Fr. Chrispine Otieno
Fr. Chrispine Otieno
After the death of their pastor, Father Ronald Millican, last year, the mourning members of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Southeast Portland were effectively without a pastor for 18 months.

Earlier this summer parishioners eagerly welcomed a new pastor, Father Chrispine Otieno. The parish community has embraced the Kenyan-born priest.

Father Otieno was inspired to become a priest by his grandparents, who were devout and dedicated to the church until their deaths. His parents and deceased aunt, Sister Isabella of the Franciscans of St. Joseph Congregation, also contributed to his faith life and vocation.

Born in Siaya County, Kenya, in 1982, Father Otieno studied at the Consolata Institute of Philosophy in Kenya, an affiliate college of Urbaniana University in Rome. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Urbaniana in 2005. Moving his studies to Urbaniana University in Rome, he then earned a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 2009.

“My time in Rome opened my eyes and my heart to love and marvel at the beauty of the one universal Catholic Church,” said the priest.

Father Otieno joined the Archdiocese of Portland in 2011, enrolling at Mount Angel Seminary for its master’s program. He began his pastoral year internship at St. Henry Parish in Gresham and then participated in a clinical pastoral education program in Tacoma in the summer of 2012. He was ordained a deacon in October 2012 and graduated with a master’s in theology from Mount Angel Seminary in 2013. He was ordained a priest on June 8, 2013 at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland by Archbishop Alexander Sample.

Father Otieno’s previous pastoral experiences include ministry at St. Bruno Parish in Rome, at St. Henry in Gresham, St. Paul in Silverton and St. Mary in Corvallis. His first priestly assignments, as parochial vicar, were at St. Mary in Eugene and Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais from 2014 to 2016.

He was administrator of Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais from July 2016 until June 2018. Most recently, he served as parochial vicar at St. Henry in Gresham.