The strange, sad case of Erwin Mena

Fake priest is nabbed again

The following comes from a November 18 San Diego Union-Tribune article by Matt Hamilton: A man who was convicted of posing as a Roman Catholic priest and selling bogus trips to see Pope Francis returned to court on Friday after investigators discovered that once out of jail, he resumed trying to pass himself off as a man of the cloth. Erwin Mena, the judge said, was back … [Read more...]

Guilty as charged

Phony Catholic priest pleads guilty to grand theft and is sentenced to 1 year in jail

The following comes from a February 24 LA Times article by Matt Hamilton and Irfan Khan: The man who allegedly posed as a Roman Catholic priest at Los Angeles-area parishes and sold bogus trips to see Pope Francis pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of grand theft, prosecutors said. Erwin Mena, 59, entered his plea in a downtown courtroom and was sentenced by Los … [Read more...]

Thank the church ladies

Details emerge of Erwin Menacastro's arrest

The following comes from a February 4 Catholic News Agency article by Mary Rezac. For previous CalCatholic stories on Erwin Mena, click here and here. For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself “Padre,” and convinced Southern California Catholics that he was a priest, police say. He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a … [Read more...]

Fake priest on the run

Self-proclaimed Pastor used religion to rip-off believers

The following comes from a January 5 Fox LA story by Gina Silva: He's known as “Father Erwin Mena”. Since the mid 1990’s he’s been celebrating mass at Catholic churches throughout California. He’s held prayer meetings, paid counseling sessions and nights of confession in the dioceses of San Bernardino, Stockton, Orange, and Fresno. But he’s not really a priest. His real … [Read more...]