LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA — Thirty-seven degrees were awarded at Saint Vincent Seminary’s 154th annual commencement ceremony held Friday, May 12 at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. One student received dual master’s degrees.
The Archabbot and Chancellor of Saint Vincent, the Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., presided at the Solemn Vespers. Archabbot Douglas conferred the degrees on the candidates who were presented by Saint Vincent Seminary Rector, the Very Rev. Thomas P. Acklin, O.S.B., and given academic hoods by Seminary Academic Dean, Sister Cecilia Murphy, R.S.M.
Mr. George S. Weigel, Jr., received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, in recognition of his monumental contribution to the understanding of the role of religion in public life. Mr. Weigel is a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and a Roman Catholic theologian. He is one of America’s leading commentators on religion and public life, and the author of Witness to Hope, the biography of Pope John Paul II, and thirteen other books. His memberships include the Board of Directors of the Institute of Religion and Democracy, The Jerusalem Committee, and the Council of Foreign Relations.
Receiving the Master of Divinity degree were Br. Benedict Alva, O.S.B., Saint ProcopiusAbbey, Lisle, Illinois, with high honor; Br. Nicholas Ast, O.S.B., St. Gregory Abbey, Shawnee, Oklahoma, with highest honor; Br. Kevin Bachmann, O.S.B., Holy Cross Abbey, Canon City, Colorado, with high honor; Br. William D. Benthall, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, with honor; William G. Berkey, Diocese of Greensburg; David Thomas Brzoska, Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, with highest honor; Thomas Joseph Burke, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Robert David Burns, Jr., Diocese of Harrisburg; Donald William Cramer II, Diocese of Harrisburg, with honor; Douglas Edward Dorula, Diocese of Greensburg; Tien Hung Duong, Diocese of Charlotte, with honor; Anthony Gargotta, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Br. Philip Michael Kanfush III, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, with high honor; Robert Michael Miller, Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio; Gregory Montagna, with high honor; Wayne Edward Morris, Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio; John K. Nesbella, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, with honor; Terrence Parker O’Connor, Diocese of Pittsburgh, with high honor; Roberto A. Orellana, Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia; David A. Perry, Jr., Diocese of Erie, with honor; James A. Reardon, Diocese of Erie; Br. Brendan Paul Rolling, O.S.B., St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, with honor; James M. Stover, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Robert John Vular, Diocese of Pittsburgh and Br. Lee R. Yoakam, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey, with honor.
Receiving the Master of Arts degree were Jonas Duarte Christal, Archdiocese of Campinas, Brazil, with honor; Stuart Crevcoure, Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with highest honor; Anthony Gargotta, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Matthew L. McKenzie of Bedford, with highest honor; Michael J. Stumpf, Diocese of Pittsburgh, with honor; Gregory B. Wilson, Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, with honor and Clinton Paul Zadroga, Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Awarded Master of Religious Education degrees were Sr. Mina D’Costa of West Bengal, India, with honor; Richard Brian Tomkosky, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, with high honor and Kathleen Ann Wawrzeniak, North Huntingdon, with high honor.
Students receiving academic awards were Br. Brendan Rolling, O.S.B., Honorable Judge Bernard F. Scherer Award; Stuart Crevcoure, American Bible Society Award; Anthony Gargotta, Diakonia Award, a service award presented annuallly at commencement; and Br. Benedict Alva, O.S.B., Omer U. Kline Homiletics Award, for excellence in preaching.