Seven Admitted To Candidacy


Seven men were admitted to candidacy for priesthood at Saint Vincent Seminary on November 26. Presiding was Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta.
The candidates are Luis Alvarez and Jorge Carranza, Archdiocese of Atlanta; Marcel Alvarenga, Archdiocese of Campinas; Christopher Barkhausen, Diocese of Paterson; Brother Paulavang Vuong, O.S.B., Monastery of Christ in the Desert; and Brother John Paul Heiser, O.S.B., and Brother Michael Antonacci, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey.


Luis E. Alvarez of Atlanta, Georgia, is the son of Luis Alnedo Alvarez and Carmen Maria Velazquez of Caguas, Puerto Rico. He is a 2001 graduate of Croem High School in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He also studied electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jorge Carranza is from Calhoun, Georgia. His parents are Martin and Bertha Carranza of Calhoun. He is a 1998 graduate of Cosmopolitan High School, Chicago. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Joseph Seminary College, Saint Benedict, Louisiana in 2010.


Marcel Gustavo Alvarenga of Valinhos, São Paulo, Brazil, is the son of Iris da Silva Alvarenga and Eliana Aparecida Bonito Alvarenga of Valinhos. He graduated from Escola Tecnica de Comercio de Valinhos, Brazil, in 2004, and received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, where he studied from 2006 to 2008. He began theology studies at the same university in 2009, until he was sent to Saint Vincent Seminary by Archbishop Bruno Gamberini to complete those studies.


Christopher Stephen Barkhausen of Succasunna, New Jersey, is the son of Stephen Girard and Marta Berdel Barkhausen of Succasunna. He is a 2006 graduate of Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, New Jersey, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in Catholic theology from Seton Hall University’s School of Theology in 2010.


Brother Paulavang Vuong, O.S.B., is the son of Hien Xuan Vuong and Hac Thi Luu of Houston. He is a native of Da Nang, Vietnam. He graduated from Trinh Chau Phan High School, Da Nang, in 1980. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Mount Angel Seminary, Saint Benedict, Oregon, in 2007 and has also studied at Saint Meinrad School of Theology.


Brother Michael A. Antonacci, O.S.B., of Jeannette, is the son of Jerome and Sheila Antonacci of Jeannette. Brother Michael, a 2003 graduate of Hempfield High School, is a 2007 graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and physics with highest honors. He entered the novitiate in July 2007 and made simple profession of vows the following year. On July 11, 2011, he made solemn profession of monastic vows.
Brother John Paul (Ryan) Heiser, O.S.B., is the son of Randy and Sherry Heiser of Bethel Park. He is a 2004 graduate of Bethel Park High School and earned a bachelor of arts degrees in international politics and psychology from Penn State University in 2008. He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2008 and professed simple vows on July 10, 2009.