Like Jerry West of LA Laker fame and Jennifer Garner from TV’s “Alias,” Fr. Peter Abdella , CSP, hails from “wild and wonderful” West Virginia. He attended Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University) there, graduating in both chemistry and philosophy in 1970. He holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Northwestern University and a master’s in theology from Catholic University. Upon ordination to the Paulists in 1985, he served briefly in parishes in/near Clemson, South Carolina, before being appointed as campus minister to the University of California, San Diego, where he worked until the summer of 1998.
In 1999, he completed a master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of California, Irvine. In 1999-2000 he was a Visiting Scholar in pastoral counselingand education in genetics at the Department of Medicine at UCSD. Before arriving as Director of the UCC in February of 2005, Fr. Peter served for four and a half years as campus ministry director and associate pastor at Newman Hall/Holy Spirit Parish in Berkeley. With the blessing of the Paulists, he also provides pastoral care and counseling to families and individuals affected with genetic disorders.
Among his favorite movies are “A Man for All Seasons,” “Casablanca,” and “The Mission.” He enjoys good theater and film, “Star Trek,” folk guitar, photography, R&B, rock, cityscapes, fish tacos, and just kickin’ it. Having lived in southern California before, he is excited to be back.