Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center Staff



Father Mel Bucher, OFM, Manager, Extension 130

Mel was born in Oakland, CA February 1, 1936 and grew up in St. Elizabeth's Franciscan Parish Community.   In 1949 he entered the Seminary at St. Anthony's in Santa Barbara, CA and went on  to Novitiate in 1954 at San Miguel Mission, followed by his college years at Mission San Luis Rey College   where he graduated in 1958.  His theological studies were done at Mission Santa Barbara and he was ordained there on December 23, 1961.  After spending one year in Stockton, CA with his class in an intern year, he was assigned to teaching high school in Troutdale and Salem, OR.  After five years of teaching, he went into Parish ministry at St. Anthony Parish in Tigard, OR. Following a leave of absence on 1971-72, he was assigned to St. Ann's in Spokane, WA but was soon transfered to care for his dying mother in Hayward, CA.  At that time he was doing part-time teaching at St. Elizabeth's High in Oakland as well as running the Vocation Office until 1979.    He was involved in Pre-Novitiate Formation at one of our College Centers in Hayward during those years as well.  In 1977 he went to St. Francis Parish in Sacramento, CA as associate and then was appointed pastor in 1982 until 1988.  In 1988 he was transfered to St. Anthony's Parish in Tigard, OR where he was pastor until 1994.  Since 1994 he has been assigned to Mission San Luis Rey where he has been using his organizational skills as manager of the Retreat Center.



Father Ben Innes, OFM, Extension 113

The Guardian of Mission San Luis Rey has been featured in "Family Circus" comic strip and appeared on CBS television’s "60 Minutes." Fr. Ben has traveled both nationally and internationally speaking on prayer and Youth Ministry. This jovial friar was once described as the teacher you disliked in grade school but greatly admire now. His previous assignments include Youth Ministry and Retreat Ministry in Las Vegas, Scottsdale Arizona and the Bay Area of California.

The former Post-Novitiate Director for the Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province, Fr. Ben is now a member of the Franciscan Retreat Team at Mission San Luis Rey. A graduate of both Oregon State University (BS-Science/Geology) and the Franciscan School of Theology (M.Div), Fr. Ben is currently serving as a member of the Provice’s Leadership Council (Definitorium).

A memberr of several foundations, Fr. Ben serves as a Trustee for the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco. He is also a member of the Mission Preservation Board of the Franciscan Friars.

Father Bill Haney, OFM, Extension 131

Father Bill Haney, OFM, hails Southern California as home base. Schooled in Santa Ana, San Clemente, San Francisco and Berkeley, CA., in 1984 he was ordained to the priesthood. He has additionally studied Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at the Franciscan School of Theology, in Berkeley, CA. During high school, Fr. Bill worked as a busboy, waiter and cook. He was a lifeguard and worked in lawn care and gardening. While in college, he sold encyclopedias, was a swimming instructor, library assistant, theater usher, stock processor and cook.

Fr. Bill taught high school at St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, AZ in the mid seventies. From 1976 to 1982, he worked as a casino worker in the slot department as well as dealing 21 and craps. St. Francis Retreat House in San Juan Bautista, CA knew him as a gardener in 1982. Ministry to the Sick and Housebound in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, St. Boniface Church occupied Fr. Bill's life during 1983. He has been a Deacon, Assistant Pastor and Parochial Vicar. We now know him as a Retreat Master at Mission San Luis Rey. Fr. Bill's varied experiences, and his sincere devotion to Franciscan Spirituality and his willingness to share, make him a valuable resource to retreatants and staff.

Fr. Anthony Garibaldi, OFM, Extension 146

Fr. Anthony Garibaldi, OFM was born in Sacramento, CA on November 1,1948. Fr. Anthony grew up in Sacramento attending Holy Angels Grammar School. Anthony did his high school at St. Anthony's seminary in Santa Barbara, CA from 1962-1966. He then moved to San Luis Rey and attended here from 1966- 1967. Fr. Anthony was asked to leave San Luis Rey and was given the option of returning once he had completed his college degree. Fr. Anthony received his BA in Philosophy from Sacramento State College in June 1970. During that time, he worked as a civil servant for the State of California in the Legislative Bill Room of the State Capitol. In 1971, Fr Anthony re-applied to the Franciscan formation program. He was accepted back into the program and began his theological training at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. Fr. Anthony was ordained on June 19. 1976 in Oakland, CA.

His first assignment was teaching at St. Anthony's Seminary. He taught religion, remedial math and political science. After one year, Anthony was stationed at St. Mary's Parish in Phoenix, AZ. He served there for three years as well as serving on the Diocese of Phoenix matrimonial tribunal. Ss. Simon & Jude of Huntington Beach was the next appointment for Fr. Anthony. He served in this parish for 5 years. Fr. Anthony began his retreat ministry in 1986 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ. Here Fr. Anthony gave retreats, worked at the matrimonial tribunal and televised "Mass for Shut-lns"; an early morning televised Eucharist for those who could not get to church. Anthony moved to Serra Retreat in Malibu in 1994. In 1997, the Province asked Anthony if he would be the full time Ongoing Formation Director with his office here at San Luis Rey. Anthony accepted and moved to the Old Mission in August 1997. The majority of his time is spent doing Ongoing Formation for the Province, but he still manages to give retreats, days of recollection, say Mass in neighboring parishes as well as here at San Luis Rey. Fr. Anthony deals with persons in twelve step programs, divorced and separated, PWA's as well as regular retreats.

Fr. Anthony's hobby is stamp collecting, so don't throw those stamps away, give them to Fr. Anthony for his collection.



Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP, Ph.D.

Sr. Joan Kowalski, OP, Ph.D. is a Dominican sister from Adrian, Michigan who has been ministering in Southern California for twenty-three years. She was an elementary educator in an earlier lifetime, trained as a pastoral minister in the Detroit Archdiocese and has been involved in administration, Religious and Adult Education, school counseling and virtually all aspects of Pastoral Ministry in the "Parish" context.

Sr. Joan holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and was associated with the San Diego Center for Psychotherapy for sixteen years, during which time she also held positions in government-funded mental health facilities and various Parishes and schools in the Diocese of San Diego. She has been a consultant for Healthcare and Social Service agencies, churches, Religious Congregations and Diocese and will be joining the retreat team at the San Luis Rey for the Spring sessions.


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