ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA CLERGY
Priests, following the Rite of Ordination, seek to lead God’s People in Love, nourish them by the Word and strengthen them through the Sacraments. Currently, the parish is served by three religious priests, Rev. Arturo Mateo, MSC, Rev. Joseph Christy Yesudass Sunder Raj, MSC, and Rev. Ephraim Arciga, MSC; all live in the parish rectory. We also have two deacons serving the parish; Deacon John DeGano and Deacon Manuel Rivas.
Rev. Arturo Mateo, MSC - Administrator
Rev. Arturo (Art) Mateo comes from Guimba, Nueva Ecija. His first assignment as an MSC priest was at Chevalier School, Angeles City, Philippines. He has been organizing Glee Clubs in every place of assignment. He worked as the chaplain of a hospital at San Jose, California, USA. Fr. Art is musically gifted and with great sense of humor.
He was assigned at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish as parochial vicar in July 2011 thru July 2016. Currently, he is reassigned at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish as the Parish Administrator.
Rev. Ephraim Palma Arciga, MSC - Parochial Vicar
Rev. Ephraim Palma Arciga, MSC, was ordained to the priesthood in 2000 in the Philippines, and his assignment as a parochial vicar at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church marks his first position in the United States.
Fr. Ephraim, as he is known, is a member of the MSC Philippine Province under the administration of the USA/MSC Province.
Fr. Ephraim was born on March 17, 1970 in Santa Cruz, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur province in the Philippines to Pedro Veñas Arciga and Maria Aciquia Palma and was the fifth-born in a family of seven children. He is a 1991 graduate of San Nicolas College in Surigao City on the island of Mindanao and received his bachelor of arts after majoring in English.
His path to the priesthood began with a one-year novitiate beginning in 1993 in Quezon City under novice master Fr. Generoso Sabio, MSC, a former pastor at St. Catherine’s. He studied from 1994 to 1999 at the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies and from 1997 to 1999 at the Maryhill School of Theology, both in Quezon City, on the island of Luzon. His first profession came in 1994 and his final profession in 1999.
Fr. Ephraim was ordained a deacon on Dec. 6, 1999 and entered the priesthood June 8, 2000 when he was ordained by Bishop Irineo Amantillo, CSsR, D.D. at Virgen de la Paz y Buen Viaje Parish, Surigao City, in the province of Surigao del Norte.
His assignments in the Philippines included co-pastor and ad-interim parish priest at Virgen de la Paz y Buen Viaje Parish from 2000 to 2002; and parish priest at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Pilar, Camotes Island, from 2002 from 2006. Beginning in 2006, Fr. Ephraim served in several positions aimed at encouraging vocations to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He served from 2006 to 2008 as vocation promoter for Visayas at the MSC Formation Center in Cebu City.
While serving as a parish priest from 2008 to 2013 at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu province, he also served his first term as MSC national vocation director.
He served as rector of the MSC Formation Center from 2014 to 2018; and then a second term as MSC national vocation director, from 2018 to 2020 while based at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Lapu-Lapu City. He went on to serve as national vocation director/socius while at the MSC Chevalier Novitiate House in Malolos City, Bulacan province, beginning in 2020.
He was assigned to St. Catherine as parochial vicar for a term of three years, effective July 1, 2022.
Fr. Ephraim enjoys singing, playing guitar and tennis.
Rev. Joseph Christy Yesudass Sunder Raj, MSC - Parochial Vicar
Rev. Joseph Christy Yesudass, MSC, has been a priest since 2001, and came to St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in 2019.
Fr. Christy, as he is known, was born in Bangalore, India on March 9, 1973 to parents Yesudass Sunder Raj and Mary Francina. He has five brothers and one sister. He graduated from St. Alphonsus High School in Bangalore, in 1990. He completed his pre-university studies at St. Joseph’s College. He received a Bachelor in Philosophy degree from Franciscan College, a Bachelor of Theology from Dharmaram Pontifical College, and a Master’s in Canon Law from St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, all in Bangalore.
Fr. Christy joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1992 and made his first profession on June 2, 1996 and his final profession on June 2, 2000. He was ordained a deacon on Dec. 3, 2000 and to the priesthood on June 20, 2001.
He was appointed assistant formator in the pre-novitiate house in Bangalore from 1999 to 2001. Then Fr. Christy transferred to St. Mary’s Basilica Shrine as associate pastor from 2001 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005 he was pastor at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, Bangalore. Later in 2005 he was appointed Superior of the Formation House for Pre-Novitiate. He was Superior of the Formation House until 2009 and was then appointed Union Superior (Provincial) for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in India.
In 2014 Fr. Christy came to the United States and began his parish ministry as parochial vicar at St. Patrick and St. Anthony Parishes, Watertown, NY. He then returned to Bangalore, where from 2016 to 2018 he served as Formation Houses, Philosophy and Novitiate House Administrator.
Returning to the United States, Fr. Christy was appointed parochial vicar at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church effective on July 1, 2019.
Deacon John De Gano
Ordained in May 2005, Deacon John De Gano is no stranger to most at St. Catherine of Alexandria. With his wife Cheryl, they have been parishioners since 1992, serving principally through the Ministry of Social Concerns (and, prior to diaconate formation as members of the RCIA team). They also minister together with Baptismal Preparation, Life Teen and Faith Formation.
Deacon John served as the Diocesan Archivist (1999 – 2005) and authored the Diocese of San Bernardino’s 25th Anniversary book entitled, ‘1978-2003: A Journey of Hope”. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from CSU, Fresno, and when he isn’t writing, he likes to read, travel, create art, solve Sudoko puzzles, and share experiences of Jesus Christ with others, especially young people.
Deacon John attempts to daily live out his personal mission statement ‘to encourage and reconcile,’ by sharing God’s love through preaching, by welcoming the stranger, and through the joyful celebration of the blessing of throats and the blessing of the animals.