Richard Peterson has worked for the Archdiocese of Seattle’s cemeteries for 44 years, a career he began as a seasonal grounds worker while attending college seminary. He later was named superintendent of Gethsemane Cemetery in Federal Way and in 1991 was appointed Director of Cemeteries for the archdiocese. Peterson, president of the Catholic Cemetery Conference and an active member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Federal Way, answered some questions from Northwest Catholic about Catholic cemetery ministry.
The Archives of the Archdiocese of Seattle date back to the 1840s when our first bishop, A.M.A. Blanchet, and his vicar general, Father Jean-Baptiste Brouillet, began to set aside records documenting the building and administration of the church in this region. Since then, generations of archivists have faithfully preserved materials that document the growth and setbacks of our diverse parishes, schools and communities.
Mirya Muñoz-Roach is the first woman executive director in the 100-year history of St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle-King County, which helps meet the urgent needs of our neighbors, including assistance with rent, utilities and food. She attended Catholic schools growing up in Puerto Rico and has served in lay pastoral ministry in Michigan and as a lay ecclesial minister in the Archdiocese of Seattle. The mother of three, who joined St. Vincent de Paul as a volunteer in 2010 and became a staff member in 2012, is now leading the organization into its second century of service to the poor.
“Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the new creation of a redeemed world. To struggle against it demands an equally radical transformation, in our own minds and hearts as well as in the structure of our society.”
U.S. Catholic bishops, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979