Staff Member: Fr. Rito Guzman
Fr. Rito Guzman
I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco México on February 23, 1982. My family immigrated to the United State in 1989, to the city of Oxnard, CA.
After a yearlong discernment process, I joined the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in 2003. As a novice I was able to spend most of my time reading, praying, and learning to live in community. During my two-year novitiate experience, I studied Christology, Ecclesiology, Holy Scriptures, History of the Church and Religious Life, Psychology, Methods of Prayer, Vatican II Documents, and other relevant topics. By the end of the first year in the novitiate, I engaged in the month-long Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which turned out to be one of the most fruitful experiences of my life.
I professed my public vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit on July 30, 2005. Immediately after profession, I moved to Mount Angel, Oregon and obtained my BA and a double major in Philosophy and Literature in Mount Angel Seminary. I graduated with honors. From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010 I became a Vocation Director for our Province in the US. After this pastoral experience, I moved to South Bend, Indiana and studied at the University of Notre Dame. I obtained a Master in Divinity (MDiv) and also graduated with honors. During this time, I engaged in several pastoral experiences: RCIA, Social Work Services, Empowering Catholic Leaders, and Jail Ministry.
I was ordained in my home parish in Oxnard, CA on June 27, 2014. A month later, I moved to Rome, Italy, to learn Italian and begin my Licentiate on Spiritual Theology with a specialization on Formation at the Pontifical Gregorian University. This experience in Rome has been a highlight in my ongoing formation. I wrote a thesis entitled, Towards Maturity in Religious Communities and graduated with the highest honors (Summa cum laude).
I am now fluent in three languages, Spanish, English, and Italian. I moved back to Long Beach, California this past summer and I was a full-time Vocation Director. Now I have been assigned to be associate pastor at St. Matthew beginning December 1, 2017.