Meet our newest addition to Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Deacon Mikhail!
About DEACON MIKHAIL ALNAJJAR:
One of four boys, I was born in a very small town in Syria, just south of Antioch where Saint Ingatius of Antioch was born; a few miles from the Mediterranean Sea. Life was very challenging in a third world country, so my Mom and Dad wanted and prayed for a better life for us. They sent my oldest brother to Venezuela to start a clothing business, and my second oldest brother to Germany for engineering school. My youngest brother remained home to help my parents take care of the farm, and I was sent to the United States as a teenager to visit my uncle and to attend higher education. My brothers and I joke that we are a “United Nations” family! While attending St. Michael College in Vermont, I met my lovely wife (June). Just before I graduated, we married and then soon relocated so I could attend graduate school at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA), earning a Masters degree in Inorganic Chemistry, and a Ph.D in Physical Organic Chemistry. During this time, June and I were blessed with having two children. After graduation from SUNYA, but before starting my permanent job at Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland WA, our third child was born. Thirty-four years later, I retired from an incredibly fulfilling career in science which took me all over the world. Soon after my retirement, our kids and grandkids asked us to move here to the west side of the state to be close to them; an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Over the years, our involvement in church activities has included the Marian movement, Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), and Cursillo, as well as bible studies, faith formation, and retreats in our parish. After leading WWME for seven years in the Yakima Diocese, and dialoguing with priests on many occasions regarding the history of the church, I sensed I was being called to serve Our Lord in the diaconate program. However, work and young children at home to care for prevented me from jumping right in. Years later, and after our children had all left home for college, God’s call resonated in my heart a second time. After five years of formation, I was ordained in the Yakima Diocese on September 25, 2010. Since then I have been involved in various church ministeries since my ordination (prison ministry, confirmation, pro-life director for the Yakima Diocese, St. Ignatius spiritual director, as well as spiritual director for my brother Knights and St. Vincent De Paul groups). God has blessed me with a wonderful vocation as a deacon, and I very much look forward to serving His faithful at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish.
God bless you.