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104 & 80 Years A Priest

MONSIGNOR VINCENT TOPPER, C’32, S’35 Oldest and longestserving priest in the U. S. 1912-2016

Rector’s Message

Saint Vincent Seminary 300 Fraser Purchase Road Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650 Phone: 724-805-2592 Fax: 724-532-5052 Publisher, Chancellor Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. Rector Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B. Vice Rector Director of Human Formation Rev. John-Mary Tompkins, O.S.B. Academic Dean Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B. Dean of Students Rev. Emmanuel Afunugo Director of Spiritual Formation Rev. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B. Director of Liturgical Formation Rev. Cyprian Constantine, O.S.B. Director of Pastoral Formation Rev. Nathan Munsch, O.S.B. Director of Pre-Theologian Formation Deacon Lawrence Sutton, Ph.D. Director of Seminary Development Shannon Jordan Director of Seminary Public Relations Kimberley A. Metzgar Public Relations Associate Seth Harbaugh Director for Alumni Affairs Rev. Meinrad J. Lawson, O.S.B. Consultant for Alumni Affairs Rev. Chrysostom V. Schlimm, O.S.B. Contributors to this issue: Seth Harbaugh Barbara McAllister On the cover: Monsignor Vincent Topper, C’32, S’35, who died October 7, was recognized this summer as the longest-serving priest in the United States. Photos: The Catholic Witness.

Forming The Well-Rounded Priest


he new academic year has begun on a good note with a joyful group of new students and a strong spirit of fraternity among our returning seminarians. Following several days of orientation for our new arrivals Bishop Malesic offered Mass for the Seminary community on the first day of class, and already the days and weeks are flying past. As the new semester got underway the entire Seminary community was pleased to welcome to Saint Vincent two people who joined us over the summer, Sister Mary Veronica Sabelli, R.S.M., and Mr. Shannon Jordan. Sister Mary Veronica teaches philosophy to our pre-theology students, and Mr. Jordan serves as our new Director of Development. Both are valued additions to Saint Vincent Seminary. The formation of a priest involves many different components and at Saint Vincent we work hard to excel in each dimension of that task. The outstanding rate of retention of our graduates in priestly ministry points to the effectiveness of our program, and so I now share a few highlights of our formation program with you from this semester’s activities. Your support for Saint Vincent is what enables us to offer a strong seminary program and to improve upon it each year. Prayer is at the heart of all Christian vocations and in discerning a priestly vocation prayer must be carefully cultivated and guided. With this important dimension of formation in mind we were delighted to welcome Father Mathias Thelen of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, who presented a day of recollection on the theme of prayer, virtue, and mature discernment in the life of a seminarian. We look forward to another spiritual uplift in November when we will join several thousand other eager participants at the Catholic Men’s Fellowship gathering at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. In September our Board of Regents approved a renewed academic curriculum for the Seminary, incorporating new courses to assist our future priests in working with couples in marriage preparation, and in ministering to Hispanic Catholics through Spanish language training and cultural education. These two new offerings, among others, will help our graduates to respond to growing pastoral needs in their home dioceses and beyond. My special thanks go to Father Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., for leading the complex process of curriculum assessment and revision, and to all of the Seminary faculty members who contributed their thoughts and ideas to this endeavor. In the area of human and professional formation I am looking forward to several upcoming workshops that will be of great benefit to our seminarians, the first of which will bring Saint Vincent graduate Mr. David George back for a visit to his alma mater. Mr. George will present a workshop on lifetime fitness and healthy living for seminarians and priests. This is an area of great concern for all priests and we are taking measures to give each seminarian the skills he needs to lead a long and healthy priestly ministry. In November the seminarians will receive further insights from another alumnus of Saint Vincent Seminary, Monsignor Raymond Riffle of the Diocese of Greensburg, in the area of pastoral leadership and stewardship. Monsignor Riffle regularly teaches a course which trains our seminarians for practical parish situations and he will address in greater detail some of the essential practices of a vibrant parish during his workshop. These are just a few examples of what goes into forming a well-rounded priest—thank you for your support as we go about our labors in the vineyard of the Lord!

Yours in Christ,

Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Monsignor Edward Lohse Named Alumnus Of Distinction


onsignor Edward M. Lohse, J.C.D., Episcopal Vicar for Canonical Services of the Diocese of Erie, was honored as an Alumnus of Distinction at Saint Vincent Seminary’s annual Alumni Day Mass on September 13 in the Archabbey Basilica. Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of Greensburg, was the principal celebrant. Most Rev. Lawrence Persico, Bishop of Erie, concelebrated the Mass. Monsignor Lohse was homilist at the Mass and then received the award at the dinner that followed. Monsignor Lohse, who received an honorary degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2010, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Erie in 1989. He graduated from Our Lady of Peace Grade School in 1976, and from Cathedral Prep in 1980. Monsignor Lohse attended Gannon University from 1980 to 1984, earning a bachelor of arts degree in history. He completed his seminary studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in 1988. In 2010, Monsignor Lohse was called to Rome to assist the Holy See as an official of the Congregation for the Clergy. While in Rome, he also served as an adjunct faculty member of the Pontifical North American College and continued his studies, recently earning a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Monsignor Lohse concluded his service to the Holy See in December of 2015, and is now working once again in diocesan administration in the Diocese of Erie, serving as episcopal vicar for canonical services. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Francis in

December 2015. He has been a member of the Canon Law Society of America since 2002, and served as a member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents from 2003 to 2010. Born and raised in the Erie area, Monsignor Lohse, following his ordination, was a parochial vicar, high school faculty member and campus minister before returning to Gannon to serve as university chaplain from 1997 to 1999, while also serving as diocesan vocation director. In 2000, he departed for Rome to study for a license in canon law, and following the completion of his studies in 2002, he returned to the diocese to serve in administration, as vice chancellor and then chancellor, as well as the diocesan promoter of justice. In addition, he resumed his position as diocesan vocation director. In presenting the award, Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., Rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, noted that Monsignor Lohse has served the Diocese of Erie “in many different ways, and recently serving in the Congregation of the Clergy of the Holy See... I have always appreciated our friendship and have always relied on him for honest advice, recommendations, and support.” In his remarks following the presentation, Monsignor Lohse said, “no matter where the Lord has called me in my various years of priestly ministry, here or there, wherever I have been, Saint Vincent Seminary has always been a part of that journey because it is a part of my priesthood and a part of who I am, and for that I am deeply grateful.” He shared some thoughts


Most Rev. Lawrence Persico, Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, himself a graduate of Saint Vincent Seminary, poses with Monsignor Edward Lohse following the Alumnus of Distinction Award presentation. Bishop Persico received the award in 2015. about his priestly formation and his priestly ministry that follow his recent work from the Congregation of the Clergy in Rome. “To put things into context,” he said, “it is important to note that two big developments involving two separate Popes, happened in connection to seminary formation in the year 2013. The first of these occurred around January 16, 2013, when Pope Benedict transferred oversight of seminaries from the Congregation for Education to the Congregation for Clergy which is where I was working at the time. Now, just a little word about the Congregations, for those that are unfamiliar with the structure at the Holy See. The Vatican Congregation is roughly the equivalent of a U.S. cabinet department, like the Department of Interior or the Department of Defense, except a lot smaller. The Congregation for Clergy, for 3

example, has 35 people working there, if you can imagine the departments of Washington with only 35 people. The second development came later that year, September 21, when now Pope Francis erected within the Congregation of the Clergy, a special section, a department, specifically for seminaries. And this had never existed before. A department specifically for seminaries and the appointment of Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong from Mexico as the new archbishop to head seminaries world wide... Since that happened in 2013, the Congregation has been eagerly striving to fulfill its new responsibilities and I’d like to share with you a few thoughts about priestly formation and ministry which I gained from assisting the congregation network. “This first thought concerns Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

the importance of forming the formators. Many bishops from other parts of the world have consistently shared the concern, when they come from Rome, that they have few if any priests who are qualified for seminary work. Especially for those particular formation roles such as rector, spiritual director, external formation director. They have few, if any priests trained for this work. So in listening to this concern on the part of bishops from various sections of the world, the congregation responded with a new initiative knowing full well that a good number of the 6,000 priests and seminarians studying in Rome would eventually go back home and be called upon to be seminary formators. The congregation now offers in its own offices, a basic course in seminary formation work Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings to any of these individuals who are interested. Already since its inception, hundreds of priests and seminarians have returned home with at least the basic introduction to work of seminary formation and the awareness of where to find resources to assist them. This is a brand new initiative. But forming the formators doesn’t stop there, because the

Monsignor Edward Lohse, S’88, gives the homily during Mass. congregation is very assistive, wherever the priest may find himself. “Every priest is a formator of sorts, entrusted with the task of forming young people for the work of missionary discipleship. From that work priestly vocations will come forth. Even those who are already trained in seminary formation work, who are experienced formators, even they must allow themselves to continue to be formed according to the heart of Christ. So as Archbishop Wong has noted ‘if we ourselves are

not being formed from within, how can we hope to form others?’ Forming the formators affects all of us in one way or another. “Secondly, this leads to the further insight of the importance of an integrated ongoing formation for priests. Many dioceses or religious institutes as we know sponsor programs of continuing education. I think we all have them. But often, these are directed only to intellectual formation. A truly integrated program of ongoing formation needs to

touch not only intellectual formation, but also spiritual, pastoral, and human formation. “This past February in Rome, the congregation put together and offered a month long Spanish language course for integrated ongoing formation for priests. And the participants came from all over the world... The congregation hopes to host a similar English language program this coming February. Now the hope of the congregation isn’t simply to continue hosting such gatherings in Rome, but rather it is that those who particpate in these programs take the initiative back home and repeat it there. Here in the United States, unlike many places in the world, here we are richly blessed with abundant resources for an integrated ongoing formation for priests. Seminaries like Saint Vincent, with a full complement of trained formators who share the vision of an integrated formation, these seminaries are an invaluable asset for the life of the church and they are well positioned, like Saint Vincent, to pursue the vision of the congregation. The third thought I’d like to share with you,” he said, “is that I was able to witness first hand the desire of the Congregation

