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Diocese of Boise Synod Committee

The following story appeared in the January 28 Idaho Catholic Register.

Bishop Peter Christensen appointed 16 members of a “Diocesan Synodal Path Committee,” whose members will assist the Bishop to coordinate the events throughout the Diocese and prepare the document to present to the U.S. Bishops.

Those committee members include:

Christian Welp is heading up the committee, has been the Director of Special Projects for the Diocese of Boise for the last six years. He has a degree in Humanities from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Before he came to the Diocese, he was the vice president of enlistment for the Better Business Bureau. He and his wife, Jillian, are the parents of nine children with another on the way.


Doug Alles is executive director of Catholic Charities, an organization that advocates for refugees and migrants, and offers a variety of social services that improve lives, promote dignity and build individual and family self-sufficiency. Previous positions are with Community Youth Services of Washing-ton County in Beaverton, Ore.; the Private Industry Council in Portland and then with Catholic Charities of Oregon, serving as interim executive director before coming to Idaho.


Leticia Espinoza, a native of Jalisco, Mexico, is involved in Hispanic ministry at St. Therese Little Flower Parish in Burley where she has helped with baptism classes and marriage preparation.


Jessica Gallegos was born and raised in Pocatello to a Mexican father and a Mexican-American mother. She is the Director of Christian Education for kindergarten through 12th grade at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Pocatello. She received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education from Idaho State University.


Sister Anthony Marie Greving is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, where she lives in community with others Sisters on a farm outside Pocatello. The community is dedicated to family life in all its aspects from children to the elderly. In addition to assisting with individual and group retreats for lay brothers and sisters, Sister Anthony Marie coordinates a Widows’ Group for Holy Spirit Parish in Pocatello. After 40 years of working with the Aging Program in southeast Idaho, her professional work currently takes her to Idaho State University coordinating the Geriatric Certificate Program.


Deacon Rob and Teresa Groom, Deacon Groom was raised in Grangeville, the fourth generation of his family to be members of St. Peter and Paul Parish. He attended the parish grade school and after graduating from Grangeville High School in 1979, attended the University of Idaho for one year. He currently ranches in Grangeville and manages the local cemetery district. In 1983, he married his high school sweetheart, Teresa, who joined the Catholic Church at that time. Teresa has been a teacher and was later principal at Sts. Peter and Paul School for 29 years. Deacon Groom is a Fourth Degree Knight and has also served as a district deputy for the Knights of Columbus. The Grooms have four children and three grandchildren.


Lorissa Horn has an extensive background in youth ministry for 25 years, currently serving with her husband, Johnny, as a youth minister at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and is also Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop Kelly High School. Lorissa is also a certified Life coach and co-owns a Catholic life coaching company, Made for Greatness, with her business partner, Sterling Jacquith. The Horns have been married for 18 years and have seven children.


Father Rob Irwin is a chaplain at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. He attended Oregon State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications. A lifelong Catholic, Father Irwin became involved in youth ministry. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, in 1995, after graduating from Mount Angel Seminary. After serving parishes in Pendleton, Baker City and Ontario, Father Irwin was incardinated in the Diocese of Boise. He served as a parochial vicar in Post Falls (2010-11), administrator at Good Shepherd in Soda Springs (2011-13), pastor at St. Jerome’s in Jerome (2013-17) and pastor at Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell (2017-18).


Tina Johnson has been a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish for 35 years. A graduate of Gonzaga University, she is a dental hygienist. She served on the board of the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation, was on the McEuen Park Steering Committee, the Dike Levee Committee and was a member of the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission. For the church, she was one of the original members of the Serra Club of North Idaho, which promotes vocations, and also chaired the Mission House remodel project. She and her husband, Gary, both natives of Dallas, have two children.


Dan and Peggy Minnaert have been married for more than 33 years and have four children. He is employed as a commercial real estate agent and she is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Throughout their years in Boise, they have been involved in many ministries from youth group ministry, to evangelization retreats, marriage preparation and other marriage ministries. Currently, they are members the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and are part of the high school youth ministry program.


Deacon Scott Pearhill was ordained to the diaconate in October, 2011 and was assigned to Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Pocatello and Chub-buck. He received a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans, in 1999, and a Doctorate in Ministry in 2019 from Mount Angel Seminary. In 2021, Deacon Pearhill became the parish Pastoral Associate for Administration. Most recently, Deacon Pearhill is helping to coordinate local aid to Afghan refugees who are being resettled in Pocatello. He serves as vice president of the Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship. Deacon Pearhill and his wife, Marcy, were married in 1992 and have two adult sons.


Dr. Bryan Taylor, a parishioner at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Caldwell, is the prosecuting attorney for Canyon County and chairs the Diocesan Sexual Review Board. He is finalizing his degree in Canon Law to assist the Diocese in matrimonial cases. Dr. Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boise State University; a Master of Arts in Theology from Christendom Graduate School of Theology (affiliated with Notre Dame Graduate School); a law degree from the University of Denver; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Adult, Organizational Learning and Leadership from the University of Idaho. Dr. Taylor and his wife, Katie, have two children.


Eddie Trask has a master’s degree in business administration from Sonoma State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute. A revert to the Church in 2019, he joined the Augustine Institute as the Mobile App Product Manager to help launch a new Catholic prayer app called “Amen.” He is a Third Degree Knight of Columbus and is co-host of Salt & Light Radio’s “Man Cave” show. He serves as the Idaho representative for the Catholic Men’s Leadership Alliance. In 2021, he launched a podcast and YouTube show, “Catholic Re.Con,” that features reversion and conversion testimonies. He has written a book, “Confession All: A Humiliating, Tormented Pilgrimage to God’s Will.” Trask and his wife of 12 years, Ashley, have five children.


Father Caleb Vogel is the Vicar General for the Diocese of Boise. Born in Jerome, he attended Mount Angel Seminary and St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, Calif. He was ordained on July 10, 2004, in Boise by Bishop Michael Driscoll. He served as parochial vicar at St. John Paul II Parish in Idaho Falls (2004-06) and as administrator and then pastor at Mary Immaculate in St. Anthony (2006-09). He served as pastor at St. Augustine’s Student Center in Moscow (2009-15). He became the pastor at St. Paul’s in Nampa in 2015 and served there until 2021 when he was named vicar general for the Diocese.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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