LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA — Eleven seminarians at Saint Vincent Seminary were installed in the Ministry of Acolyte on November 19 by The Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., Bishop of Birmingham. They are Thang Pham and Carlos Vargas of the Archdiocese of Atlanta; Raphael Onyeocha of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; Jose Alexandre Missio of the Archdiocese of Campinas, Brazil; Michael Kirk of the Diocese of Charleston, SC; Christopher Barnes and Michael Polinek of the Diocese of Erie; Robert Fleckenstein of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Jorge Bedoya and Nicholas Passero of the Diocese of Savannah; and Brother Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B. of Saint Vincent Archabbey.
ARCHDIOCESE OF ATLANTA
Thang Minh Pham of Oakwood, Georgia, is the son of Tuong Minh Pham and Bay Thi Le of Oakwood, Georgia. He is a graduate of Centre Louis Jolillette, L’Education Pour Adults, Quebec, Canada. He attended College do Limoilou in Quebec and earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint John’s University, Queens, New York, in 2005.
Carlos Eduardo Vargas-Silva of Atlanta is the son of Jaime Vargas and Mariana Silva of Florencia, Colombia. He is a 1986 graduate of Colegio Migani in Florencia. He earned a diploma from the Angelicum in Rome in 1999, studying international law. His undergraduate degree from Saint Thomas University in 2000 was in law.
DIOCESE OF ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN
Raphael Chinemere Onyeocha of Washington, D.C., is the son of Donatus and Beatrice Onyeocha of Washington. He is a 1990 graduate of Saint Peter Claven Seminary, Nigeria. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Claretian Institute of Philosophy in Nigeria in 1997 and the S.T.B. in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, in 2005.
ARCHDIOCESE OF CAMPINAS, BRAZIL
Jose Alexandre Missio of Campinas, Brazil, is the son of Jose Primo de Jesus Missio and Neusa Odete Pitão Missio of Campinas. He is a 1990 graduate of Fundagõo Bradesco de Campinas and studied philosophy from 2003-2005 at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Campinas.
DIOCESE OF CHARLESTON, SC
Michael Alan Kirk of Simpsonville, South Carolina, is the son of Robert and Sandra Lee Kirk of Simpsonville. He is a 2001 graduate of Southside High School, Greenville, and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, in 2005.
DIOCESE OF ERIE
Christopher Michael Barnes of Rouseville is the son of Martha S. Barnes of Rouseville and Charles W. Barnes. He is a 1989 graduate of Oil City Area Senior High School and studied at Gannon University from 2004-2006. He has also studied at the Venango campus of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biology, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, where he received an associate degree in specialized funeral service arts and sciences in 1999.
Michael Charles Polinek of Erie is the son of Mark Charles Polinek of Girard and Charlene Ann Polinek of Erie. He is a 1997 graduate of McDowell High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts from Gannon University in 2006.
DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
Robert Wayne Fleckenstein of McKeesport is the son of Wayne R. and Mary K. Fleckenstein of McKeesport. He is a 1995 graduate of Serra Catholic High School, McKeesport, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2000. He also studied philosophy at Duquesne University.
DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH
Jorge Andrés Bedoya of Augusta, Georgia, is a son of the late Horacio and Ligia Bedoya. He graduated from Colegio de Occidente, Colombia, in 1992, and earned a bachelor in philosophy degree in 2002 from the Universidad Pontificia Boliviariana, Colombia. He also studied theology there from 2003-2004.
Nicholas C. Passero is the son of Col. Stephen P. and Catherine E. Passero of Clifton, Virginia. He is a 1998 graduate of Alexander Patch American High School, Stuttgart, Germany. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology from Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, in 2002.
SAINT VINCENT ARCHABBEY
Brother Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B., a native of southern California, was raised in Minneapolis, MN and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1970, majoring in English and secondary education. He entered Western State University/Thomas Jefferson College of Law, San Diego, in the Fall of 1975 and completed his studies for the Juris Doctorate degree in December of 1977. He was admitted to the State of California Bar Association the following year and practiced law continuously thereafter. He made his first vows as a Benedictine monk in July of 2005.