Seminarians and priest alumni from the Diocese of Erie gather with Most Rev. Lawrence Persico, S’77, Bishop of Erie and Most Rev. Lawrence E. Brandt, Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Greensburg, who served in the Diocese of Erie, for a photo following the Alumni Day banquet. From left are Joseph Petrone and John Hepinger, first theology; David Whiteford, fourth theology; Rev. Christopher Barnes, S’10; Andrew Boyd, third theology; Bishop Persico; Monsignor Edward Lohse, S’88; Bishop Brandt; and Rev. Michael P. Ferrick, S’97.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

for the Clergy, our congregation, to be close to priests and deacons who find themselves in very difficult ministry situations. In Rome there are approximately 70 pontifical houses of formation, and many of the priests and seminarians who live in them will return home to their own countries to very difficult situations, facing, as Archbishop Wong has said, everthing from indifference and apathy to outright hostility, persecution, and perhaps even martyrdom. It is imperative that they know personally and experientially that the Holy Father and the Universal Church stand with them in their struggle. For this reason, Cardinal Benjamino Stella, as prefect of the congregation, and Archbishop Joël Mercier, as secretary, are attempting to visit all of these houses as a sign of this spiritual closeness and support. Even here at home in the United States, our own ministry at times can be difficult and it can be challenging. And it is important that we too sense the closeness, the support of the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Clergy in the work that we undertake every day. For this reason, I am pleased to tell you that Archbishop Wong is very much aware of our gathering here this evening and he has asked me to convey to each of you here and to the entire Saint

Celebrating the Alumni Day Mass were, from left, Most Rev. Lawrence Persico, S’77, Bishop of Erie; Most Rev. Lawrence Brandt, Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Greensburg; Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of Greensburg; Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector of Saint Vincent Seminary; Deacon Britton Hennessey of the Diocese of Covington; Monsignor Edward Lohse, S’88, Diocese of Erie. Vincent community his personal greetings and his promises of prayers and encouragement. They stand with us in the struggle. “In conclusion, I believe that these times are not without their problems, we all know that, but I also believe that they are filled with grace. In the midst of difficulties there are wonderful things happening. It is a noble task that we undertake together,


this building of the kingdom, and I am proud to share that with you in Christ. Once again, I am humbled, I am humbled and grateful for the recognition I have received here this evening. I am grateful for the foundation I have received here at Saint Vincent. I assure you all of my prayers and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary I ask the blessing of God upon you and upon the ministry. Thank you.”


Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector, gives the welcome.

Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

2016 Board of Regents, 2016 Faculty

Above, members of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents met in September for the board’s fall meeting. Pictured are front, from left, Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of Greensburg; Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, Diocese of Erie; Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; Most Rev. Roger J. Foys, Diocese of Covington; Most Rev. David A. Zubik, chairman of the board, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton, Diocese of Steubenville. In the second row, from left, are Ms. Marie Milie Jones, Esq., JonesPassodelis, P.L.L.C.; Mr. Richard A. DiClaudio, chief executive officer of Blue Tip Energy, L.L.C. and Hon. Maureen E. Lally-Green, Pennsylvania Superior Court (Ret.). Board members not pictured are Mr. Frank V. Cahouet, retired president, Mellon Bank; Rev. Monsignor Robert J. Siffrin, vicar general and moderator of the curia, Diocese of Youngstown and Mr. L. Richard Zappone, president, The Westmoreland Management Group. Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., who is the Seminary chancellor, is also on the Board of Regents; however, he was in Rome at the Congress of Abbots at the time the photo was taken. Below, members of the faculty pictured at a meeting in September. Seated, from left, Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean; Sister Mary Veronica Sabelli, R.S.M., J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy; Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector; back, from left, Rev. Msgr. Michael Becker, lecturer in homiletics; Rev. John Mary Tompkins, O.S.B., vice rector; Brother Elliott Maloney, O.S.B., professor of New Testament and biblical languages; Rev. Warren Murrman, O.S.B., professor of theology and liturgy; Rev. Emmanuel Afunugo, dean of students and assistant professor of moral theology; Dr. Kathleen Borres, associate professor of systematic and biblical theology; Rev. Cyprian Constantine, O.S.B., assistant professor of fine arts and director of liturgical formation; Brother David Kelly, O.S.B., assistant professor of canon law; Dr. Lawrence Sutton, director of pretheology formation.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Seminary Welcomes New Professor, Director of Development


ister Mary Veronica Sabelli, R.S.M., J.D., Ph.D., has been named assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Vincent Seminary and adjunct professor of philosophy at Saint Vincent College. A member of the religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, Sister Mary Veronica has a Ph.D., summa cum laude, from the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana, Rome; a Ph.L., summa cum laude, from the same university; a master of arts degree in philosophy from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; a juris doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley School Law School, Lansing, Michigan and a bachelor of science degree in psychology from MichiAbove, from left, Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean, left, and Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., gan State University. Her doctoral rector, right, welcome Sister Mary Veronica Sabelli, R.S.M., assistant professor of philosophy, and Shannon dissertation was on “The Affectivity Jordan, director of development, to the Seminary staff. of the Rational and the Sensitive Faculties of the Soul in Moral Expevarious communities of women religious and given philosophical papers rience: an Inquiry into the Thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas.” at conferences of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the She is a member of the bars of the states of Connecticut and New American Maritain Association, the American Catholic Philosophical AsYork, and past member of the bars of Michigan and Washington. From sociation (as commentator), and at the International Congress on Me2006 to the present, she has been a member of the American Catholic dieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has also given numerous Philosophical Association and the American Maritain Association. talks and lectures through the years in various ecclesial settings. Prior to coming to Saint Vincent, she was a part-time lecturer (2015In addition to English, she is proficient in Italian and French. 2016) at Saint John’s Seminary, Wonersh, Surrey, United Kingdom and a visiting lecturer (2015-2016) at Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, United Kingdom. She taught philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut (2012-2014), Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut (2012), and Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts (2007-2011). Her experience has enabled her to work on various committees, including, presently, at Saint Vincent Seminary, two involved with the reaccreditation of the Seminary in 2018. She has served on various re-accreditation self-study committees at other seminaries as well. Prior to studying philosophy, Sister Mary Veronica worked as the first Council Coordinator of the CMSWR (Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious) for the first three years (1992-1995) after its founding. In that capacity, she established the national office of the CMSWR in Washington, D.C., planned national assemblies, oversaw the publication of the proceedings of those assemblies, wrote annual reports to the Holy See, and compiled submissions by CMSWR members into the report of the CMSWR to the Synod on Consecrated Life held in Rome in 1994. Sister Mary Veronica also worked as an attorney at law for many years, most notably as a Deputy Assistant Public Defender in Waterbury, Connecticut (1987-1989) and as a Juvenile Public Defender Intern, Pierce Sister Mary Veronica Sabelli, R.S.M., assistant professor of philosoCounty Department of Assigned Counsel, Juvenile Division, Tacoma, phy, recently took the Oath of Fidelity before Very Rev. Edward Mazich, Washington (1986-1987). Sister Mary Veronica has taught philosophy courses and seminars for O.S.B., seminary rector and the Rector’s Council. Leaven


Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Alexander J. Gedney

John A. Hepinger

Joseph A. Petrone

Christopher J. Pujol

Kristian O. Sherman

New Students Arrive Saint Vincent Seminary welcomed new seminarians for the 2016-2017 school year. They are from the dioceses of Covington, Erie, Greensburg and Pittsburgh and Saint Vincent Archabbey. DIOCESE OF COVINGTON Alexander J. Gedney of Florence, Kentucky, is the son of John and Taryn Gedney of Florence. He is a 2010 graduate of Saint Henry District High School, Erlanger, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnatti in 2015. DIOCESE OF ERIE John A. Hepinger of Erie is the son of Virginia Smith of Erie and the late John Hepinger. He is a 2009 graduate of Villa Maria Academy in Erie. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology from Gannon University in Erie in 2016. Joseph A. Petrone of Erie is the son of Joseph Petrone, Sr., and Cheryl Petrone of Erie. He is a 2009 graduate of Iroquois Senior High School, Erie. After Joseph S. Uzar, Jr.

graduation he attended EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University, studying aerospace engineering, before transferring to Gannon University in Erie, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy. DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG Christopher J. Pujol of New Kensington is the son of Richard H. and Laurita M. Pujol of New Kensington. He is a 2012 graduate of Valley High School, New Kensington. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from Duquesne Univesity, Pittsburgh, in 2016. DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH Kristian O. Sherman is the son of of Eric A. and Christine M. Falchetti of Chandler, Arizona. He is a 2009 graduate of Butler High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Duquesne University in 2014. Additionally, he completed two years of philosophy studies at Duquense. Joseph S. Uzar, Jr., is the son of Joseph S. Uzar, Sr., and Diana

L. Uzar of Carnegie. He is a 2012 graduate of Carlynton Junior-Senior High School, Carnegie, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, in 2016. SAINT VINCENT ARCHABBEY Brother Cassian (Lamar) Edwards, O.S.B., is the son of Angela Gonzalez of Metairie, Louisiana and the late Walton Lamar Edwards III. He is a 2007 graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School. He graduated from Our Lady of the Holy Cross College in 2011 with a bachelor of arts degree in theology. He has also done a graduate course at Notre Dame Seminary, Louisiana. Brother Francis, O.S.B., graduated from Zhouzhi No. 6 High School, Xi’an, in 2005. He earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2009. He has also studied philosophy at Shanghai Sheshan Seminary. Brother Giles (Eric) Larsen, O.S.B., is the son of David and Jan Larsen of League City, Texas. He is a 2009 graduate of Clear

Creek High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in music from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He earned a master of arts degree in faith and culture in 2015 from the University of Saint Thomas, Houston. Brother Barnabas (Michael) O’Reilly, O.S.B., is the son of Lawrence and Eileen O’Reilly of Johnstown. He is a 2008 graduate of Bishop McCort High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology and theology in 2012 from Saint Vincent College. Brother Celestine, O.S.B., graduated in 2007 from Shanghai Aurora Professional Institute, where he studied advertising. MASTER OF ARTS Ryan H. Coyne of Latrobe is the son of Richard and Angela Coyne of South Russell, Ohio. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology and philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 2014 and has done graduate studies in theology at Boston College.

