Pastor appointments to take effect Aug. 1

Friday, Jul. 19, 2019
Pastor appointments to take effect Aug. 1 Photo 1 of 6
Father Ariel F. Durian, C.S.

On Aug. 1, 12 priests in the Diocese of Salt Lake City will assume their duties as either pastor or administrator of the parish to which they have been transferred. Following are profiles of six of these priests. Profiles of the other six were published in the July 5 issue.

Father Ariel F. Durian, C.S.

Father Ariel F. Durian, C.S., was born in the Philippines. He speaks Filipino, English and Spanish. A member of the Missionaries of St. Charles Scalabrinians of the Province of Saint John the Baptist, he was ordained on June 17, 2005 for the Scalabrinian missionaries. For one year he served in Quezon City, the Philippines. He then moved to California, where he served six years in Sun Valley. From 2012 to 2018 he was pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Kansas City, Mo. Last fall he came to Utah and has been serving as parochial vicar of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Park City. On Aug. 1 he will begin serving as administrator of St. Peter Parish in American Fork.

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

I would like my future community to know that I am not a difficult person to work with; that I am a good listener and open to any suggestions and recommendations that will help this community to have a sense of stability and to rebuild its foundational mission and vision of the parish. And that my leadership will always be at the service of my community.

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

I am looking forward to having a pleasant experience of serving and being part of this community, as well as to grow and learn to value whatever it is that I will find in this community.

As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?

There are too many challenges to mention, but I take it all as an opportunity to learn and to grow as well as to improve myself in ministering to the community that I am serving. When there are challenges ahead, it’s always an opportunity for me to grow.

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

When the community is receptive and willing to grow as a community, it brings me satisfaction. So far this has been the most rewarding experience I have had in the previous communities I had been with.

 Fr. Reynato Rodillas

Fr. Reynato Rodillas was born in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. He speaks English, Spanish, German, Ilocano, Cebuano and Tagalog. He holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Northern Philippines. He was ordained a priest for the Society of the Divine Word by the Most Rev. Miguel Cinchez, SVD on Dec. 12, 1997 in Tagaytay City, Philippines. After ordination he served as parochial vicar at parishes in the Philippines and Germany, then was assigned as rector of a parish in the Philippines. He arrived in the Diocese of Salt Lake City on Oct. 15, 2007 and served in the parishes of Sts. Peter and Paul, Salt Lake City, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Midvale. He was also assigned forfor a year as Associate Pastor of St.Goerge parish; them a year after reassigned to Sts. Peter and Paul parish before being appointed as administrator, then pastor, of St. Olaf Parish in Bountiful. He was incardinated into the diocese in 2015. On Aug. 1 he will become pastor of St. James the Just Parish in Ogden.

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

That I am a priest and a farmer. My greatest treasure is my being a priest. That I am their servant-leader.

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

I am looking forward to knowing my new parishioners personally and journeying with them toward spiritual growth, and deepening my relationship with each of them and with God.

As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge as a priest is how to be an effective and efficient servant-leader.

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

Celebrating the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, for me is the most satisfying experience, because in spite of my unworthiness I am privileged to celebrate it. Celebrating the Eucharist is a reward in itself.

 Fr. Oscar Martin Picos Rentería

Fr. Oscar Martin Picos Rentería was born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. He speaks English and Spanish. He came to Utah in 2003 as a seminarian; he has a Master of Divinity degree from Mt. Angel Seminary. He was ordained a priest on May 18, 2006 in the Diocese of Salt Lake City by the Most Rev. George H. Niederauer. Following ordination, he was appointed parochial vicar at Christ the King Parish in Cedar City, then held the same position at St. Joseph Parish in Ogden while also serving as chaplain for the Renovacion Carismatica. He was appointed pastor of St. George Parish in St. George in 2010, and reappointed in 2016, when he also began serving as dean of the Southwestern Deanery.  On Aug. 1 he will become pastor of St. Mary Parish in West Haven.

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

All of my family is in Mexico. I have one brother. My hobby is taking pictures. My favorite food is Italian.

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

I would like to meet the people. For me, it’s a new community, so I need to spend time with them. Changing parishes is a good chance to renew my priesthood, to get me out of my comfort zone. All communities are different, so there may be new ideas and approaches that are different from the community I am in now.

As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?

It’s so easy for me to speak Spanish, so my biggest challenge has been to be more pastoral in English.

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

Celebrating all the sacraments is the most satisfying. For the last nine years, because of my pastoral work, the Anointing of the Sick and Confession have been especially rewarding. 

Fr. Gustavo Vidal

Fr. Gustavo Vidal was born in Colombia. He speaks Spanish and English. He attended the Universidad Santiago de Cali in Colombia before coming to Utah in 1991. He attended Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. Before coming to Utah, he was part of a religious community, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, also known as the Eudist Fathers. He was ordained a priest by Bishop George H. Niederauer on June 28, 1997 in the Cathedral of the Madeleine. After ordination, he served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish, Ogden, the Cathedral of the Madeleine, and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Orem. He then was appointed parochial administrator of St. Elizabeth Parish, Central Valley. Following that assignment, he served as pastor of St. George Parish, St. George and San Pablo Mission, Beryl Junction. In 2010, he was assigned to his first term as pastor of St. Mary Parish, West Haven. On Aug. 1 he will become pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Orem, and will assume the duties of dean of the Wasatch Deanery. 

