St. Francis Center for Priestly Formation

St. Francis Center for Priestly Formation, located on the University of San Diego campus, comprises both the Office for Priestly Formation of the Diocese of San Diego and a house of formation for men preparing for admission to a seminary school of theology.

The Office for Priestly Formation administers the diocesan program of priestly formation for both pre-seminarian and seminarian candidates according to the norms set forth by the Program of Priestly Formation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As a house of formation, St. Francis Center, helps prepare men in each of the four areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral for admission to a seminary school of theology. In the human and spiritual areas this is accomplished through community life together, the mentoring of priests and other staff members, the discipline of personal and communal prayer, retreats and other programs of spiritual enrichment and regular spiritual direction. Intellectually, candidates prepare for admission to graduate level theology studies by earning a bachelor’s degree with a major in philosophy and a minor in undergraduate theology. Those candidates who have already earned a bachelor’s degree must satisfy the philosophy and theology requirements if their degrees were in other disciplines. This is normally accomplished at the University of San Diego. In the pastoral area each candidate is assigned to an apostolate at The Immaculata Parish on the USD campus, where the Director of Priestly Formation is pastor.

Once a candidate is accepted into a seminary school of theology the Office for Priestly Formation collaborates with the theologate in the seminarian’s formation including the assignment of parish internships and other pastoral experiences and in scheduling annual assemblies and one convocation for all the seminarians and pre-seminarians of the diocese.


Fall 2019 Seminarians

NameBirthdateParishSeminaryYear in Theology
Manuel Del RioJul 28Holy Spirit, San DiegoSt. John’s Seminary Camarillo, CA4th
Bradley EasterbrooksSep. 12Our Lady of the Rosary, San DiegoNorth American College Rome, Italy2nd
Michael EvertOct 16St. Margaret, OceansideMt. Angel Seminary St. Benedict, OR2nd
Guillermo HernandezMay 10St. Joseph Cathedral, San DiegoNorth American College Rome, Italy2nd
Dan HolgrenAug 21St. Michael, PowayNorth American College Rome, Italy3rd
Josué JiménezNov 25St. Peter the Apostle, FallbrookSt. John of the Cross, Lemon Grove (Mt. Angel Seminary, OR)PY*
Dcn Raymond Philip NapuliOct 5Our Lady of Guadalupe, Chula VistaSanta Sophia, Spring Valley
(Mt. Angel Seminary, OR)
Christ BongatoOct 24Mater Dei, Chula VistaFranciscan School of Theology, San Diego1st
Evan BuiOct 2Holy Family, San DiegoFranciscan School of Theology, San Diego1st
Ivan MoraDec 9St. Mary, El CentroFranciscan School of Theology, San Diego1st
Matthew VasquezMar 30Mary, Star of the Sea, La JollaFranciscan School of Theology, San Diego1st
Marc GandolfoAug 23St. Francis of Assisi, VistaMt. Angel Seminary St. Benedict, OR1st
Emmanuel GutierrezNov 18St. Anthony of Padua, National CityFranciscan School of Theology, San Diego1st
*Pastoral Year

Pre-Seminarian Candidates

NameBirthdateParishYear in ProgramAcademic Standing
Sean EmburyMay 17St. Gabriel, PowayUSD/ Pre-Theology2nd
Jacob ItchonJun 8St. Thérèse of Carmel, San DiegoUSD/ Senior2nd
Carlos JimenezNov 4Holy Spirit, San DiegoUSD/Junior3rd
Israel LaraAug 21St. Rose of Lima, Chula VistaUSD/ Senior5th
Javier OlmedoOct 22St. Margaret Mary, BrawleyMt. Angel College Seminary/ Junior3rd
Kyle SchanzenbachAug 22St. Thomas More, OceansideUSD/Junior2nd
Brian FrullaSep 30Resurrection, EscondidoUSD/ Pre-Theology1st
Jesse LopezMay 9The Immaculata, San DiegoUSD/ Pre-Theology1st



Very Rev. Matthew Spahr
Director for Priestly Formation
Phone: (619) 291-7446
mspahrEmail at
Laura Martin-Spencer
Director of Pastoral Formation
Phone: (619) 291-7446
lmartin-spencerEmail at
Marcia Munz
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (619) 291-7446
mmunzEmail at
Cynthia Stacey
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (619) 291-7446
cstaceyEmail at