Alumni answer call to vocational service


Rev. Jay Watan ’89 and Deacon Miguel Bustos ’89

Brannon Serrano ’22, Staff Reporter

The alumni of Archbishop Riordan have accomplished many goals, and in the Class of 1989, two of them have become members of the ministry.

Miguel Bustos ’89 decided to become a deacon because he always felt a call to ministry and he wanted to infuse that within his career. 

The privileges of being a deacon that Bustos described include being the bridge between the church and the world. As a bridge, he is able to find joy and passion by “letting the oppressed and marginalized by society know that they’re not alone and loved.”

Bustos was ordained as a Cathedral Deacon for Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on Dec. 4, 2021.  He said, “I had always felt called to ministry, and I tried to infuse it in my career and personal endeavors throughout my life. However, about 10 years ago, I felt the call to be an ordained clergy member. It was a six-year process.”

Jay Watan ’89 wanted to become a minister because he believes that ministry is “all about making God’s love real in this broken society that we live in.” 

In his journey, he has witnessed many people that struggled in finding meaning in their life since it’s so easy to diminish one’s worldview in society.

Rev. Watan stated, “Today it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the cynicism and complexity of life.  As a minister, my calling is to help our people see what’s right in the world and to be what is right in a world that needs more love.” 

Math teacher Ottilie Valverde, who knew Bustos and Watan as students, said, “I knew Jay as an excellent student, friendly, diligent and respected. Miguel Bustos was outgoing, friends with everyone, active in everything.  Everyone knew and loved Migual —he was just that way.”

Although there were no outward signs that either would enter a life in the ministry, Valverde said, It sometimes takes a while for those who are called to realize their call, their love of God and their call to work in His service in this special way.”

She added, “I think that Jay and Miguel can be an inspiration to current Riordan students when our students see the possibility of their own calling by hearing/reading the story of these two graduates.”

“By reminding our students (especially since we no longer have any vowed religious other than our Deacon among us) that the possibility of their own calling to religious life is valuable.”

In regards to their own calling, Watan and Bustos reflected similarly. 

Rev. Watan said, “Church was a vital part of my formation, and with my years at Riordan, these opportunities gave me a theological awareness to look for God’s love in the good times, the bad, and the ugly.”

Deacon Bustos offered, “Follow your heart. The world needs people who are willing to be a light of goodness and hope.”