In Basque the words for priest are “Apeza” (Iparralde or northern Basque Country) and “Abadia” in the Bizkaian dialect.  Until recently, the Basque-American Catholic community benefited from the ministry of various Basque priests.  That era came to an end when the last Basque chaplain, Aita Martxel Tillous, passed away a few years ago. [See Era of the Basque Chaplains]

Since then two Basque priests have continued to minister to Basques on the side of their regular assignments.  They are:

altuna1 Aita Javier Altuna, S.J.  Ministering to the Basque community of southern California

Lastiri Fr. Mike Lastiri, Diocese of Fresno  Ministering to central & northern California Basque-Catholic communities

Antton2 Joining them is our newest arrival, Fr. Antton Egiguren, a Basque Franciscan.  Originally assigned to the Diocese of Boise in Idaho, Fr. Antton is now in the Diocese of Fresno and is located in Merced at Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Patrick’s. To find out more about him CLICK HERE

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