sunrise over the sea of galilee

Brother Cassian Edwards

Brother Giles Larsen

Brother Barnabas O’Reilly

Ryan H. Coyne


2016-2017 Seminary Class, Administration

aint Vincent Seminary students and members of the Rector’s Council gathered for a group photo on September 7, 2016. The group includes, front, from left, Rev. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B., director of spiritual formation; Rev. Nathan Munsch, O.S.B., director of pastoral formation; Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector; Rev. John Mary Tompkins, O.S.B., vice rector and director of human formation; Rev. Emmanuel Afunugo, dean of students and assistant professor of moral theology; Rev. Cyprian Constantine, O.S.B., director of liturgical formation and assistant professor; Rev. Maurus Mount, O.S.B., assistant professor of classical languages. In row two, from left, are Brother Ignatius Camello, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, first theology; Brother Canice McMullen, O.S.B., fourth theology; Brother Etienne Huard, O.S.B., Conception Abbey, fourth theology; Brother Minh Pham, O. Cist., Saint Joseph Monastery, second theology; Brother George DeFazio, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, second theology. In row three, from left, are Brother Francis Jin, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, pre-theology I; Brother Joachim Morgan, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, third theology; Matthew Marinelli, Diocese of Metuchen, second theology; Kristian Sherman, Diocese of Pittsburgh, first theology; Brother Martinho Zevallos, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, third theology; Brother Matthew Hershey, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, first theology; Rev. Mr. Benton Clift, Diocese of Covington, first theology; Andrew Yan, Archdiocese of Beijing, second theology. In row four, from left, are Brother Dominic Leo, O.S.B., Saint Peter’s Abbey, third theology; Brother Conrad Wald, O.S.B., Saint Andrew Abbey, second theology; John Shi, Archdiocese of Beijing, fourth theology; Brother Louis Carey, O.S.B., Saint Andrew Abbey, third theology; Alexander Gedney, Diocese of Covington, pre-theology I; Brother Mark Liatti, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, first theology; Brother Giles Larsen, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, pre-theology I; Peter Ren, Archdiocese of Beijing, fourth theology; Peter Crowe, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, fourth theology; David Whiteford, Diocese of Erie, fourth theology. In row five, from left, are Michael Tabernero, Diocese of Metuchen, second theology; Jordan Sonnett, Diocese of Pittsburgh, second theology; Brother Barnabas O’Reilly, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, pre-theology I; Brother Cassian Edwards, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, pre-theology II; Michael Faix, Diocese of Pittsburgh, second theology; Christopher Pujol, Diocese of Greensburg, pre-theology I; Joseph Uzar, Jr., Diocese of Pittsburgh, first theology; Joseph Petrone, Diocese of Erie, first theology. In the last row, from left, are Ross Kelsch, Diocese of Covington, fourth theology; Austin Keith, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, first theology; Julian Uribe Barrientos, Diocese of Metuchen, ESL program; Alex Deters, Diocese of Covington, pre-theology II; Brother Lawrence Machia, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, third theology; Michael Grady, Diocese of Covington, second theology; Gustavo Rodriguez-Perez, Diocese of Metuchen, first theology; Joseph Rielage, Diocese of Covington, pre-theology II; John Hepinger, Diocese of Erie, first theology; Andrew Boyd, Diocese of Erie, third theology; Mark Groeger, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, pre-theology II and Britton Hennessey, Diocese of Covington, fourth theology. Leaven


Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Mongsignor Topper Longest-Serving Priest In U.S.


New Director


hannon Jordan has been named the new director of development for Saint Vincent Archabbey and Seminary, effective July 18. An experienced professional in development, he began his experience at the national level, starting his career at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2001. In 2006, he worked as the Director of Development for the Diocese of Trenton. In 2011, Jordan was hired in the Office for Stewardship and Development in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. At the archdiocese he led an effort to revitalize and reorganize not only the major advancement functions but he also led strategic efforts to realign organizations to maximize impact and sustainability. In his latest role, he helped envision, launch, and lead, as executive director, The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia. At the heart of the Foundation is the ability for the laity to dream and envision new ways to support the Church while also supporting the rich legacy of programs and services they have inherited. Shannon Jordan and his wife Kate have four children: Clare, Liam, Lila, and Cullen. He succeeds Father Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B., who will begin fulltime teaching in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government at Saint Vincent College.

onsignor Vincent Topper, C’32, S’35, celebrated the 80th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood this summer. When he died on October 7 at the age of 104, he was the oldest and longest-serving priest in the United States. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected president the year Monsignor Topper was ordained (1936). Pius XI was pope. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Saint Catherine Labouré Parish in Harrisburgh, where he had lived since 1999. “He has seen and personally experienced so much in his lifetime,” said Bishop Ronald Gainer. “Throughout the many changes in our Church and culture that he experienced, he maintained amazing fidelity and flexibility to continue to be what Christ called him to be and to what he said yes to so many years ago, to be a Priest of Jesus Christ. His life was a shining example of fidelity and cooperation with God’s grace in a selfless and dedicated manner.” Even thought a centenarian,

Monsignor Topper still concelebrated Mass twice a week for the parish, while celebrating it daily in private. His mother and three siblings died when he was young and he found solace serving as an altar boy at Mass. Bishop George Leech ordained then-Father Topper to the priesthood at Saint Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg on June 6, 1936. His first assignments were as assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in York (19361943), where he served the pastoral needs of the people of Saint Joseph Chapel in Saginaw, and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Mount Carmel (1943-1948). From there, he served as pastor of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Fairfield and administrator of Saint Rita Parish in Blue Ridge Summit (1948-1950), Saint Joseph Parish in Milton (19501957), Saint Columba Parish in Bloomsburg (1957-1963), and Saint Joseph Parish in York (1963-1977). He also served

Monsignor Vincent Topper, C’32, S’35, when he was interviewed in the fall, 2013 edition of Leaven.



as administrator of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in York in 1979. He was named an Honorary Prelate to His Holiness Pope Paul VI and given the title of Monsignor on May 27, 1970. In each parish where he served as pastor, Msgr. Topper focused his efforts on expanding Catholic education. As pastor of Saint Mary’s in Fairfield and administrator of its mission at Saint Rita’s in Blue Ridge Summit, he purchased a bus and would drive students to and from school. At Saint Joseph’s in Milton, he oversaw the construction of a school, and at Saint Joseph’s in York and Saint Columba in Bloomsburg, he worked to expand classrooms. Monsignor Hugh Overbaugh, cousin of Monsignor Topper, remembered the late priest as a hard-working and detail-oriented pastor for the sake of the people. After he retired from active ministry in 1977, he visited a number of parishes in the diocese to review their financial records and offer advice on how to cut costs or increase funds. On the occasion of his 75th anniversary of priesthood, Monsignor Overbaugh said, “offering just one Mass each day for 75 years translates into an astounding 27,375 Masses.... Add five more years’ worth of Masses and the celebration of sacraments since his 75th anniversary, and “It’s phenomenal when you think about how many times he celebrated the Eucharist and how much he accomplished in his priesthood these 80 years.” Surviving are two sisters, Judith McKim of Hanover and Sister Loretta Topper, S.C., of Connellsville as well as nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Seminarians Assist Special Olympians Pre-theologians attended a pastoral immersion experience—the third year for this program—August 13-20 at Antiochian Village, near Ligonier. Directed by Dr. Lawrence Sutton, director of pre-theology formation, the immersion experience took place at the 35th annual Special Olympics at Antiochian Village. The program helps introduce pre-theologians to ministering to those in need as an initial step into the particular pastoral ministry that every priest is called to live, and understand the need for the compassionate and empathetic giving and stretching of one’s self in Christ-like service to those adults and teens with developmental disabilities. Pictured, top row, from left: Dr. Sutton and Brother Barnabas O’Reilly, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey instruct an Olympian on shot put; Brother George DeFazio, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey measures a javelin throw; taking a moment for prayer in the chapel, Brother Cassian Edwards, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey; Brother George; Brother Giles Larsen, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey; David Carr, a seminarian from the Diocese of Greensburg; Dr. Sutton; Brother Barnabas; Alexander Gedney, Diocese of Covington (also pictured below) and Joseph Rielage, also from the Diocese of Covington. Leaven


Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Pictured front, from left, are Rev. John Mary Tompkins, O.S.B., vice rector; Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector; Dr. James V. Maher, Jr., outgoing chairman of the Board of Regents and honorary degree recipient; Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg; Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., seminary chancellor; Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean. In row two, from left, are James Schaeper, Diocese of Covington, master of divinity; Thomas Picchioni, Diocese of Covington, master of divinity; Eric Andriot, Diocese of Covington, master of divinity; Brother Thomas Sanders, O.S.B., Saint Andrew Abbey, master of divinity; Brother Rafael dos Santos, O.S.B., São Bento Monastery, Brazil, master of divinity and Mauricio Tabera, Diocese of Metuchen, master of divinity. In row three are, from left, John Zombar, Diocese of Greensburg, master of arts degree; Brother Rafael Quesada, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, master of arts degree; Brother David Klecker, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, master of divinity degree; Brother Matthew Lambert, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, master of divinity and bachelor of sacred theology degrees; Matthew Gossett, Diocese of Steubenville, master of divinity degree.

Seminary Formation Makes Graduates ‘Spiritual Role Models’


aint Vincent Seminary presented outgoing Board of Regents Chairman Dr. James V. Maher, Jr., with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, honoris causa on May 6. Dr. Maher is provost emeritus, distinguished service professor of physics and senior science advisor at the University of Pittsburgh. He served as provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh from July 1, 1994, to August 15, 2010 and has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh for forty years. Dr. Maher has been a member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents for seventeen

years and has served as the Chairman of the Board for the past six years. As a member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents Information Technology Committee, Dr. Maher introduced the use of information technology in the Seminary’s classrooms. Through his expertise in higher education administration and accreditation he also brought renewed efficiency, accountability, and organization to the governing structure and the faculty of Saint Vincent Seminary. “I came on the seminary board in March of 1999 so it is 17 years and a couple of months,” Dr. Maher said. “I’ve been watching seminarians graduate ever since and


shared the pride of the faculty and administration and staff of the seminary along with the parents of the graduates thinking what a noble enterprise we’re conducting here and how important it is to our Church that we send these seminarians out into the world to advance the Church’s cause in so many different ways. I never thought I would end up actually being one of the graduates. That leaves me both greatly honored and also greatly humbled. “Let’s reflect a little bit on what today means,” he continued. “It’s a very happy day for all of us, a happy day for the students who are receiving the degrees. You’ve completed your formation. That’s 12

Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

a funny word. You don’t find it at other universities in this country. You find it at lots of universities in countries that speak romance languages. But even though essentially all of higher education is involved in formation when you hear that word in the American context it really grabs you, but that is what we’re doing isn’t it?” As someone who has chaired the Board of Regents as well as served as provost at a major university, Dr. Maher reflected on the Seminary’s formation program. He noted: “You have lived through this formation. It really is a very, very thoughtful process. Among other things in that formation process everything that could be done has been done along the lines of making sure that our graduates are people who really want to be members of this profession. In addition, and here is something other professions within the United States and around the world really neglect, everything that can be done has been done to help you develop your spiritual life, your intellectual life, your personal life in such a way that you will be a role model for the formation of the people you serve. That is not so of other professions...

Taking part in the honorary degree presentation to Dr. James V. Maher, Jr., second from left, were Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., seminary chancellor, left; Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean, vesting Dr. Maher and Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., seminary rector.

Expressing their gratitude to Dr. James V. Maher, Jr., center, for his service on the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents were Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., seminary chancellor, left, and Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., seminary rector.

