born in Mexico and migrated to the US when I was 24 years old. As soon as I arrived in the US, I continued with my education to learn English. I was married when I came to the US and began a family in this country. My husband and I had five children, who are older now. Furthermore, as my children grew up, I continued with my education, completing my GED and continuing with community college. After a few years, I completed my BA in Sociology and moved on to Santa Clara University. At Santa Clara University, my ministerial education continued with the Pastoral Ministries program. My journey at Santa Clara has been remarkable because it has formed me as a minister applying theology, spirituality, and social justice to my pastoral activities. Furthermore, now that I will be graduating from the University, my goal is to continue promoting the excellence I found in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University with the younger generation, especially if they are ministering in the church.

    • I am Sonia “Sunny” Sanchez from the Diocese of San Bernardino. I work for the Ministry Formation Institute and I am a commission member of the Ministry for Family and Friends to Gay and Lesbian Catholics (MFGLC) and an ally. I am also a lector and volunteer RCIA instructor at my home parish, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I was born and raised in Southern California, I am an UCLA alum, and a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. My father is a permanent deacon and he and my mom set for me the best example of service that I strive to follow. I have two brothers, one who looks down upon me from heaven and another whom I live vicariously through on all his amazing adventures. I also count on a wonderful extended family that cheers me on, an amazing fiancé, an incredible and courageous stepson, and countless selfless friends in ministry that inspire me. This past year I lost the woman who taught me to be a fighter; to cling to God and La Virgencita de Guadalupe, and to help others always. I dedicate my hard work and this accomplishment to my Abuelita Micaela.

    • My name is Michael Shirley, and I was on the verge of applying to the seminary in my late-20s before opting for marriage instead. That didn't last long, and I have been on a deep spiritual journey ever since. When my dad fell ill, my parents needed me to come back to California to help care for him, and this also felt like a calling at the time, even though I wasn't sure what the calling was. I learned about the Diocese's Institute for Leadership in Ministry program (ILM) and applied. This initial three-year program satisfied a thirst I had for a long time, and when I found out about the Advanced ILM, a 4-year program for Deacons and Advanced Lay Leaders, I applied for that as well. This exposed me to the GPPM at SCU, and between the two concurrent and symbiotic programs, I had a rich feast to satisfy a hunger and thirst that hadn't been met before, no matter how active I had been in parish life. I am now an Advanced Lay Leader and have a passion for the Liturgy, being active in all things liturgy, as well as being an RCIA Team member and facilitating Adult Faith Formation. The GPPM has given me a much deeper and richer understanding, awareness, and vocabulary for our faith with which to share with others. So, I am extremely grateful to the San Jose Diocese and SCU for the opportunity to experience this deeply satisfying faith-filled journey!

    • After working in the advertising / graphic design field for about 15 years, my wife and I, along with our children, relocated from Silicon Valley to the foothills area east of Sacramento. We home-schooled our kids, and I went through a major re-conversion to Christ and our Catholic faith. I was “volunteered” to help teach a catechism class for one of our younger children, and that started my journey into deeper study, prayer, and living out of my faith. Over the last several years, my wife and I have primarily helped with the RCIA program at our parish in Placerville—and love it (my wife is a convert). I intend to continue working with adults and youth in the RCIA process but will be open to wherever my parish, the diocese, and, of course, the Holy Spirit, direct me.

    • My name is Claudia Torres. I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. I have two children who are my inspiration to keep going. I have been working at the San Bernardino Diocese for 13 years. I am the Office Administrator at St. Junipero Serra Church, and I am a certified Master Catechist in the same diocese. One of my most significant achievements is to be able to finish the GPPM. I had my doubts at the beginning because of my language barriers. However, I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve my parish community better. What I learned is overwhelming in a good way; I discovered a new way to be a disciple of Jesus. Thank you to all my professors and classmates for their continuous support.

    • Andrea joined the GPPM’s first cohort in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from a legal career in affordable housing and community development finance. She is simultaneously receiving her Associate's degree in Music from Mt. San Antonio College. Primarily a liturgical minister, her current focus is to develop choral music experiences for foster youth and others who can benefit from its restorative effects. Her GPPM studies have also ignited a passion for nurturing more effective collaboration by parishes with other churches and community organizations in social justice initiatives. Andrea and her husband, Mike, reside in Pomona, CA, on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, and are members of Holy Name of Mary Church, San Dimas.

    • I am a Sudamericana Latina, immigrant, mother, wife, sister, friend, comadre, educator, mentor, professional, leader, who is now privileged to obtain a second master’s degree in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis in Hispanic Ministries. My goal is to continue serving women, children, and families. I entered the GPPM program when I realized I needed to speak Church to work for the church. I can relate to the immigrant experience and to the mother's experience as a Catholic woman who came to the United States and found out that there are similarities in the practice of faith and distinct differences in how the pulpit addresses Latinos in Spanish vs. English. My ministry is to serve women, children, and families; thus, I am developing a public conversation for women and with women, using the Clubhouse App called “Cafecito con Chisme.” Why? Because women need to communicate with other women and share their faith, their experiences, and their triumphs to inspire and support other women.

    • I am a life-long Catholic living in Dixon, CA. I love my parish, St. Peter. I am married with three grown children. I am looking forward to helping out at my parish and diocese. God Bless+.

    • Jeremy is most proud of being a Catholic husband, father, and servant of Christ. He has worked with youth, young professionals, and young families since January 1996. In 2011 Jeremy founded Caritas Foundation International a lay apostolate in response to Saint Pope John Paul II’s call for missionary disciples to lead and serve families in the new millennium. Through this work with CFI Jeremy continues to mentor youth leaders, form young professionals, and companion families who have children with special needs. He also serves in ministry professionally as the Parish Life Director at Holy Trinity Parish in El Dorado Hills, CA.

        2022 GPPM Graduates in caps and gowns

    Congratulations to the GPPM Class of 2020!

    Set the World on Fire quote from Catherine of Siena

    Celebrate our GPPM 2020 Grads


    Mary Espitia
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    I am very grateful to God and the SCU staff and students who walked along side me through this program. I have learned so much about being a true disciple and leave with wonderful memories from each class and classmate.

    Rosalina Lue
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    Rose is very grateful to have gone through the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, her third degree from SCU, and is looking forward to keeping in touch with everyone through the Student & Alumni Network.

    Yvonne Moreno-Taylor
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    In true Jesuit style, this program has cracked open the faith I love so much not only to expand my academic knowledge but to open my mind and help me become a better catechist, a better disciple, and hopefully, a better person.

    Roselynn Pucan-Meagor Headshot
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    The Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries was an amazing way for Roselynn to deepen her knowledge of the faith and be a part of a great community of colleagues in ministry.

    Angela Headshot cropped
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    Angela’s favorite “saints,” are Ignatius of Loyola, Dorothy Day, Sister Simone Campbell, Thomas Merton and Sister Helen Prejean. And if she had a dinner party she would invite them all and Tabitha Brown for spice and vegan ideas.