Clergy & Staff

Msgr. Richard Huneger

Monsignor Richard Huneger became the pastor of St. Joseph in 2014.

Education and Biographical Information:
1951-52  Kindergarten at Lincoln School, Aberdeen, SD
1952-60  Gr 1-8  St. Joseph School, Salem, OR
1960-68  Gr 9-12, College 13-16 at Mt. Angel Seminary
1968-72  Theology: M.A., S.T.L. at University of Innsbruck, Austria
1972-75  Religion Teacher, La Salle High School Milwaukie, OR
1975-83  Parochial Vicar, St. John the Baptist, Milwaukie, OR
1983-87  Pastor, Star of the Sea, Astoria, OR
1987–94 Director of Pastoral Services, Archdiocese of Portland
1994 – 2006  Pastor, St. Rose of Lima, Portland, Oregon
2010 – 2011 Sabbatical:  Angelicum, Rome
2006-2014  Pastor, St. John the Apostle, Oregon City, OR

For leisure, Monsignor Huneger enjoys reading (Theology, history, social commentary, philosophy, etc.), Languages (foreign), and Christian Art (Iconography)


fredwinParochial Vicar

503-581-1623  ext. 214

Fr. Edwin L. Sanchez received his BA in Philosophy, Masters in Divinity, Masters in Theology, and graduate studies S.T.B – Bachelor of Sacred Theology at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California.  In his free time, Fr. Edwin enjoys listening to music, running, and traveling.


deaconallenDeacon Allen Vandecoevering, M.T.S.

Deacon Allen worked for St. Joseph parish from 1976 to 2005.  He currently works for Salem Hospital as a Chaplain.  He and his wife Terri have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. All of them live in the Salem/Keizer area.  He has been involved in prison ministry for 10 years.  His hobbies include playing with grandkids, cooking, yard work and travelling.  Messages for Deacon Allen can be left at the Parish Rectory by calling 503-581-1623.

Deacon Leo Rasca

me cropped Director of Faith Formation
Christian Spencer, M.A.


After graduating from Western Washington University with a BA in Geography/Social Studies (2003) and Franciscan University of Steubenville with a MA in Theology (2007) Christian served several parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle for 8 years in the areas of catechesis and evangelization.  Christian joined the staff of St. Joseph in June of 2015 and enjoys Eucharistic Adoration and the Holy Rosary.  He and his wife, Bekah have 3 children and a 4th due in February 2016.  Christian enjoys spending time with family, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and encountering God within the beauty of His creation.

  • Call To Protect/Safe Environment Training
  • Children’s Faith Formation—English, Spanish and Vietnamese
  • Catechetical Trainer for Faith Formation Volunteers (All Programs)
  • Youth and Young Adult Education—English and Spanish
  • Children’s Liturgy of the Word
  • Vacation Bible School


sarahkYouth and Young Adult Coordinator
503-581-1623 ext. 233

Sarah Kresse has served as the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for St. Joseph Parish since August 2007.  She is oldest of 6 and has 13 nieces and nephews!  She attended the University of Washington and is a proud Husky.  While studying Wildlife Science and Conservation of Wildland Resources she was an active member of the University of Washington Newman Center.  After completing her undergraduate degree she served as an Americorps volunteer with the Oregon Dept of Forestry.  During this time she volunteered at Queen of Peace in their youth ministry program.  During this time she discerned that her heart was drawn to youth ministry…so she headed back to Seattle to earn a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education.  She was then blessed with the opportunity to serve as the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at St. Joseph’s – she oversees all faith formation, Sacramental preparation, retreats, trips, etc. for ALL youth grades 7-12 as well as young adults.

In between faith formation gatherings, retreats, and teaching group exercise classes she enjoys running and has completed 1 marathon,  35+ half marathons, a sprint triathlon, and  several fun runs with her family.