“You are ready to go out and make your formation available in God’s vineyard, but that vineyard is not especially friendly,” he said. “Your faith will be tested as will the faith of all of us in this Basilica. Your hope will be tested... Each faculty member has brought to the classroom for you their best reflections on the part of the curriculum of the universal church which has been entrusted to them. And you’ve seen a great variety of ways of approaching problems. That will arm you and that will help you and that gives you a good foundation, a good foundation for the work you will do and also a good foundation for your own further development. “You are a long way from the person you will be 40 years from now,” he said. “And it is very important to keep using the tools that have been given to you in your own personal development along with the personal development of the people you serve... So let’s agree that our prayers will strengthen our faith and lead us to support each other when we see one of our fellows in need of support. And let’s agree that each of us will help us all more and more in moving ahead by setting a goal that each of us will do better each year for the rest of our earthly lives using the tools that our formation has given us. God Bless you.”


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“Our formation program sends you out to be spiritual role models. That’s really different. In addition we really want to make sure that our graduates know what they need to know to profess the teaching of the apostles. That’s extremely important to us and I think you are all very good at that. So now you are ready and you can move on to the important and sacred life’s work that you’ve chosen. It’s a happy day for the faculty in addition to a happy day for the students. “The faculty see this new group move on and they know that the

success of their own life’s work depends very, very heavily on the success of their alumni. They have held themselves back from other activities they might have also found meaningful in order to throw their hearts into your formation. Their prayers will always be with you and if you keep in touch with them you will have a really important resource, someone who is in your corner, whose life will have been more meaningful if you are better at your job. You don’t have that many people who are that devoted to your success. So we are all celebrating together today.



aint Vincent Seminary awarded the master of divinity, master of arts, and baccalaureate of sacred theology degrees to students from the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; the Diocese of Greensburg; the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey; the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio; São Bento Monastery, São Paulo, Brazil; and Saint Andrew Abbey, Cleveland, Ohio and Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, at commencement ceremonies on May 6. DIOCESE OF COVINGTON Eric Lawrence Andriot of Florence, Kentucky, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of the late Phil and Mary Andriot. He is a 1992 graduate of Covington Catholic High School, Park Hills, and attended Thomas More College, Crestview

Seminary Awards Degrees Hills, Kentucky, where he studied business administration, from 2000 to 2003. He has an associate of applied science degree from Northern Kentucky University. Thomas F. Picchioni of Beavercreek, Ohio, earned a master of divinity degree, summa cum laude. He also received the Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., Sacred Scripture Award, which is given by the faculty to the student who most demonstrates excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture. Picchioni is the son of Frederick A. and Sharon C. Picchioni of Beavercreek. He is a 1984 graduate of Carroll High School, Dayton, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati, earned in 1999. He has studied pre-engineering

at Sinclair Community College, Dayton, and business administration at Indiana Wesleyan University. James Patrick Schaeper of Fort Wright, Kentucky, earned the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Don Schaeper of Cincinnati and the late Mary Jo Schaeper. He is a 1989 graduate of Saint Xavier High School, Cincinnati. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1993 and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Tennessee in 2002. DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG John David Zombar  of New Stanton, earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry, cum laude. He is in the permanent diaconate program for the Diocese of Greensburg. Zombar

is the son of the late William V. and Helen M. Zombar. He is a 1973 graduate of Geibel High School. He has attended Westmoreland County Community College, and received a certificate in pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University, Greensburg. DIOCESE OF METUCHEN Edwin Mauricio Tabera Vásquez of Hopelawn, New Jersey, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of Carlos Enrique Tabera and Maria Estella Vasquez of Medellin, Colombia. He is a 2004 graduate of Centro de Estudies Para el Aprendizaje Cepac, Cordoba, Colombia. He earned a degree in philosophy from Seminario Diocesano Santo Tomas de Aquino, Santa Rosa, Colombia, in 2010. DIOCESE OF STEUBENVILLE Matthew Warren James

Eight Seminarians Become Acolytes Eight seminarians from Saint Vincent Seminary were instituted to the Ministry of Acolyte on October 5 by Most Rev. Paul Bootkoski, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Metuchen. They are from left, Andrew Yan of the Archdiocese of Beijing; Brother Conrad Wald of Saint Andrew Abbey, Cleveland; Michael Tabernero of the Diocese of Metuchen; Jordan Sonnett of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Matthew Marinelli of the Diocese of Metuchen; Michael Grady of the Diocese of Covington; Michael Faix of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Brother George DeFazio, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey. The acolyte is instituted to serve at the altar and assist the priest and deacon.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Formation Conference

Rev. Brian Noel, S.T.L., spiritual director, Saint Paul Seminary, Pittsburgh spoke on “The Role of Mercy In Ministry” at the Seminary’s September 28 formation conference. Marking the fifth anniversary of the Congregation for Clergy’s document, “The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy: An Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors,” Father Noel shared his thoughts and experiences of the priest in these related roles of mercy, both as confessor and spiritual guide, in the parish and seminary. Father Noel was ordained to the priesthood in 2010. He holds pontifical degrees in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum and Gregorian universities, with a concentration in spiritual theology. He served in two parishes after ordination, as well as high school chaplaincy. Before seminary, he studied computer information systems and worked in information technology, including on the staff of Catholic Charities, U.S.A.

Seminary Awards Degrees Gossett, the son of David and Loretta Gossett of Steubenville, received two degrees and two awards at the commencement. He received the master of divinity degree, cum laude, and the master of arts degree, magna cum laude. He received the Diakonia Award, given to the student nominated by the entire Seminary community, and chosen by the faculty. It honors a graduate who exhibits praiseworthy academic performance as well as service to the Seminary community through building student morale and spirit, exercising leadership within the community, and demonstrating creative outreach to others. Gossett was awarded the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Excellence in Preaching Award, given by the Rector’s Council to the fourthyear student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in preaching during his fourth year of study. He is a 2004 graduate of Catholic Central High School, Steubenville. He earned a bachelor of music education degree from Ashland University,

Ashland, Ohio, in 2008. He received a masters degree in music performance from Kent State University in 2010. SAINT ANDREW ABBEY Brother Thomas Sanders, O.S.B., of Cleveland, Ohio, earned the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Gary L. and Joanne E. Sanders of Sheffield Lake, Ohio. He is a 1997 graduate of Brookside High School, Sheffield. He earned an associate of science degree from Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio, in 1999; a bachelor of science degree in life science and pre-professional health from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, in 2003; and has done additional studies at the Ohio State University, Columbus and John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio. SAINT VINCENT ARCHABBEY Brother David Klecker, O. Cist.,  received the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He is the son of Robert Klecker of Eagon, Minnesota and Barbara Weiss of Hopkins, Minnesota. He graduated from Saint Paul


Academy, Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1993. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1997 from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He has done graduate work at the Angelicum in Rome, the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri, and at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut. Brother Matthew Clair Lambert, O.S.B., received two degrees and one award at the commencement. He earned the master of divinity degree, magna cum laude, and also received the baccalaureate of sacred theology degree, magna cum laude, conferred through the Pontifical Athenaeum of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, Italy. Brother Matthew was also presented with the Honorable Judge Bernard F. Scherer Award, given to the student who most exemplifies the qualities evident in the life of Judge Scherer, including breadth of learning, the integration of knowledge, faith and life, service to others through corporal works of mercy, and a strong witness of faith, hope and charity. He is the son of Walter Clair 15

Lambert of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and Nancy Roth of Boise, Idaho. A 2004 graduate of Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Florida, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature in 2008 from Florida State University. Brother Rafael Quesada, O.S.B., a native of the Philippines, earned a master of arts degree. The son of Hector and Clare Quesada, he lived in Michigan and worked in the IT and web design industry before coming to the Archabbey. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, earning a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering in 1998. SAO BENTO MONASTERY Brother Rafael (Milton Arcanjo) dos Santos, O.S.B., of Junqueirópolis, Brazil, earned the master of divinity degree. He is the son of the late José Arcanjo and Enedina Ferreira dos Santos. He graduated from Escola Estadual P.S.G. Prof. Geraldo Pecorarî High School, Junqueirópolis, São Paulo, in 1981. He earned a licentiate in philosophy from Faculdade de São Bento, São Paulo, in 2009. Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

cent Sem Vin in a

t t t e ee onn M nS ro da J ia




n va tr obe, p en n s y l

A Clear Path

eet Jordan Sonnett. Self- reflection is a terrific quality in anyone. It’s essential for a future priest. Jordan, the youngest of four, calls the Pittsburgh diocese home. As a student at Saint Vincent College, class of 2013, he was certain he wanted to be married, raise a family, and teach high school religion. Yet, when he was about to graduate, his experiences were leading him to question those dreams. This lack of clarity drove him to look deeper within himself. He prayed, and got an unfamiliar answer: the priesthood. Jordan didn’t feel particularly strongly about the idea one way or another at any point in his life, which made the idea even more unusual. But the idea stayed with him and it compelled him to look at his own life, now and in the future, through the eyes of a priest. Sure he’d be giving up a wife and potentially children, but he would also be honored to administer the sacraments to a parish, friends, and his family. Yes, he would possibly not teach religion as a profession, but he could teach everyone he meets to love God with all their heart and soul. Through careful thought and reflection his path became clear. He is now in his second year of theological studies and in about three years will be ordained to serve the people of the Pittsburgh diocese, his home, in ways he never imagined. Thanks to Jordan for his courage to follow God’s call and his generosity to serve His people.

Your Generous Support Makes This Possible! SAINT VINCENT SEMINARY

300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 15650 • Phone 724-805-2552 • Leaven


Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2


ake a donation to Saint Vincent Seminary in honor of a friend, colleague or family member. Consider a tribute or memorial gift today. Mail to Shannon Jordan, Seminary Development, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pa., 15650. Saint Vincent Seminary tribute and memorial gifts donors from March 1, 2016 to September 27, 2016 are included below.

