Minister & minister's assistant


Rev. Briones
Rev. Briones

Rev. William Briones

Rev. William Briones was born and raised in Mountain View, CA. His major was in Biology. He worked 28 years as a Research Biologist in the Department of Physiology, at Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto, CA. He took an early retirement in 1995 and enrolled at the Institute of Buddhist Studies at CA Berkeley's Graduate of Theology Union. Upon Completion of ministerial program at Berkeley, Rev. Briones attended Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin (Buddhist Seminary) in Kyoto, Japan for 2 years. He received his Tokudo ordination in September 2000 and Kyoshi certification in April 2001.


His orientation began at LA Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in June 2001 and he joined the ministerial staff as a full time minister in January 2002. He became the 10th Rimban (head minister) of LA Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in September 2013.


Rev. Murakami
Rev. Murakami
Rev Hibiki Murakami-Official Profile pic
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Rev. Hibiki Junkyo Murakami

Rev. Hibiki Junkyo Murakami(村上 響、釋 順響) is from Kitakyushu city, Fukuoka, Japan. He received his bachelor’s and a master’s degrees of letters of Shin Buddhism at Ryukoku University, Kyoto in 2016 and in 2018.  In the meantime, he received Tokudo ordination and was licensed Kyoshi in the school of Jodo Shinshu Hongwaji-ha. His international ministerial activity began at being a candidate minister upon completing the International Ministerial Orientation Program at Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley in 2018. In a while, the Buddhist Churches of America decided to appoint him to his current temple, Los Angeles Hompa Hongwaji Buddhist Temple.


In January 2020, he moved from Japan to the United States to settle in California. Off the temple, he found a joy in his hobby fixing his project vehicle and in learning Aikido that he recently started practicing.


John DiGilio
John DiGilio

Mr. John DiGilio

John DiGilio was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles with his husband Mitch and their dog Manny. He has been an information and intelligence professional for over 25 years and directs firmwide library services for a global law firm. With a diverse background in law firms, corporations, and academia, he's authored numerous articles on information science and taught courses in law and research. John holds degrees in Political Science, Library and Information Science, and earned his Juris Doctorate.


After 20 years in Soto Zen Buddhism, John embraced Nembutsu at the LA Betsuin, finding solace in Amida Buddha's compassionate acceptance toward all beings regardless of their shortcomings and imperfections. With gratitude as his practice, he has a newfound patience for life's chaos and has traded in his solitary Zen practice for the embrace of a busy Dharma family. When one door closes, another opens.  Namo Amida Butsu!


You can visit John’s blog, Being Bombu-Cultivating Gratitude at

Past Nishi Ministers