Degrees Awarded at 169th Annual Commencement

Nine men from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Erie, Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas and Saint Joseph Monastery in California received degrees at the 169th annual commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe. Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, received an honorary doctor of divinity degree and was the commencement speaker.

The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, a native of Cleveland, was ordained a Bishop and installed as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown on April 19, 2011, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Bishop Bartchak attended at Saint Mark Seminary and Gannon University, Erie, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1977. He continued his priesthood studies at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, New York. He studied canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received a licentiate degree in 1989 and a doctorate in 1992.

In 2007 he was appointed as a consultant for the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. Bishop Bartchak is a member of the Canon Law Society of America (CLSA) and the Mexican Association of Canonists. He has served on several CLSA committees. In 1999 he was elected to serve on the CLSA Board of Governors and later he was elected to serve as Vice-President (2002-2003) and President (2003-2004) of the Canon Law Society of America. During his term as President, Bishop Bartchak represented the CLSA at private meetings at the Vatican with officials of various Congregations, Councils, and Tribunals of the Apostolic See.
Bishop Bartchak was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Erie on May 15, 1981, and in 2000 he received papal honors from Pope John Paul II with the title of Chaplain to His Holiness. After ordination to the priesthood, he served as parochial vicar at Saint Joseph Parish in Warren, Saint Francis Parish in Clearfield, and Saint Leo Magnus Parish in Ridgway. In 1982 he was appointed Defender of the Bond, and in 1986 he was assigned full-time to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Erie.

He has always had a great love for parish ministry. When he returned from his canon law studies, Bishop Trautman approved his request for residence in a center-city parish. Bishop Bartchak was in residence at Saint Stanislaus Parish in Erie for almost twenty years where he celebrated Mass each day.

In the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Bartchak was an ex-officio member of the presbyteral council, the administrative cabinet and various diocesan committees. He was confessor and spiritual director for Project Rachel at Catholic Charities Counseling Services of the Diocese, and chaplain to the Saint Thomas More Society.
In addition to his duties in the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Bartchak has been involved in various roles in the Church on the state, national and international level. In 2004, he was appointed to the Administrative Board and the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. He has served as canonical consultant for a number of bishops, dioceses, seminaries, and religious institutes and as a judge for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as a visiting judge in various diocesan tribunals. He has given presentations to clergy and laity throughout the United States. Bishop Bartchak has published and lectured widely on the topic of canon law.

He has been an active member of the Saint Vincent Seminary Board of Regents since 2011. He has served as a consultant and advisor to the Seminary administration and has also delivered several major presentations to students and guests at Saint Vincent Seminary Human Formation Conference


Jorge Carranza, of Calhoun, Georgia, received the master of divinity degree. The son of 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.


Thomas N. Trocchio of Cooperstown, Pennsylvania, received the master of divinity degree. The son of Thomas T. Trocchio and the late Monica Sue Deer, he is a 2002 graduate of Plum Senior High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and theology from Gannon University, Erie, in 2010.


Donald H. Bender, Jr., of Lancaster, received the master of divinity degree, cum laude. He also received the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Excellence in Preaching Award, given by the Rector’s Council to the fourth-year student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in preaching during his fourth year of study. The son of Donald H. Bender, Sr., and Theresa Bender of Ephrata, he is a 1989 graduate of Ephrata Senior High School and received a bachelor of science degree in education from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.

Ryan Michael Fischer received the master of divnity degree, summa cum laude, as well as the Diakonia Award and the Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., Sacred Scripture Award. The Sacred Scripture Award is given by the faculty to the graduate who most demonstrates excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture, while the Diakonia award is given to the student nominated by the entire seminary community and chosen by the faculty. The award 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. Fischer is the son of Michael and Margaret Fischer of Lancaster. He graduated from Lancaster Catholic High School in 2003. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, in 2009.


Zachary A. Galiyas received the master of divnity degree, summa cum laude and 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. The son of Mitchell E. and Mary J. Gailyas of Coraopolis, he is a 2003 graduate of Montour High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He also studied philosophy at Duquesne University from 2003 to 2004, and theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary from 2008-2010.


Father Isaac (Paul) Haywiser, O.S.B., earned the master of divinity degree, magna cum laude. He is the son of Mark and Ellen Haywiser of Bethel Park. He is a 2005 graduate of Bethel Park High School, Bethel Park. He earned a bachelor of science degree in 2009 in management from Saint Vincent College, entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2009 and made solemn profession of vows on July 11, 2013. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 2, 2015.
Brother Joachim Morgan, O.S.B., earned the master of arts degree. He is the son of Charles and Laura Morgan of White Lake, Michigan. He is a 2006 graduate of Ludington High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in French from Central Michigan University in 2009. He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2010, and professed solemn vows on July 11, 2014.


Brother Peter Pham, O. Cist., of Saint Joseph Monastery, Lucerne Valley, California, earned the master of divnity degree. He is the son of An Dang Pham and the late Cong Thi Nguyen Pham of Dong Nai, Vietnam.


Brother Patrick Boland, O.S.B., of from Subiaco Abbey, Arkansas, earned the master of arts degree, cum laude. His parents are James M. and Catherine M. Boland of North East, Pennsylvania. He is a 1980 graduate of North East High School. He earned an associate degree in science from Pennsylvania State University, New Kenginston, in 1984 and is a board certified medical laboratory technician in the state of Pennsylvania. He has an associate degree in applied science, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration from Arkansas Tech University (2009), a bachelor of professional studies degree in public relations from Arkansas Tech University (2010), and also studied in the graduate program at Arkansas Tech. He earned a bachelor of theology degree from the Theology Institute of the Diocese of Arkansas Saint Gregory’s University, Shawnee, Oklahoma in 2011