Welcome to Diocese of Yakima

Our History

  •     Catholicism first came to Central Washington in 1847.
  •     The Diocese of Yakima was created on June 23, 1951, by Pope Pius XII.
  •     The new diocese was formed from the territory of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane.
  •     The Diocese of Yakima serves 41 parishes in 7 counties.
  •     The original diocesan newspaper began as Our Times in 1959.

Diocese of Yakima

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125th Anniversary of St. Mary Parish in White Swan

You're all invited to the 125th anniversary of the establishment of St. Mary in White Swan as a parish on August 10th 2014 at 10:00 a.m.  Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima and Emeritus Bishop Carlos Sevilla, S.J. will be present. 

The past of the church is rich in history and tradition, as well as the long series of events that have taken place commemorating 125 years of St. Mary as a parish community in White Swan.  From the early mission days to the present time, the Indian culture has prevailed.  St. Mary has been very blessed in serving three distinctive cultures, which in the last 25 years include the Hispanic community. 

It will be a wonderful event.  The Parish extends an invitation to everyone.  Come and join us celebrate in praising God for his work at St. Mary in White Swan.

Renovate LIVE - Wednesday, July 23, 6pm at Espresso World in Kennewick

Calling all young adults (18-30)! Come experience Renovate LIVE! on Wednesday, July 23rd, 6:00 PM at Espresso World in Kennewick. Join the fun at 7510 W Clearwater Ave, Kennewick, Washington 99336.
Erik Mertens, the Peanut Guy, is going to give a talk. Not only that, there will be music! Graham Bourque is a highly talented musician.
This event will be our fourth, and we would love to have you there with us! Do come and bring your friends! Renovate's official website is http://renovatethebody.org/. Renovate's official Facebook Page (Like it please!) is https://www.facebook.com/renovatethebodyhttp://blog.renovatethebody.org/ is the link for Renovate's blog.
Our official YouTube channel with music and talks from last month's event can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbt2eW5PPIXZ8vbRXL0jktw
God bless you! I am looking forward to meeting new faces!

Save the Date: Catechetical Congress

Save the Date for the Diocese of Yakima’s Catechetical Congress. This year’s theme is “Stewards of Faith, Service of Love”. The event is scheduled for October 11th, 2014 at Holy Family Parish Campus in Yakima. Special guest this year is Cardinal Francis George, OMI slated to celebrate Morning Prayer along with Bishop Tyson.

Included are both English and Spanish versions, please add these to your parish’s bulletin for the coming weeks.

Thank you in advance for your support. Should you have any questions about the Congress please don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Garza at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (509) 965-7117.

QUO VADIS Days at Camp Koinonia planned for August 4 – 6, 2014

As the time for our annual QUO VADIS DAYS camp approaches we need your help promoting and getting the applications and consent forms out.  Quo Vadis Days camp offers young men the opportunity to discern a possible call to the priesthood.Quo Vadis Days will be held August 4 – 6 at Camp Koinonia near Cle Elum. Bus transportation will be available across the diocese, please contact Andy Mendoza for information.  The cost of the camp is $ 50.00. The family rate is $20.00 for each additional brother.

Attached are samples for the bulletin and for the announcements at Mass, registrations and flyers in English and Spanish as well as parent consent forms and Catholic Mutual field trip forms. Thank you kindly for your help.  Now more than ever it’s important to show forth the beauty of the priesthood. Please make copies and have them available for our youth and their parents.

It is important that the young men interested in participating, have your recommendation/approval for attending a prayerful, healthy environment.

For additional details visit the QUO VADIS webpage on the Diocese of Yakima website, copy and paste the following link on your browser: http://yakimadiocese.org/index.php/ministries/quo-vadis

If you have any questions  please  contact Father Felipe Pulido at St. Joseph in Yakima (509) 248-1911, Father Cesar Vega at Holy Family Parish (509) 966-0830 or Seminarian Andy Mendoza at (509) 965-7117 or via email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Explore and Enjoy the Yakima Valley with Bishop Tyson!

Come join Bishop Tyson help those most in need in our community and tour our valley’s scenery at the 2nd Annual Ride D’ Vine bicycling event hosted by Catholic Charities Housing Services (CCHS).  The ride begins at 8:00 am, Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at Sarg Hubbard Park and ends at Bonair Winery in Zillah, WA.  The proceeds help alleviate poverty through affordable housing, education and services offered by Catholic Charities Housing Services. Cost is $50 per rider. 

Pre-registration is encouraged as the ride will be limited to 200 participants. Riders can pre-register online (click here)  or for more information call (509) 853-2800 or visit our website http://www.cchsyakima.org/.

Pope Francis Tells Dutch Youth to "Think Big" in Following Jesus

Dear Friends as we begin remote preparation for the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow Poland here in the Diocese of Yakima you'll want to note that Pope Francis is stressing the Beatitudes of Jesus from St Matthew's Gospel at the Catechesis for World Youth Day. This is a short and good resource to review with you Life Teen team and youth ministry leaders. 
+Bishop Joseph Tyson  
Pope Francis tells Dutch youth to "think big" in following Jesus 


Sisters of Providence Leadership Announcement

The Sisters of Providence of Mother Joseph Province are delighted to share the results of their recent Discernment Chapter of Elections.  The election of Judith Desmarais, SP, to the position of Provincial Superior/Leadership Team Coordinator of Mother Joseph Province has been confirmed by General Superior Karin Dufault, SP, and the General Council.  The Sisters also elected three Provincial Councilors in their prayer and discernment process. The councilors are: Sisters Joan Gallagher, Josie Ramac and Jo Ann Showalter.

