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Ten degrees were awarded at the 175th annual Saint Vincent Seminary commencement on Friday, May 21.
Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, J.C.L., bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland and former bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, received an honorary doctor of divinity degree.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Malesic to be the fifth Bishop of Greensburg on April 24, 2015. Bishop Malesic was ordained and installed as Bishop of Greensburg on July 13 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.
Bishop Malesic was appointed by Pope Francis as the twelfth Bishop of Cleveland on July 16, 2020, and installed on September 14, 2020.
Bishop Malesic is a 1978 graduate of Central Dauphin East High School, Harrisburg, and attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville as a biology major for three years prior to entering the seminary. In 1981 he was accepted into the seminary program at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1983. He continued his theological studies at the Josephinum and was awarded a master of divinity degree in 1987.
In 1996, Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo sent him to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Bishop Malesic received his licentiate in canon law in 1998 and served the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Tribunal in various capacities, including auditor, adjutant judicial vicar and secretary for canonical services. He was appointed judicial vicar in 2006, a position he held when he was named Bishop of Greensburg.
Bishop Malesic served in various pastoral assignments and campus ministry positions in the Diocese of Harrisburg.
MASTER OF DIVINITY
Brother Cassian (Lamar) Edwards, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey received the Master of Divinity degree, magna cum laude. He also received the Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., Sacred Scripture Award, which is given by the Scripture faculty to the student who most demonstrates excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture. He was ordained to the diaconate on May 23, 2020 by Bishop Edward C. Malesic in the Basilica. He will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Larry J. Kulick of the Diocese of Greensburg on May 22, 2021. He 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.
Rev. Mr. Mark Edward Groeger of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown received the Master of Divinity degree. He is the son of Geraldine Gilmore of Ridgway and the late Theodore J. Groeger. He is a 1976 graduate of Ridgway Area High School. He will be ordained to the priesthood on May 29 by Bishop Mark Bartchak in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.
Brother Samuel Anderson Pinheiro, O.S.B. of São Bento Monastery, Brazil, received the Master of Divinity degree. He is the son of Adão Jose Pinheiro and Vanía Aparecida Pedro Pinheiro of Limeíra, Brazil. He is a 2008 graduate of Colegio Pro Cotil, Limeíra, São Paulo, Brazil. He has a licentiate in philosophy degree (Ph.L. ) from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Campinas. He will be ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Larry J. Kulick of the Diocese of Greensburg on May 22, 2021
Rev. Mr. Michael Anthony Pleva of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown received the Master of Divinity degree, magna cum laude. He also received two awards. The Hon. Bernard F. Scherer Award is 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. The Diakonia Award for Service is 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. Deacon Pleva is the son of Russell and Mary Ann Pleva of Altoona. He is a 2013 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, Altoona. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Gannon University, Erie, in 2017. He will be ordained to the priesthood on May 29 by Bishop Mark Bartchak in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.
Rev. Joseph Christopher Rielage of the Diocese of Covington received the Master of Divinity degree. He is from Florence, Kentucky, and is the son of the late Thomas J. and Carol J. Rielage. He graduated in 1988 from Elder High School, Cincinnati. He studied at Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, Kentucky from 1988 to 1990, then transferred to the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1993. He was ordained to the priesthood on January 29, 2021 by Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington in the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.
Rev. Mr. Joseph Stephen Uzar, Jr. of the Diocese of Pittsburgh received the Master of Divinity degree, cum laude. Deacon Uzar received the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Excellence in Preaching Award, given by the Rector’s Council to the student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in preaching during his fourth year of study. 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. He will be ordained to the priesthood on June 26.
Joseph William Duchene received the Master of Arts degree, summa cum laude. He is the son of Patti Gentz of Minneapolis, and the late William Duchene. He is a 1998 graduate of Saint Anthony Village High School, Minnesota. He earned a bachelor of science degree in history from The Citadel in 2002.
Brother Gilbert Kagan Heater, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey received the Master of Arts in Catholic Philosophical Studies degree, summa cum laude. He is the son of Richard W. and Diane O. Heater of East Stroudsburg. He studied at Lancaster Bible College, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in music composition in 2009. He also studied at Liberty University. He entered the Benedictine monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey as a novice in 2017.
Brother Angelo Kurt Lichtenstein, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey received the Master of Arts in Catholic Philosophical Studies degree, summa cum laude. He is the son of Gary Lichtenstein and Maria Alampi of Sandyston, New Jersey. His sister is Emily Lichtenstein of Newton, New Jersey. He is a 2008 graduate of Kittatinny Regional High School in Newton. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from The Citadel in 2012. He entered the monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2018.
Pictured are front, from left, Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector, Saint Vincent Seminary; Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland; Most Rev. Larry J. Kulick, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg; Rt. Rev. Martin de Porres Bartel, O.S.B., archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey and chancellor of Saint Vincent Seminary; Rev. Patrick Cronauer, O.S.B., academic dean, Saint Vincent Seminary; back, from left, Rev. Mr. Joseph Uzar, Diocese of Pittsburgh; Rev. Mr. Mark Groeger, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; Brother Samuel Anderson Pinheiro, O.S.B., São Bento Monastery, Brazil; Brother Cassian Edwards, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey; Rev. Mr. Michael Pleva, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; Brother Angelo Lichtenstein, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey; Brother Gilbert Kagan Heater, O.S.B., Saint Vincent Archabbey; Joseph William Duchene.