  • Youth and Young Adult Faith Formation (English and Spanish)
  • Youth Confirmation
  • Young Adult First Thursday Theology
  • Atrevidos en Cristo
  • Monthly Men’s and Women’s Nights
  • Young Adult Bible Study
  • Newman Club—Willamette University


jamesthurman Adult Faith Formation Coordinator
503-581-1623  ext. 211

James Thurman received his Bachelors in Philosophy and Masters in Theology from Mt. Angel Seminary.  In his free time, James enjoys spending time with family  hiking, camping, golfing, and reading.  James is a veteran from the U.S. Army serving our country for 5 years and has been serving St. Joseph Parish for 2 years in the areas of:

  • R.C.I.A. (Inquiry, Catechumenate, Mystagogia) Classes September through Easter.
  • Marriage Preparation (English) Two times per year for 7 weeks of classes
  • Adult Faith Formation Nights
  • Adult Bible Study Groups
  • Adult Confirmation Preparation
  • Annual Chesterton Dinner in November.
  • Natural Family Planning Instructions

Pastoral Associate for Hispanic Ministry
Maria Elena Ruiz
503-581-1623 ext. 227

For Information on any Adult Spanish Faith Formation or all Hispanic Ministries including Choirs, Quinceañeras, and Volunteers contact Maria Elena Ruiz,

  • R.C.I.A. Spanish (Classes September through Easter)
  • Marriage Preparation Spanish
  • Baptismal Preparation Spanish
  • Facilitates off campus Spanish Mass


LiturgySacristan/Liturgy Coordinator
503-581-1623 ext. 213

  • Plans and prepares Liturgy for Masses and Special Liturgical Celebrations.
    • Trains and Schedules Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers for Mass and to the Sick,
    • Ushers, Greeters and Servers.
    • Helps prepare the Church for Lent and Advent Seasons.

Music DirectorMusic Director
503-581-1323 ext. 221

  • Prepares music for Liturgical Celebrations and Masses.
    • Schedules organist, cantors and all volunteer musicians.
    • Facilitates all choir and music practices.

Prior to coming to St. Joseph’s, Doug Schneider was the organist for seven years at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland.  Previously, he was the assistant organist/assistant conductor at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral, and had also served as the director of music at Chicago’s St. Alphonsus Church.  As an organ soloist he has performed in many venues throughout the United States, including the cathedrals of Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Chicago, as well as Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon.  He has been featured as an organist with the Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Portland Symphonic Choir, the Alaska Chamber Singers, the Northwest Boy Choir, Cantores in Ecclesia, and Capella Romana.

Doug is a highly versatile musician with a background that encompasses multiple instruments and genres.  As a piano accompanist he has performed over 1000 recitals.  He has extensive experience as a harpsichordist, vocalist, clarinetist, and saxophonist.  He is equally at home in classical and jazz music, having won a national award from Downbeat magazine for outstanding jazz saxophone performance.  He has served on the faculty of the School of Music at Portland State University, and was previously on the adjunct faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

He and wife Shaelyn are blessed with three wonderful children: Catherine, Joseph and John.  In his free time Doug enjoys small-scale farming, reading theology, philosophy and history, going to the gym, billiards, and experiencing the many fine NW wines.​

Children’s Hispanic Faith Formation Coordinator
Nelly Rosales

Faith Formation Assistant
Matilda Vargas

Business Manager
Carolyn Burlison
503-581-1623  ext. 210


Administrative Assistant

Jennifer McMillen
503-581-1623  ext. 219

Isabel Rico
503-581-1623 ext. 212

Kyle Sindlinger

Kyle Sindlinger has been a parishioner for nearly 7 years and has served on staff for 5 ½ years in the area of facility and maintenance.  In his free time, Kyle enjoys spending time with family, woodworking, helping people with fitness and health solutions, juggling, gardening, and small family farming.


anniePurchaser/Reception Coordinator
Deanna Lebaron

Deanna (Annie) became a parishioner in 2009 and serves as the reception coordinator.  She is one of the founders of PRNW (Parental Rights Northwest) and is very active in the prayer chain ministry, right to life ministries, Interfaith, sings in 2 choirs, and is active in the St. Germaine prayer group.  She also enjoys time with family and friends and working towards nature preservation.

School PrincipalSt. Joseph Catholic School—Principal

Currently provides leadership and supervision for Preschool through 8th Grade.