Understanding the role of leadership as the Sisters do causes them to look upon and treat these occasions of selection of leadership as more than an “election”.  The process of prayerful discourse and discernment that led to the election of the Provincial Superior and Provincial Council members who will serve from 2015 through 2019 began in September of 2013, involved all of the members, and concluded at the Chapter held June 27-30 in Renton, Wash.

In addition to leading the religious community, the provincial and council members serve as corporate members of Providence Pariseau Corporation, which includes the Sojourner Place and Building Bridges ministries.  They also co-sponsor several other ministries for women and children through Transitions in Spokane. 


June 2014 Central Washington Catholic


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May 2014 Central Washington Catholic


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Download this file (CWC_May_2014_Eng.pdf)CWC_May_2014_Eng.pdf[ ]334 Kb
Download this file (CWC_May_2014_Span.pdf)CWC_May_2014_Span.pdf[ ]471 Kb

ACA Moment – Holy Apostles

Summer is now upon us, and we are already over half-way through the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal.  Of the 41 parishes, 19 have already met their goal and will be receiving their first rebate check next month.  This month, we wanted to focus on a parish that every year has a generous response to their ACA – Holy Apostles of East Wenatchee.

For the past several years, Holy Apostles Parish has exceeded it goal by over 165%.  Last year, the parish paid 200% of their goal, and this year is already at 173%.  When discussing the generosity of the people of East Wenatchee, Trish Wilmoth (parish secretary) shared that it is the big hearts of the parishioners that make ACA, as well as other fundraisers that the parish has, a great success.  She said that the people of Holy Apostles are “very generous and close-knit.”  Trish also said that the people look at their faith community as “their” parish.

How has this parish become so community oriented?  Trish attributed Fr. Argemiro Orozco (Pastor of Holy Apostles) with bringing the people together.   She explained that he works to engage parishioners, especially the Hispanic members who make up a large portion of the parish.  Fr. Orozco works to help the people not only spiritually, but even temporally when needed.  He helps them work with various parishioners who work with charities to get them money when needed.  When it comes to ACA, Fr. Argemiro engages parishioners one-on-one by handing out pledge cards and talking to people about pledging.  Trish shared that the people respond well to Fr. Argemiro’s personal requests to take part in the Annual Catholic Appeal because “the people love him – they would do anything for him.”

With such a generous response, the parish has received rebate checks each year for the parish’s use.  When asked what the parish uses the rebate money for, Trish replied that they do not usually have a special project in mind for it.  She explained that “The money is available for when needs arise.  We recently had to repair our HVAC system, which was expensive.  It is nice to have the money there when we need it.”

Congratulations and thank you to Fr. Orozco and the parishioners of Holy Apostles for your generous support of the Annual Catholic Appeal!

Judge Rules in Church's Favor in Abuse Case

A federal judge Thursday ruled that the Diocese of Yakima and Resurrection Parish were not liable for the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy at the Zillah parish in 1999.

Judge Edward Shea ruled that while it was clear the plaintiff, "John Doe," was abused by former Deacon Aaron Ramirez, attorneys for the plaintiff failed to prove the Diocese or Parish bore responsibility.  Shea presided over a seven-day bench trial in federal court in Yakima in March, and heard closing arguments in the case April 20. 

"As we have said many times, we're very sorry for the abuse Mr. Doe suffered," said Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson. "Our prayers are with him."

"At the same time, we're pleased that the court recognized the diocese's strong legal position," the bishop said. "It is unfortunate we weren't able to settle this matter outside of trial."

Key findings of the judge's ruling included:

– Ramirez, who had been ordained a deacon as part of preparing to become a priest, was at the parish unbeknownst to any church authorities when the abuse occurred in a trailer on the parish grounds.  “On July 29, 1999, neither the Diocese nor Resurrection had any knowledge of any prior misbehavior, or any prior inappropriate sexual behavior by Ramirez, nor any reason to know that he posed a risk of such behavior,” the judge stated in his ruling.

– The Diocese accepted Ramirez as a candidate for priesthood in 1998, after he successfully completed seminary studies in Mexico.  While his personnel file could not be located, the judge ruled that “the Diocese did not willfully, intentionally, or in bad faith destroy or hide the Ramirez file which at some time prior to July 29, 1999, existed.” The diocese was able to reconstruct his seminary academic record, which showed he successfully completed the program, despite leaving one religious order to join another about halfway through the program.

– Bishop Emeritus Carlos A. Sevilla, S.J., who accepted Ramirez to the diocese, corresponded with him regularly after he fled to Mexico rather than be questioned about the abuse by authorities. Sevilla then engaged in a successful attempt to convince him to be laicized – permanently removed as a cleric in the church – in 2001.  While acknowledging the criticism Sevilla received for some of his supportive correspondence, the “Court finds that Bishop Sevilla was both managing the removal of Ramirez as a Deacon while coaxing him to realize he would not be accepted as a Catholic priest in Mexico,” the judge stated.  “And, while perhaps difficult for a lay person to understand, the Bishop was indeed ministering to a sinner within his priestly duties.”

Doe, who brought the lawsuit in 2011 while living in Oregon, was offered counseling by the Diocese following the abuse but declined the church’s assistance.  He graduated from Zillah High School in 2000, and settled in Oregon after a brief time in the U.S. Marine Corps.

For the past 13 years, victims of sexual abuse as minors have regularly been invited to make complaints to the Diocese, with the promise that the abuse will be reported to the authorities, and professionally investigated, with care and compassion, under the supervision of the Diocesan Lay Advisory Board. The hotline number is 1-888-276-4490.

  • About Us
Catholicism first came to Central Washington in 1847. The Diocese of Yakima was created on June 23, 1951, by Pope Pius XII. The new diocese was formed from the territory of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane. The Diocese of Yakima serves 41 parishes in 7 counties. The original diocesan newspaper began as Our Times in 1959.
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