National Shrine of
Saint Francis of Assisi

Fr. John DeLaRiva, OFM, Capuchin

Fr. John De La Riva had a variety of experience before entering the Capuchins in 1990. Born and raised in southern California, son of Margarita and Antonio De La Riva, after school he worked for Bank of America, the LA Police Department and the U.S. Postal Service. He also served in the military (USMCR). After completing formation, he was ordained to the Priesthood on June 12, 1999 at Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, then served six years at Our Lady of Angels Parish in Burlingame. Fr. John ministered at the VA Medical Center in Palo Alto, California. Before moving to St. Francis High School, he served as Associate Pastor at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Parish in Watts. He was chaplain at St. Francis High School and now Rector of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi.

Rodney Esperanza
Administrative Assistant

Greetings brothers and sisters, my name is Rodney Esperanza and I started in the Shrine of St. Francis office in April. I am a native of the Bay Area, San Francisco-born, and grew up in the East Bay. Following my graduation from San Francisco State University I had a 13-year career in Information Technology with a database software firm before circumstances and the guidance of the Holy Spirit spurred me to switch careers and put my skills at the service of the Church as a layperson. I come to the Shrine after having worked for a parish in the Diocese of Oakland, and bring an enthusiasm for the mission of this church in the heart of the City of St. Francis, a great part of which is to increase awareness of the Capuchins. It is quite striking when the Fathers and brothers in their habits walk among the locals and tourists in the surrounding neighborhood!

My outside interests include reading, following the latest in astronomy and space exploration, urban hiking, and travelling to the holy sites. A planned trip of mine later this fall is a train journey through Europe ending in Rome to visit the Holy Doors of the four basilicas for the Jubilee Year, with Lord willing, a stop in Assisi. Praise be to God for allowing me to assist at the Shrine; hopefully I will have an opportunity to meet you.