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

I have one brother and three sisters; my parents are still living. It’s been a rewarding, beautiful, amazing experience here at St. Mary’s. I was able to carry on the legacy that the Jesuits left here at the parish. They established the parish in 1945 and left in 2010 and I was able to pick up some of the things that they had done here.  

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

To get to know the people. I am a people person, so I think I will enjoy meeting the people, going to their homes, celebrating their traditions, getting to know the different cultures that are represented in that parish. I hope I can work with the ecumenical community there as I have in St. George and in West Haven. Hopefully I will be able to continue the legacy that Fr. David Bittmenn has built in the last 12 years.

As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been being away from my family, because my family is very important to me. Of course, I go there once a year, so I get to spend some time with them, but it’s hard because I have missed funerals, I have missed birthdays, I have missed graduations.

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

Celebrating the Mass, but especially breaking open the Word of God for the people. One of the things I enjoy the most is doing retreats. I have done retreats with couples and for youth, and celebrated Charismatic congresses. Since I have been at St. Mary’s, I have done an annual men’s retreat. 

Fr. Rafael A. Murillo Ventura

Fr. Rafael A. Murillo Ventura was born in San Vincente, El Salvador. He speaks English, Spanish and Italian. He was ordained a priest on Dec. 14, 1996 by Monsignor José Oscar Barahona Castillo for the Diocese of San Vicente. Following ordination, he served as associate pastor for a year before going to Rome for post-graduate studies. He holds a licencia (the equivalent of a master’s degree) in theology. After returning home, he served as pastor for two years become coming to Utah, where he first served as parochial vicar and administrator of St. Elizabeth Parish in Richfield. For the past four years he has been administrator of Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish in Price. On Aug. 1 he will begin serving as administrator of St. Marguerite Parish in Tooele.

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

I believe that St. Marguerite’s parishioners already know a lot about me. Fr. Ken has been giving the parishioners information about me every Sunday. If you look at St. Marguerite’s bulletin on their website, you can see what Fr. Ken has been saying about me.  

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

I am looking forward to accompanying the people on their journey of faith and to serving the spiritual needs of the people.  Also, I want to be a good pastor for them and a good friend; I would like to be for all St. Marguerite’s parishioners as a family member.

As a priest, what has been your biggest challenge?

Each day and every week is a challenge for priests but the biggest challenge is when you are reassigned to a different parish. It means starting over again. It is like marrying someone whom you do not know. It takes time to learn about the other person and their needs and expectations, but we trust in the Holy Spirit to help us be a successful pastor from the beginning until the next assignment.

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

What I really enjoy in my ministry is to spend time with the people, especially in the celebration of the Mass. It is when we celebrate the sacraments that we can make Jesus present among the community.

 Fr. David Bittmenn

Fr. David Bittmenn was born in Utah. He attended the University of Utah, graduating with bachelor degrees in economics and political science. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum. He was ordained a priest on June 25, 1994 in the Cathedral of the Madeleine by the Most Rev. William K. Weigand. After ordination, he taught religious studies and was campus minister at Judge Memorial Catholic High School; later, he served there as retreat master. He served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, St. Ambrose Parish and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish. He also was chaplain at Salt Lake City hospitals and for the Carmelite monastery in Holladay.  In 2002 he was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Salt Lake City; six years later he was appointed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Orem. He served a two-year term on the Priests’ Personnel Board, and is currently dean of the Wasatch Deanery. On Aug. 1 he will begin serving as pastor of St. George Parish in St. George.  

What would you like your new parishioners to know about you?

I try to listen to people and I ask that people try to listen to me. I may not do everything people want, but I know that it’s usually better to understand different perspectives. Sometimes this kind of understanding requires a lot of work, but it is important. It values people even if their ideas are not implemented.  

What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?

Each parish lives out the Gospel in a particular way. I look forward to being part of the spirit of St. George Parish. I also look forward to working with the people of the parish. St. George Parish has the opportunity to meet the needs of more of our brothers and sisters already in the area – and those to come in the future – by means of a second church facility. The only thing better than one vibrant church is two vibrant churches.

As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?

Apathy or taking the life of faith for granted in myself or others opens the door to looking but not seeing or hearing but not understanding.  This is one of the ways egoism grows.  

As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?

There are days when I know for a fact that people have understood and delighted in applying more deeply a truth communicated through the Scriptures and the Sacraments. A light shines brilliantly. The words and actions repeated day after day or week after week explode with meaning, joy and a sense of challenge. In this way merely hearing about God is transformed into living in God. Witnessing this transformation is amazing. I can’t think of anything greater than to be part of the gentle yet insistent power of Word and Sacrament.

 

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