In honor of: REV. THOMAS P. ACKLIN, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Barbiaux Rev. John J. Baver Mr. and Mrs. Robert Luczak Rev. Msgr. John L. Conway Mr. and Mrs. Morrison F. Lewis, Jr. Rev. Patrick T. Cronauer, O.S.B. Ms. Molli E. Vassar Rev. Mr. Peter Dominic Crowe Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Hershey Rev. Chad R Ficorilli, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. David A. Bernot Rev. David R. Griffin, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Kurt G. Engstrom Rev. Matthew Clair Lambert, O.S.B. Sacred Heart Church, St. Marys, PA Rev. Ronald P. Lengwin Rev. Donald P. Breier Br. Elliott C. Maloney, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Morris Dr. Lawrence R. Sutton Ms. Helen Malyszka First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association, Branch 343 Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B. First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association, Branch 313 Dr. Andrzej G. Groch and Ms. Cynthia Maleski Mrs. Ilse T. Hilliard +Mr. Joseph R. Pevarnik and Mrs. Bernadette M. Pevarnik Br. Canice Daniel McMullen, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Hershey

Memorial, Tribute Gifts

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel W. Kelly Mr. and Mrs. Greg Schneider Rev. Paschal A. Morlino, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Gromek Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman Rev. Nathanael Ronald Polinski, O.S.B. Mrs. Mary Ann Polinski Very Rev. Brian J. Welding Rev. Donald P. Breier His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl Rev. Donald P. Breier

In memory of: + Rev. Matthew Benko, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Pauvlik + Rev. Albert C. Bickerstaff, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Melroy Mr. and Mrs. William W. Shearouse, Jr. + Rev. Jeremy J. Bolha, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. John Kraft + Linda Marie Burak Mr. David A. Burak + Rev. Gilbert J. Burke, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Lester E. Brownfield + Robert S. Carey Mr. and Mrs. John R. Kramer + Adelia Cheatle Mr. Harold Cheatle + Rev. J. D. Crowley Mrs. Imelda M. Unites + Rev. Jacques D. Daley, O.S.B. Ms. Molli E. Vassar + Mr. Michael Dietzen Mrs. Pauline Pfeifer + Rev. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. Mrs. Imogene Reidy + Rev. Wilfred M. Dumm, O.S.B. Mrs. Imogene Reidy + Dr. Charles R. Enis Mrs. Gloria Enis + Mrs. Kathleen Franzi Mr. Salvatore J. Franzi + Mrs. Anna Golofski Mrs. Catherine C Cencerik Major and Mrs. Alfred S. DeMailo Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Destefano Ms. Josephine A. Dugan Ms. Julie Golofski Dr. Andrzej G. Groch and Ms. Cynthia Maleski Ms. Sunny S. Hargis


Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Hobart, Jr. Ms. Betsy Hochstine Ms. Kathryn W. Parks Mr. and Mrs. William M. Scott Mr. and Mrs. John E. Stockey Mr. and Mrs. George J. Wood + Mr. John Haile, Jr. Mrs. Sharon H. Brahmstadt Mr. Robert J. Englebach Mrs. Carol J. Haile Mrs. Veronica E. Hannahoe Ms. Louise Hutchings Ms. Ruth S. Isenberg Mrs. Ann L. Keiser Ms. Jane F. Klacik Ms. Rhonda L. Kleinspehn Mr. Jack G. Mancuso Mr. Terrence J. McGlinn, Sr. Mr. Joseph Schappert Mr. William H. Scheirer Mr. and Mrs. Jack Slusser Ms. Lorraine M. Tarnoski + Virginia L. Handley Mr. and Mrs. Gerald La Frankie + Walter and Rita Hobart Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Hobart, Jr. + Thomas M. Hricik Mrs. Geraldine F. Hricik + Rev. Paschal N. Kneip, O.S.B. Mr. and Mrs. Donald H. Rudy + Simon C. Kralik Mrs. Theresa J. Kralik + Charles G. Manoli, Sr. Dr. and Mrs. Gene F. Leonard + John R. Mazero Mrs. Rosemary P. Mazero + Aloysius T. McLaughlin, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Kunz + Rev. Joseph Minsterman Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Ferencak + Beverly Anne Morley Mr. William J. Morley + Albert J. Murrman Mr. and Mrs. Francis P. Murrman, Jr. + Mrs. Genevieve Pesavento Mr. and Mrs. Chester M. Brighenti Mr. Allan D. Eastbourn and Miss Carole Jean Higgins Mr. and Mrs. Perry Ellie Mr. and Mrs. James M. Groba Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Holnaider Mrs. Rosalie Kasperik Mrs. Irene Lavin Mrs. Barbara Nakles Mr. Vern Palinkas


Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Patun Ms. Atala Purdy Mr. and Mrs. Ronald N. Raimondo Ms. Bonnie J. Seebach Mr. and Mrs. Lowell I. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Doug Taylor + Rachel E. Pevarnik +Mr. Joseph R. Pevarnik and Mrs. Bernadette M. Pevarnik + John J. Rusnak Mr. John C. Rusnak + Arthur E. and Barbara A. Schaeffer Mrs. Geralynn A. Learish + Matthew J. Tarosky Mr. David P. Tarosky + Rev. Justin M. Withrow, O.S.B. Mullen Refrigeration Service, Inc.

Scholarship Mr. and Mrs. Dennis A. Stover of Pittsburgh were crucial in establishing the Rev. Richard Infante Scholarship at Saint Vincent Seminary. They endowed the scholarship in 2012 in honor of Father Richard’s 20th anniversary of ordination.

Help us Keep Track of Our Flock! To update your address, request to be added to the mailing list, or to provide a news item for Leaven, call 724-805-2601 or email Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

y r a tes in No m & e S ews N Metuchen

Father Edwin Mauricio Tabera Vasquez was ordained to the priesthood on May 28 by Bishop James Checchio at Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral. He was in the first ordination class ordained by the new bishop, who was installed on May 3. In an article in The Catholic Spirit, his diocesan newspaper, he noted that his home parish priest, the Holy Spirit and a friend were influential in his priestly journey. Born in Colombia, he acknowledged that once he said “Yes” to priesthood, “the Lord showed me the path to follow through different people, especially priests who were my mentors and friends.” He said his priesthood ordination “is something that I can’t express in words alone. It is awesome to know that the Holy Spirit will transform my entire life and that after ordination ‘my life’ is no

longer mine but His. I don’t think I will experience this joy again in this life.” He has been assigned as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Somerville and director of Catholic identity at Immaculata High School, Somerville, effective June 14. ***** In other diocesan news, Bishop emeritus Paul G. Bootkoski recently celebrated 50 years in the priesthood. He recalled, in an interview with The Catholic Spirit, that he joined a vocations club in the fourth grade, and later the seeds of his vocation were nurtured by the monks who taught at Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark. He served the Diocese of Metuchen for 14 years as its bishop, implementing major initiatives to protect children from abuse, creating strong leadership programs and strengthening programs in campus ministry, where he started as a young priest. ***** The parents of seminarian Michael Tabernero hosted a cookout for seminarians and their families this summer, with Bishop James F. Checchio attending. Interviewed for The Catholic Spirit, the

Taberneros, who said they were thrilled at their son’s decision, noted their son helped teach CCD at their parish, Saint Joseph in Hillsborough, and was a lector, so his choice to enter seminary “felt natural.”

‘How can I do them’, at that time God reminds me of these two lessons.” Father Tien’s classmate, Rev. Christopher Roux, S’01, is also celebrating his ordination jubilee.


Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman celebrated his 80th birthday this summer. ***** Father David Carter, S’16, was ordained by Bishop Lawrence Persico, S’75, June 10 at Saint Peter Cathedral in Erie, with more than 75 priests and deacons and hundreds of friends and supporters in attendance. Baptized a Lutheran, he entered the seminary at age 57 and was ordained five years later. He previously worked for 21 years at Paulist Press and for 11 years in the bookstore and library at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. It was there that he became friends with Father Daniel Hoffman, a priest from Erie. Aside from sharing the faith, he told FaithLife that he plans to use his cooking ability as a source of outreach to enhance priestly fraternity and vocation outreach, sharing a meal with people who are walking with him along the way. Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Erie Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman also concelebrated the Mass. Father Carter was appointed parochial vicar, pro tem, at Saint Joseph Parish in Sharon, and sacramental assistant to area parishes, effective July 1 through February 1, 2017.

Father Tien Duong, S’00, and his brother Father Duc Duong, celebrated 15 years of ordination. An article in The Catholic Herald noted that their family endured hardships in Vietnam after the Communists took control. The brothers escaped by boat, were put in prison after they were caught, and then they escaped again and ended up at a refugee camp in Indonesia. They came to the United States, settling in Charlotte, and resumed efforts to become priests. Over the past 15 years Father Tien has most recently served as pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Church. He noted that “my big lesson that I learned when I was in the refugee camp was: ‘Trust in God’s power and wisdom.’ And another one when I studied philosophy: ‘God will provide.’ So, no matter what others criticize or misunderstand, gossip or even slander, or the tasks I thought,



Rev. Mauricio Tabera, S’16, Rev. Roy Quesea, Bishop James F. Checchio and Rev. Mhonchan Ezung pose for a photo after the May 28 Mass of Ordination, held at the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, Metuchen. Photo by: Mike Ehrmann/The Catholic Spirit. Used with permission. Leaven


Rev. Paul Clark, S’02, was pictured in a recent edition of The Catholic Witness, diocesan newspaper, burning the mortgage of Saint Matthew the Apostle Parish. Executed in April of 2013, the Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Bishop Lawrence Persico, S’75, confers Holy Orders on Father David Carter, S’16, in the Diocese of Erie. Photo courtesy Mary Solberg, FaithLife. Used with permission. $1.5 million mortgage was paid off in a very short time, although the parish had ten years to make due. The effort saved $77,000 in interest for the parish of 330 households. ***** Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, bishop of Harrisburg, has made the following appointments: Rev. Daniel F. X. Powell, S’92, to pastor of Saint John Neumann Parish, Lancaster. Rev. Stephen P. Kelley, S’13, to pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Columbia. It is his first pastorate. Rev. Mark E. Weiss, S’02, has been named chaplain of Trinity High School, Camp Hill, while remaining pastor of Holy Infant Parish, York Haven. In June Father Weiss was joined by Bishop Edward Malesic, former pastor of Holy Infant Church, and Bishop Ronald Gainer for the dedication of the new church in Manchester. In his homily, Bishop Malesic, who was pastor of the parish when he was named bishop of the Diocese

of Greensburg, noted that a building takes on its meaning because of the people inside it: “The building has changed, but the family has not. Do the same things here that you have

always done as a family of God. Keep on loving God here. Keep on loving each other here. Keep on telling the Good News to a world that needs to hear it, because the world needs this church as much as we do. Keep on serving those in need from here. This is not something to be kept to ourselves.” “This is a very exciting moment for our parish family,” said Father Weiss, “and I’m thankful to all who have contributed their hard work, their time, their talents, their efforts and certainly their monetary donations. We still have work to do, even as this new place is finished, with our capital campaign, and we are all very thankful to God that our parish is moving forward.” Alumni priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg with jubilees include Rev. Thomas J. Rozman, S’97, Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, 30 years; Rev. Michael C. Letteer, Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, New Oxford, 25 years; Rev. Norman C. Hohenwarter, Jr., S’95, 25 years.

Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown ordained three men to the diaconate on May 14, including Deacon Peter Crowe. When Deacon Crowe and the others are ordained to the priesthood next year it will mark the first priests ordained for the diocese since 2011. The following appointments have been made in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown by Most Rev. Mark Bartchak, bishop. Rev. Aron M. Maghsoudi, C’02, S’06, has been appointed pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Central City, effective July 30, 2016. Deacon Brother Etienne Huard, O.S.B., has been appointed to diaconal service at Saint Benedict Parish in Carrolltown, under the pastorate of Father Jude Brady, O.S.B., having received the presentation of his Abbot, the Right Reverend Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B., for the 2016-2017 academic year. Rev. Richard B. Tomkosky, S’98, has been named pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford, while continuing as pastor of

Taking part in the diaconate ordination for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown were, from left, Rev. Matthew Reese, vocations director; Deacon Peter Crowe; Deacon Johnathan Dickson; Bishop Mark Bartchak; Deacon Donald Gibboney and Deacon Michael Russo, director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate. When Deacon Crowe and the others are ordained to the priesthood it will mark the first priests ordained for the diocese since 2011. Photo courtesy of Bruce Tomaselli, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Used with permission.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

y r a tes in No m & e S ews N Saint John the Baptist, New Baltimore, effective June 30, 2016. Rev. Charles C. Ugo, S’05, has been released to service for the Archdiocese of Military Services, effective June 30, 2016. Rev. Brian L. Warchola, C’07, S’11, has been appointed administrator of Saint Michael Parish in Saint Michael, while continuing to serve as parochial vicar at Saint Bernard Parish in Johnstown, effective June 30, 2016. Savannah Past editions of Leaven have recounted the efforts of Rev. Fredy Angel, S’04, to bring the church to three parishes in Savannah, and merge those into Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Ray City. It was an ambitious and challenging construction project that culminated when it was dedicated by Bishop Gregory Hartmayer and Bishop Emeritus J. Kevin Boland in May. The multicultural faith community of the parish includes African Americans, Latinos, Asian Catholic families as well as white Catholics. “The easy part is done,” said Father Angel. “Now is coming the challenge, and that is to keep it going. We built already the structure, now we need to build the soul, [and that is] where I need the commitment of each one of you…. We must be a testimony of life as good Catholics here in South Georgia. We have to reflect now more than ever the beauty of this place, not just showing the place but showing ourselves to be that testimony of life, that testimony

of Christ—being Christ for others and bringing them to Christ…. To be a community is to reflect God out there in the world.”

Parish, Huntingdon, effective July 13, 2016. Rev. Douglas Ondeck, C’02, S’07, has been named pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish, Wheeling, effective June 15, 2016.



Bishop Michael J. Bransfield has made the following appointments in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: Rev. John Rice, S’02, is appointed to Parkersburg Catholic High School for a three-year term, effective June 15, 2016. This is in addition to his current assignment as pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Parkersburg. Rev. John C. Engler, Jr., S’01, is appointed pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, White Sulphur Springs, and Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Ronceverte, together with its chapels and associated institutions and Saint Louis, King of France Catholic Center, Lewisburg, effective July 13, 2016. Rev. Charles E. McGinnis, Jr., S’06, has been appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Huntingdon, and Saint Peter Claver

Bishop Roger Foys accepted the candidacy of seminarian Michael Grady August 7 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Candidacy is a formal declaration by the seminarian to pursue a vocation to the priesthood and a formal commitment on the part of the local Church to support him. Grady begins his second year of theological studies at Saint Vincent. ***** Bishop Roger Foys ordained three graduates of Saint Vincent Seminary to the priesthood on May 21, in the Cathedral of the Assumption, including Father Eric L. Andriot, S’16, Father Thomas F. Picchioni, S’16, and Father James R. Schaeper, S’16. The three were featured in The Messenger, diocesan newspaper, prior to their ordinations. “Everyone I have encountered on this journey has had an influence on me,” said Father Andriot.

“Friends, family, pastors, parishioners, fellow seminarians and teachers. In their own way everyone has played a part in getting me to this point.” He said he looks forward to “just being with the people on their day-to-day journey through this life and trying to help them stay on the right path.” Faher Picchioni thanked his spiritual director, Father Jude Brady, O.S.B., for his “support, guidance, care, determination and sacrifice…. He has been such an incredible source of strength and wisdom, opening me up to new ways of living out my vocation and helping me let go of those things holding me back from taking that necessary leap of faith into the arms of God.” Father Schaeper joins his brother, Father Lawrence Schaeper, S’09, pastor of Saints Boniface and James Parish, Ludlow, in serving the Diocese of Covington. Prior to entering the seminary he was a chemistry professor at Thomas More College and a research scientist at Wood Hudson Cancer Research Lab, Newsport. He has a doctorate in chemistry. In 2007 and 2008 he had

In the Diocese of Covington, Most Rev. Roger Foys, Bishop, center, and Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean of Saint Vincent Seminary, right, with the Saint Vincent Seminary graduates who were ordained to the priesthood on May 21, Rev. Thomas F. Picchioni, left, Rev. James R. Schaeper, second from left, and Rev. Eric L. Andriot.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

surgeries to remove tumors from his spine, which led to his vocation to the priesthood. “I thought that was the Holy Spirit because I felt the closeness of God. It also made me realize my own mortality. It was painful and a long recovery and it brought me closer to God. When you are suffering you rely on God to get you through it.” He noted his brother’s example was also influential. ***** In the Diocese of Covington, Bishop Roger Foys has made the following appointments, effective May 14, 2016: Rev. Eric L. Andriot, S’16, to parochial vicar, Saint Timothy Parish, Union. Rev. Allan R. Frederick, S’13, to pastor, Cristo Rey Parish, Florence. Rev. Trinity P. Knight, S’14, to parochial vicar, Saint Barbara Parish, Erlanger. Rev. Michael B. Norton, S’13, to parochial administrator, Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Falmouth. Rev. Thomas F. Picchioni, S’16, to parochial vicar, Saint Cecilia Parish, Independence; chaplain, Sisters of Saint Joseph the Worker, Walton. Rev. James R. Schaeper, S’16, to parochial vicar, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Fort Mitchell. Rev. Jacob E. Straub, S’13, to parochial administrator, Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Carrollton and Transfiguration Mission, Perry Park. Rev. John J. Michniuk, S’12, has been named chaplain to the Ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Our Lady of Knock Division, for a three-year term, while continuing with his other assignments. Seminarian assignments, effective May 31, 2016, include Deacon Britton Hennessey, to Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington; Deacon Ross Kelsch to

Priests Take Part In Brothers’ Ordinations

In the Diocese of Covington and the Diocese of Steubenville, a priest in each diocese had the opportunity to take part in the ordination of his brother as a priest. All four men are graduates of Saint Vincent Seminary. At top, Rev. Lawrence Schaeper vests his brother James during the ordination ceremony. In the photos at bottom, of the ordnation of Rev. Matthew Gossett, at left Father Matthew Gossett blesses his bishop, Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton in Saint Peter’s Catholic Church. At right, his brother Michael prays over him during the laying on of hands at the ordination Mass. That ordination took place on May 20. Photos courtesy of the dioceses of Covington and Steubenville. Used with permission.


Diaconate Ordination In Brazil Brother Rafael dos Santos, O.S.B., S’16, a monk of Saint Benedict Monastery in São Paulo, Brazil, was ordained to the diaconate on October 1 by Cardinal Odilo Scherer of São Paolo at his abbey.


Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

y r a tes in No m & e S ews N Saint Joseph Parish, Cold Spring; Deacon Benton Clift to Saint Henry Parish, Elsmere; Alex Deters to Saint Paul Parish, Florence; Michael Grady to Saint Pius X Parish, Edgewood and Joseph Rielage to Holy Spirit Parish, Newport. ATLANTA In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory announced the following appointments, effective July 1: Rev. Rafael Carballo, S’06, has been named pastor of Saint Mary Parish, Rome. Rev. John M. Matejek, Jr., S’02, has been named pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish, Dahlonega. Rev. Luis Alvarez, C’09, S’14, has been named parochial

vicar of Saint Theresa Church, Douglasville. Rev. Cong T. Nguyen, S’13, has been named parochial vicar of Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, Norcross. Rev. Dominic Tho Tran, S’09, has been named parochial vicar of Our Lady of Vietnam Parish, Riverdale. Pittsburgh Rev. Thomas Burke, S’00, pastor of Saint James Parish in Sewickley, has taken over the radio show “Education Plus,” a weekly show on KQV 1410-AM radio that spotlights the activities and special events in elementary and secondary schools within the diocese. Father Burke has a background in radio and broadcasting. His first show was scheduled to air in March. When attending school at Clarion University he was a disc jockey and newscaster on the university’s radio station and also worked at a local radio station while he was in college, in addition to serving internships at some Pittsburgh stations.

Father Bufogle Working To Help Flood Victims When flooding devasted the southern region of West Virginia on June 23, the waters hit the small towns of Clendenin, Elkview, Rainelle, Richwood and White Sulphur Springs especially hard. Homes and businesses were torn from their foundations as ten inches of rain in four hours caused devastation everywhere. When Bishop Michael J. Bransfield visited Rainelle he was met by Father Arthur Bufogle, S’03, S’04, and another priest for a tour. Father Arthur is pastor of Saint John Neumann Parish in Marlinton, Saint Bernard Chapel in Snowshoe and Saint Mark the Evangelist Mission in Bartow. “Our people have been through this and they want to help,” said Father Bufogle. “Our crews will do clean out and construction work as we are needed. We have also raised $3,000 to $5,000 in donations to help where it is needed. There is an enormous amount that has to be done.” Father Bufogle is former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Rainelle and Saint Patrick Parish in Hinton and has been working with the current administrator, Father Rey D. Landicho, with recovery efforts.

