Reverend Don Castro is the Rinban (head minister) at the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple. He was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. He has a BA in Anthropology from San Jose State, an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and a California State Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University. Castro Sensei has been a Buddhist minister for 32 years and served at temples in San Francisco and Sebastopol, California before transferring to the Seattle Betsuin in 1986. Email »
Reverend Jim Warrick shares ministerial duties with Reverend Castro. After studying for several years and serving as a minister’s assistant, in 2003 Warrick sensei received Tokudo ordination as a Buddhist priest from our mother temple, the Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan. He continued his studies and in 2008 Warrick Sensei received Kyoshi certifcation from the Nishi Hongwanji and was recognized by the Buddhist Churches of America as a part time Kyoshi minister intern at the Seattle Betsuin. He spends his weekdays working in private industry. Email »
Minister’s Assistant Irene Goto became a certified Minister’s Assistant in the summer of 2011. “Through high school I attended a Christian church because there was no Buddhist temple near our home. In the mid 80’s when my daughter was in kindergarten she asked me to take her to this place called “church” so I decided to take her to the Buddhist Church. I was pleasantly surprised to find that what the ministers at Seattle Betsuin were teaching resonated with my views. I’ve been attending, participating, and listening ever since. I hope to help keep the Dharma resonating.”
Minister’s Assistant Laverne Imori was born in Honolulu and raised in Okinawa. She’s lived in both Seattle and Portland and is in the process of completing the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course. Laverne became a certified Minister’s Assistant in the summer of 2011 and is an active member of the temple’s religious department co-chairing the English Program Team. She’s a member of the First Saturday Study Group and says she’s grateful for Rinban Castro’s encouragement to study the Dharma and for the support of the Sangha.
Minister’s Assistant Joe Schwab is one of the four members of the Seattle Betsuin’s first class of Minister’s Assistants who received certification in the summer of 2005 (the others were Bill Hirsch, Kevin Tanemura and Jim Warrick). Joe, along with the temple’s other Minister’s Assistants, volunteers at the temple helping to deliver the temple’s religious services. They also assist Rinban in supporting our sister temples in eastern Washington.