top of page

Meet Our Staff

Rev. Colin Wen

Fr. Colin Wen was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA. His parents still live there. He also has three sisters and one brother. He received his BA in Sociology at UC Davis in 2005 before spending a year in Los Angeles volunteering on skidrow. From there he discerned a calling to the priesthood, joining the Diocese of Sacramento and entering St. Patrick’s Seminary in 2006, where he spent his first two years of pre-theology. In 2008, he was sent to Rome to complete his theological studies, receiving an STB as well as an STL in Moral Theology at the Angelicum.


He was ordained in 2013 and has served in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Downieville, and Dixon. On July 1, 2014, Bishop Soto appointed him as Parochial Vicar at St. Vincent Ferrer in Vallejo. And on July 1, 2017, he was appointed as Parochial Administrator of St. Katharine Drexel in Amador County and then Pastor on April 1, 2019.

Rev. Mr. Ray Moreno

Ray Moreno was born in Stockton, CA and was raised in Manteca. This is where he lived until he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After serving in the first Gulf War, Ray married his high school sweetheart Carmen. They have two children, a daughter-in-law, and two beautiful granddaughters. He has worked in the electronics industry for over 25 years. Currently, he is the quality manager / project manager, but his true passion is spending time with his family, especially on a river or a lake. Ray first felt the call to the diaconate as a child, but it was not until 2018 when he answered that call. It was during this formation period that all his training as a catechist, youth ministries, and life experience started to make sense. In 2021, Ray moved with his wife Carmen to Amador County and joined St. Katharine Drexel Parish and looks forward to each day where he can work and serve with this wonderful community.

Rev. Mr. Jaime Garcia
Retired Deacon

As a barrio boy growing up in East LA, Deacon Jaime Garcia felt drawn to religious life in the Society of St. John Bosco, the Salesians. But God’s ways are not our ways, and the Holy Spirit eventually led him on a different path – to work with the youth, especially the poor and marginalized. The discernment of this gift included another sweet and wonderful gift, the call to married life and the woman he would marry, Barbara. While raising their family, he worked with poor Hispanic families in East Oakland for a number of years before spending the next 27 years working with AT&T. He never lost his passion for helping people turn to God, and he was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Oakland in 2003. The Garcias moved to Pine Grove in 2009 and love Amador County and its people!

Erica DeBenedet
Parish Secretary

Erica DeBenedet has been a parishioner at St. Katharine Drexel Parish since 2006. She and her husband, Steve, have two teenage daughters, Hannah and Mia. Erica grew up in San Diego, and went to college at Humboldt State University, where she graduated with a degree in Biochemistry. After working for the County of Humboldt for six years, she became a stay-at-home mom, and the family moved to Amador County. Erica loves volunteering and continues to serve in different capacities with the ministries at SKD. She also loves coffee, board games, and traveling with her family. She looks forward to meeting you during your visit to the parish office!

Anna Blankenheim
Music Director

Anna Blankenheim attended the University of San Diego and received her degrees in Music and Communication Studies before moving to Amador County after meeting her husband, Mike. They recently celebrated the birth of their son. She works for Intel and runs a horse boarding business and loves spending time outdoors with all of her animals.

Ellen Waverly
Director of Family Life

Ellen Waverly was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska.  A 1993 Forest Management graduate of Northern Arizona University, Ellen moved to California for a job with a large landowner in Mendocino County, where she eventually met her future husband Matt. In 2002, Ellen decided to leave forestry and pursued a Multiple Subject Credential through Dominican University, at the satellite campus in Ukiah, California.  Following the completion of the program, she moved to Pioneer. She and Matt were married in 2003 at Our Lady of the Pines.  She then began working as a teacher at Pioneer Elementary.  She has also served in the parish as a Catechist for a number of years before taking on her current position. Ellen and Matt have two daughters, Mackenzie and Sarah.  In her spare time, Ellen loves to spend time in the outdoors, read and travel with her family. Ellen loves working with families and has a deep passion to help our young people come to know Christ.

Ashley Santacruz
Office Assistant

Ashley Santacruz was born and raised in Jackson, CA. She has three brothers and one sister. She is currently attending Cosumnes River College, double majoring in Spanish and Pre-health Occupations. In her free time she loves to spend time with her friends and family, as well as watching live sports. 

skd logo.png
Kirsten Lawrence
Discipleship Coordinator

Kirsten Lawrence was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, CA and moved to Northern CA in 2007. She is married to Brian and their young daughter is Elizabeth. She is also a science and religion tutor for SKD Learning Academy. Kirsten is passionate about animals, the environment, education, and having fun with family and friends.

bottom of page