His plans are to promote Catholic education and on the show he will interview school principals, teachers, students, parents, pastors, religious sisters and brothers and deacons, and highlight other aspects of Catholic education. “My hope is to share the gems

Bishop David Zubik ordained Father Jack Demnyan, pictured at right, to the priesthood on June 25, along with two others. Father Demnyan completed some of his training at Saint Vincent Seminary. He was appointed parochial vicar at Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon, and part-time chaplain at Seton-LaSalle High School. Photo by Chuck Austin. Courtesy of Pittsburgh Catholic. Reprinted with permission. Leaven


that we have in our own backyard—great Catholic schools. There are so many choices with wonderful public and private and cyber schools. Catholic education is top-notch and adds faith and religion to the curriculum.” ***** Bishop David Zubik ordained Father Jack Demnyan to the priesthood on June 25, along with two others. Father Demnyan completed some of his training at Saint Vincent Seminary. He was appointed parochial vicar at Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon, and part-time chaplain at SetonLaSalle High School. In a story for Pittsburgh Catholic, Demnyan told writer Chuck Moody that he began thinking of priesthood in eighth grade. “My advice to any man considering entering the seminary is, first, to trust God,” he said. “None of the people or experiences you will go through is by accident…. God is there and wants to be abundant in his graces to you.” ***** Bishop David A. Zubik Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

has announced the following appointments: Rev. William E. Dorner, S’07, to canonical consultant for the Department of Canon and Civil Law Services of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, effective July 18, 2016. He maintains his responsibilities as part-time chaplain to Holy Family Academy. Rev. Sean M. Francis, S’03, has been named chaplain to the Catholic patients and staff members in the West Hills area nursing homes, effective March, 28, 2016, with residence at Saint Margaret Mary Parish, Moon Township. Rev. James G. Young, S’69, has been named administrator of Saint Gregory Parish, Zelienople, effective July 11, 2016. Rev. Vincent F. Kolo, S’95, began his assignment as chaplain at UPMC Passavant Hospital on July 11, 2016. Rev. James J. Bachner, S’96, has been named administrator, Resurrection Parish, Brookline, effective July 11, 2016. He maintains his responsibilities as pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Beechview, Saint Pius X Parish, and Our Lady of Loreto Parish, both in Brookline. Rev. Stephen A. Kresak, S’04, has been named administrator at the newly established Holy Apostles Parish, South Pittsburgh, effective September 1, 2016. Rev. Thomas J. Lewandowski, S’99, has been named administrator, Holy Trinity Parish, West Mifflin, effective July 11, 2016, while maintaining responsibilities as pastor of Christ the Light of the World Parish and Saint Joseph Parish, both in Duquesne, and part-time chaplain of Serra Catholic High School. Father Joseph R. Grosko, C’55, S’59, remains administrator of Holy Trinity Parish. Rev. James K. Mazurek, S’73, has been named administrator, Holy Spirit Parish and Saint

Nicholas Parish, both in Millvale, effective July 11, 2016. Rev. E. Daniel Sweeney, S’82, has been named administrator, Saint Agnes Parish, West Mifflin, effective July 11, 2016, while maintaining his responsibilities as pastor of Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Homestead. Father Joseph E. Grosko remains administrator of Saint Agnes Parish. Rev. Joseph B. Codori, S’99, has been named parochial vicar, Saint Joseph the Worker Parish,

Mary, Mother of Hope Parish, Saint Vincent de Paul Parish and Saint Vitus Parish, all in New Castle, effective July 11, 2016. He was also appointed sacramental minister to Christ the King Parish, Bessemer and Saint James the Apostle Parish, New Bedford. Rev. Aaron J. Kriss, S’91, has been named parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Natrona Heights, and Saint Joseph Parish, Natrona, effective July 11, 2016.

Rev. Gary W. Oehmler, S’83, has been named parochial vicar, Resurrection Parish, Brookline, effective July 11, 2016, while maintaining responsibilities as parochial vicar of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Beechview, Saint Pius X Parish and Our Lady of Loreto Parish, both in Brookline. Rev. Vincent F. Kolo, S’95, has been named chaplain, UPMC Passavant Hospital, effective July 11, 2016.

Deacon, Priesthood Ordinations at Saint Vincent

Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic took part in the ordnation of five men at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica this spring, two to the priesthood and three to the diaconate. Father Pio Adamonis, O.S.B., and Father Matthew Lambert, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey, were ordained to the priesthood May 21. Pictured from top left are Father Matthew, Bishop Malesic, Father Pio and Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. One week later, Bishop Malesic ordained Brother Canice McMullen, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey to the diaconate along with two men from the Archdiocese of Beijing, Peter Ren and John Shi. Pictured, from left, are Archabbot Douglas, Brother Canice, Bishop Malesic, Deacon Ren and Deacon Shi.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

y r a tes in No m & e S ews N Rev. Michael J. Stumpf, S’00, has been named chaplain to the Catholic Deaf Community, effective September 6. He maintains his responsibilities as pastor of Saint Mary of the Mount Parish, Mount Washington. Rev. John R. Haney, C’57, S’61, has retired as administrator of Saint Gabriel the Sorrowful Virgin Parish, Whitehall, effective June 27. He will maintain his residence at the parish. Rev. Richard J. Wesoloski, C’69, S’72, will retire on October 3, 2016, while continuing residence at Saint Bernard Parish, Mount Lebanon, where he had served as parochial vicar. Deacon David W. Green, S90, was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Zubik. He has been assigned to Saint Catherine of Sweden Parish, Hampton Township, under the direction of the pastor, Rev. Steven V. Neff, S’04, effective July 11. Rev. Kenneth A. Sparks, S’93, has been named parochial vicar of Holy Trinity Parish, Robinson Township, effective September 6, 2016.. Rev. Kevin G. Poecking, S’02, has been named administrator of Saint John the Baptist Parish, Plum, effective September 6. Rev. Robert L. Seeman, S’79, has been named administrator of Saint Peter Parish, Slippery Rock and director of Campus Ministry at Slippery Rock Newman Center, effective September 12, 2016. Alumni priests celebrating jubilees in the dioceses included: Cardinal Donald Wuerl, D’07, 50 years; Cardinal Adam Maida,

C’53, D’02, 60 years; Rev. Hugh Lang, C’53, S’56, 60 years; Rev. Michael A. McDermott, C’58, S’66, 60 years; Rev. John A. Harvey, C’62, S’65; 50 years; Rev. Stan M. Gregorek, C’62, S’66; Rev. Gerald Lutz, S.T.L., C’53, S’56, 60 years; Rev. Aaron J. Kriss, S’91; Rev. Ronald P. Lengwin, C’62, S’66; Rev. Kenneth E. Oldenski, C’62, S’66; Rev. Michael MacVeigh, C’52, S’56, 60 years. Rev. David A. Driesch, S’82, has been granted excardination in order to profess solemn vows as a member of the Norbertine Community, effective August 28. Greensburg Rev. Robert R. Byrnes, S’67, was featured in a recent TribuneReview article for his work as the chaplain to the Greensburg Police Department. It had been three years since the department had a chaplain. Previously Father Byrnes had served as chaplain for the Pennsylvania State PoliceTroop A for 16 years.

Father Byrnes said he has officiated at police officers’ weddings, baptized their children and mourned at their funerals. “I was always interested in the state police and I was interested in law enforcement,” he said, “because I think they get a tough rap in today’s society.” He started out as chaplain at the state police’s southwest training center at the Bishop Connare Center, and helped choose chaplains when the police added chaplains to all troops after 9/11. He is also on the board of the Saint Anne Home and is chaplain for the Westmoreland County Law Enforcement Officers Association and Mutual Aid. He continues as chaplain to the state police. ***** Rev. Michael J. Crookston, S’80, and his parishioners were featured in a recent edition of The Catholic Accent, diocesan newspaper. Pastor at The Epiphany of Our Lord Parish, which was formed 25 years ago by the merger of five parishes, he and parishioners came up with the

idea to create a wall hanging, with as many parishioners as possible taking a turn on his loom, working on the theme of “unity.” Pastor for three years at the Monessen Parish, he is noted for developing the camaraderie among parish members. ***** Rev. Daniel L. Blout, S’86, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, was on hand for the dedication of the new altar at the parish by Bishop Edward C. Malesic. The bishop noted that “at the top of the altar is where heaven and earth will kiss… The top of this altar is the exact place where bread and wine from human beings are brought to be transformed into the body and blood of Christ.” The altar was part of a sanctuary renovation that also featured a new tabernacle, crucifix, ambo, presider’s chair and reredos. ***** Seminarian Chris Pujol spent his summer serving in his home parish, Mount Saint Peter in New Kensington, under the supervision of Monsignor Michael

Rev. Thomas Sanders, O.S.B., S’16, was ordained to the priesthood this May 14 by Bishop Roger W. Gries, O.S.B., retired auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, in the Abbey Church of Saint Andrew Abbey. He was featured in a full color ad on the back of Columbia Magazine in July. Sanders recounts that he was on his way to becoming a doctor, preparing for medical school and working in an emergency department, but he began to think of healing souls. He was inspired by the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, and joined the Benedictine community in Cleveland. “As a priest-monk, I want to bring God’s healing mercy through teaching the Catholic faith, preaching the Word of God, and celebrating the sacraments,” he said. Photo courtesy of Saint Andrew Abbey’s newsletter, Ora Et Labora.



Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Bishop Malesic Marks Anniversary

Begolly, P’71, C’77, his pastor. Pujol accompanied the pastor on home and hospital visits, getBishop Edward C. Malesic of the Diocese of Greensburg recently ting to see “the importance of celebrated his one-year anniversary as bishop. The topic of several keeping that connection alive with local news stories, the bishop celebrated with a simple Mass at the someone who’s no longer able to Cathedral in Greensburg. Bishop Malesic serves on the Saint Vincent come to Mass,” he told The CathSeminary Board of Regents. olic Accent. “For so many years “He has a good sense of the monastic community and has known they came to the church; now the many of the monks,” said Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. “We church goes to them.” appreciate the importance he gives to his role as our bishop and the That was one of the things that attention that he gives to our college, parish and Benedictine commuhelped him understand the purnity. It has been a very positive experience for our students when he’s pose of pastoral care. He also been on campus,” Archabbot Douglas said. “He has a wonderful sense served as lector and extraordinary of humor and I think that relates well to the students. I think he also understands some of the challenges minister of Holy Communion at that young people face during their period of transition in their lives. He’s thoughtful and helpful and his funeral liturgies and daily Mass. homilies are insightful and spiritually meaningful to the students.” Those things have helped ground him in a stronger prayer life. Rev. James L. Popochock, has been named pastor of Saint for retired priests, with continued ***** C’64, S’68, has retired. He most Joan of Arc Parish, Farmington, residence in the Neumann House, John Zombar, S’16, was fearecently served as pastor of Saint while continuing as chaplain at Greensburg. tured in a Catholic Accent article Rev. Dr. William J. Hisker, P’65, the State Correctional Institute at upon his graduation with a mas- Joan of Arc Parish, Farmington. C’69, S’05, has been named asRev. John T. Euker, C’70, S’74, LaBelle. ter’s degree in ecclesial ministry. sociate director of the Office of Rev. Monsignor Richard G. Curhas retired. He most recently “The process of getting there the Permanent Diaconate while ci, C’68, S’72, has been named served as pastor of Saint James was so involved and life-changremaining in his present assigndirector of the Neumann House ing,” he said. “I was pretty much the Greater Parish, Apollo, and administrator of Our Lady Queen at the Bishop Connare Center and ment of diaconal ministry at in awe.” associate director of International Blessed Sacrament Cathedral A parishionier of Holy Cross Par- of Peace Parish, East Vandergrift. Priests while remaining as liaison Parish, Greensburg. Rev. James F. Petrovsky, S’68, ish in Youngwood, he is dicerning a call to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Greensburg. Zombar is a Navy veteran who is a manufacturing engineer for DyThomas M. Colucci of Bronxville, New York, max Corporation in Warrendale. has been exploring a religious vocation since his “God planted the seed in my time as a captain of the Fire Department of New head,” he said. Zombar called York, which included responding to the call as the people whom he has encounplanes struck the World Trade Center in an act tered in his formation “enrichof terrorism. The road to his vocation took him to ing,” whether it be people in the Mount Saviour Monastery, Pine City, New York, hospital, assisting people finding which brought him in 2009 to study at Saint housing or serving as a resource Vincent Seminary. His road eventually took him for ChristLife, a program to help away from Saint Vincent as his vocation called Catholics evangelize about their him to diocesan priesthood. faith. The first part of his dream was fulfilled on May ***** 28 when he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Malesic celebrated Cardinal Timothy Dolan in Saint Patrick’s CatheMass with priests from the dio- dral, New York. “God’s been very good to me,” he said to the New York Daily News. “I’m most excited about cese who marked jubilees in working with the people and bringing them to God.” 2016. They included Monsignor Firefighters from his past assignments in the Bronx, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen were on hand for the Mass. John L. Conway, C’53, S’56; Rev. Following Mass, the fire department’s pipe and drum band played as firemen waited for him to bless a fire Micah E. Kozoil, C’72, S’76 and engine parked outside. After joining the FDNY in 1985 he served for 20 years, retiring as commander of LadRev. Vincent J. Gigliotti, S’76. der 21 in Hell’s Kitchen after a gas explosion left him with a head injury and two subsequent brain surgeries ***** to remove blood clots. Once he healed, he began his spiritual journey. Bishop Malesic has made the He has been assigned to Saint Mary’s Mother of the Church Parish in Fishkill, about 60 miles outside of following appointments, effective Manhattan. The above photos are from his time at Saint Vincent. June 30, 2016: Leaven 25 Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

