Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church Oakland, California


Born Mauricio Jose Wilson Cole, during a time when his family resided in the province of Limon on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica in the small town of Siquirres.  He is the fourth of five siblings.  The family moved to the capital city of San Jose a little before he started first grade. Aside from the 3 years the family was in Atlanta, GA for his father’s seminary training, Mauricio’s education, through his first graduate degree, was in Costa Rica.

A lifelong Episcopalian, he is the child of deeply committed church leaders, his mother serves as a multidimensional lay leader of her parish and his father (R.I.P.) was Bishop of Costa Rica and Presiding Bishop of Central America.  Fr. Mauricio started preaching at age 17, and was Youth Director of the Diocese of Costa Rica for 15 years. A business and accounting major at the University of Costa Rica, he was a registered CPA in his home country, eventually working as an auditor for Coopers Lybrand Accounting, the Coca Cola Co. and for Banex, a private bank. “My first calling was always to the priesthood,” said Fr. Wilson, who is bilingual in English and Spanish. “Accounting was my backup plan.” He attained the Doctor of Ministry degree in Ministry Development from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2013, as well as Master's degrees in Divinity and Sacred Theology (Liturgy) from General Theological Seminary in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

Fr. Wilson, who also answers to Fr. Mauricio, became rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in October 2009.  Since arriving in the Bay Area to serve at St. Paul’s he has also been active in ministries around Oakland and the Diocese of California.  He is a member of the Standing Committee and chairs the Afro Anglican Commission of the diocese. As the rector of St. Paul’s, he holds ex-officio seats on the Board of Clausen House in Oakland and St Paul’s Episcopal School.  He is a member of the Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. He is the Western Regional Director of the Union of Black Episcopalians. 

He served on the Executive Council of the Diocese, the Program and Budget Committee and chaired the Assessment Relief Committee as well as the Diocesan Committee on Nominations. Fr. Wilson was a Mayoral appointee to the City of Oakland’s Citizens Police Review Board and served as a Commissioner for 2016 and 2017.

His wife Karla is a Doctor of Mechanical Engineering, and they have two children. His hobbies include cooking (his kids love his Thanksgiving lasagna), collecting wines and driving different kinds of vehicles. He’s looking forward to learning to drive an 18-wheeler and a race car someday. His favorite book is Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and he figures he’s seen his favorite movie, The Matrix, 150 to 200 times.


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