As Bishop of Spokane, my top priority is to form holy priests who will be strong spiritual leaders in our parishes. Established by my predecessor, Bishop Bernard Topel, Bishop White Seminary has been instrumental in the integral, initial formation of young men discerning the diocesan priesthood to serve the Church in the Western United States.  Building upon this 66-year legacy of priestly formation, I recently launched the Cor Christi program in response to the Church’s call for a Propaedeutic Phase of seminary formation.  Today, I am pleased to announce the leadership for Cor Christi and Bishop White Seminary.

I am appointing Fr. Daniel Barnett as the Rector of the Cor Christi program, while also remaining Rector of Bishop White. He has proved himself not only to be a faithful priest, but also a highly capable administrator of the seminary. He will serve as the principal formator for the young men in the Propaedeutic Phase, accompanying them in their growth in Christian maturity as they transition into major seminary. As Rector of both institutions, Fr. Barnett will oversee the strategic vision of integrating the two seminaries with each other, with our sending dioceses, and with other ecclesial entities.

In addition, I am appointing Fr. Kyle Ratuiste as Vice-Rector and Dean of Men at Bishop White Seminary, while remaining Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Spokane. Fr. Ratuiste has been a steady and reliable Vicar in his parish assignments, as well as a tremendous aide as my Liaison to Catholic Health Care. He will reside at Bishop White, with particular responsibility to coordinate the human formation of our older college seminarians.  A native of our diocese and alumnus of Bishop White, Fr. Ratuiste also currently serves as a Formation Advisor.  As such, he is uniquely qualified to take on these new roles.

Fr. John Murphy, SJ will continue in his role as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for both Bishop White and Cor Christi. Fr. Murphy brings a lifetime of experience in teaching, Spiritual Direction, and priestly formation.  He has proven to be a beloved and vital member of the Community of Formators.

Finally, I am also pleased to accept the retirement of Fr. Patrick Baraza from the office of Vice-Rector, who has served faithfully at Bishop White for many years. He has been a wise and steadfast guide for our seminarians, and will continue work as a Formation Advisor, even as he fulfills his other duties as Pastor and as professor at Gonzaga University.

I am very grateful to each of these men for their willingness to serve the Church. Please join me in praying for them and for the seminarians entrusted to their care, that the Lord will raise up more and holy priests with the Heart of Christ to shepherd you, God’s holy people.

Most Rev. Thomas A. Daly
Bishop of Spokane