From FDNY On 9-11 To Priest

y r a tes in No m & e S ews N Rev. Thomas More Sikora, O.S.B., S’91, has been named pastor of Saint James the Greater Parish, Apollo and pastor of Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish, East Vandergrift. Youngstown In the Diocese of Youngstown, Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., has made the following appointments: Rev. Martin Celuch, J.C.L., S’02, has been named pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish, Struthers, effective July 1, 2016. He will retain his duties as adjutant judicial vicar for the diocesan tribunal. This spring Father Celuch helped mark the 120th anniverary of Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish in Youngstown, where he was previously stationed. Bishop Murry attended a Mass and dinner. “It’s a strong community,” Father Celuch said. “They are proud of their heritage.”

An article on the anniversary also noted that while the parishioners had a very strong faith, the parish has also done a great deal with not a lot of money. Rev. Ernesto Rodriguez, S’09, a native of Lima, Peru, has been named diocesan coordinator of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Youngstown. As Hispanic ministry coordinator, he will assist the Hispanic Catholic communities of the diocese in their journey towards full participation in the life of the local Church from the parish level to the diocesan level. He will develop advisory bodies for various Hispanic groups and a vision for Hispanic ministry, taking into account the Diocesan Pastoral Plan for Evangelization. Father Rodriguez will also engage diocesan offices and agencies in response to pastoral needs, especially in leadership formation, evangelization, youth/young adult ministry and vocations. Following his ordination in 2011 he was associate pastor at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Ashtabula, until the time of his new assignment in Hispanic ministries.

Brother Etienne Huard, O.S.B., was ordained to the diaconate at Conception Abbey in Missouri on May 19 by Most Rev. James Johnston, Bishop of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, top photo. Below, he is pictured with Abbot Gregory Polan, O.S.B., who was recently elected abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation. Photos courtesy of Conception Abbey.

Faculty News

Rev. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B.

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Rev. Boniface Hicks. O.S.B., has been appointed as director of Spiritual Formation. Father Boniface is available for seminarians for individual consultation and the sacrament of reconciliation, as well as being present for Seminary liturgies, meals, and other activities. In addition Father Boniface will help coordinate days of recollection 26

and other Seminary spiritual formation activities. Father Boniface has broad experience in spiritual direction and in leading retreats. He earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science and a master of science degree in computer science from Penn State University in 1997. He entered the monastic community at Saint Vincent in 1998 and made simple profession of vows on July 9, 1999, and solemn profession on July 10, 2002. He earned a master of arts degree in 2003, and a master of divinity degree in 2004 from Saint Vincent Seminary, summa cum laude. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 2004, he returned to Penn State where he completed his Ph.D. in computer science in 2007. Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2

Remembering Our Alumni Deaths The following deaths were reported: Father Henry Szarnicki, C’51, S55, on July 13, 2016, at the age of 88. He was a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. A native of Natrona Heights, he was a veteran of the Army Air Corps. After studying at Saint Vincent he later received a master’s and a doctorate degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His most recent assignment was as an assistant chaplain at Marian Manor, until he retired in 1998. Condolences Rev. Kurt Belsole, O.S.B., P’69, C’64, S’78, on the deaths of his father, Michael R., on August 2, 2016, and his brother, Patrick Belsole, on July 15, 2016. Brother Elliott C. Maloney, O.S.B., C’68, S’72, on the death of hs uncle, Rev. William J. Maloney, on March 17, 2016. Rev. Stephen R. Honeygosky, O.S.B., C’71, S’75, on the death of his brother, Kevin, on June 19, 2016. Rev. John J. Agapito, C.P.M., S’89, on the death of his newphew, David Agapito, nephew of Father Joseph Agapito. Rev. Joseph Carr, S’06, on the death of his father, Anthony “Joe” Carr on September 26, 2016. Mark Groeger, seminarian from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, on the death of his mother, June 14, 2016. Rev. Alan Thomas, former Dean of Students at the Seminary, on the death of his mother, Anna Ruth Thomas, on June 12, 2016. Annette Hart, former administrative assistant in the Archabbey and Seminary Development Office, on the loss of her mother, Ruth A. Sager of Ligonier, on April 29, 2016.

***** Rev. Regis J. Meenihan, S’91, died May 21, 2016. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for six years and later earned a master’s degree and doctorate in education before seeking admission in 1986 to Saint Mark Seminary in Erie. He then studied at Saint Vincent Seminary and was ordained in 1992. He retired in 2010 after serving in various chaplaincies, including Harborcreek Youth Services, Allegheny College in Meadville, Saint John XXIII Home, Sharon and as campus minister at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He also worked in secondary education, as well as various parishes. ***** Rev. Joseph E. Swierczynski, C’60, S’64, died May 12, 2016. He was a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for the past 52 years and pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish for the last 21 years. He was 78. His classmate, Father Jeremiah O’Shea, C60, S’64, remembered him as deeply devoted to his parish, which is in Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill neighborhood. Another classmate, Rev. Bernard B. Costello, C’59, S’63, called him a “very good and gentle priest.” ***** Rev. Jeremy J. Bolha, O.S.B., P’50, C’55, S’59, a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died September 1, 2016. Father Jeremy was assistant pastor at Ascension Parish, Jeannette and assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish, Pittsburgh, associate pastor and pastor of Saint Bruno Parish, South Greensburg, pastor of Queen of the World Church, St. Marys, Saint Vincent Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, Jeannette, before becoming associate pastor of Queen of the World Parish, St.


Father Justin On ‘Chopped’ Father Justin Matro, O.S.B., competed as a chef on the television show, “Chopped,” on the Food Channel. Entitled “Leap of Faith,” the episode featured a priest (Father Justin), a nun, a rabbi, and a pastor competing in the Chopped kitchen! In the first round, the contestants had to work with salmon, spring onions, raw white honey and ezekiel bread. Father Justin made seared salmon with mixed green salad and ezekiel bread croutons. Although eliminated, he told the judges that they are still stars in the monastery’s television room. For more visit: https:// His performance has received media attention including in The Catholic Accent, Greensburg diocesan newspaper, and an article in the September 2016 edition of Fraternally Yours, the magazine of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. Marys and then parochial vicar at Saint Benedict Parish, Carrolltown, Saint Cecilia Parish in Whitney and Sacred Heart Parish in Youngstown, and senior priest at Sacred Heart Parish, St. Marys. He retired to the Archabbey in 2008. ***** Rev. Stephen Chervenak, C’56, S’60, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, died August 22, 2016. He was 82. He served as parochial vicar at Saint Pius in Brookline and Saint Agatha in Bridgeville before being named headmaster of Saint Thomas High School in Braddock and then administrator of Saint Januarius in Plum. He was pastor of Saint Angela Merici for 36 years until being named administrator for an additional four years. ***** Rev. Eugene Dougherty, C’50, S’53, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, died September 8 at the age of 88. His service included parochial vicar at Saint Bernard in Mount Lebanon, Saint 27

Alphonsus in Wexford, Saint Mary of the Mount in Mount Washington and Saint Philip Neri in Crafton, and pastor at Saint John Capistran in Upper St. Clair and Saint Mary in New Castle until his retirement. He later was parochial vicar at Holy Wisdom and chaplain to the Latin Mass Community. ***** Rev. Joseph Laboon, C’53, S’57, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, died August 23 in Florida at age 85. His service included parochial vicar at Saint Patrick in Canonsburg, Saint Sebastian in Ross Township, Saints Peter and Paul in Beaver, Saint Mary of the Mount in Mount Washington and Saint Charles in Donora. He was administrator of Saint Charles as well. He also worked iwth people with addictions in the Archdiocese of Miami before joining the Archdiocese of Military Services in 1976. He retired in 2002. He had three sisters and a brother in religious life out of nine children. Fall 2016, Volume 24, Number 2


New Abbot Primate 2017 Seminary Commencement Speaker Abbot Gregory Polan, O.S.B., the newly elected Abbot Primate of the worldwide Benedictine Order, will be the commencement speaker at the May 12, 2017 commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary, scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Archabbey Basilica. Abbot Gregory, who, until his election as Abbot Primate, was the Abbot of Conception Abbey in Missouri, represents the International Federation of Benedictine Abbeys throughout the world. He was elected by abbots from Benedictine men’s communities around the world on September 10 in Rome during the Congress of Abbots. The Abbot Primate represents Benedictine monks at international gatherings, promotes the unity of the abbeys and priories around the world and serves as a liaison to the Vatican. As Abbot Primate, he also becomes the Abbot of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome and Chancellor of the Benedictine’s Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’ Anselmo and its Pontifical Liturgical Institute. The 66-year-old Scripture scholar and translator has done translations for the New American Bible and led the effort to complete a new translations of the Psalms, known as the Revised Grail Psalter, which the U.S. bishops have approved for use in the liturgy. Abbot Gregory was born in Berwyn, Illinois. He entered the Benedictine novitiate at Conception Abbey in 1970 and professed his vows a year later. He studied at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1977. He did his doctoral studies in Sacred Scripture at Saint Paul University in Ottawa and taught courses in Old Testament and music at Conception Abbey in Missouri. • 724-805-2592

Leaven Fall 2016  

The fall 2016 issue of Leaven, the magazine of Saint Vincent Seminary, pays tribute to the late Monsignor Vincent Topper, who, at 104, was t...

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