Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., served as the eleventh Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey from 1991 to 2020. As such he was also the Chancellor of Saint Vincent College and Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and the Major Superior of the Benedictines at the Priory and Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, and the Benedictine Priories in Brazil and Taiwan.
The son of the late Sylvester and Evelyn (Jackamonis) Nowicki, he was born in Everson, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1945. His brothers are Edward Nowicki of Greensburg, and Lawrence Nowicki of Harrisburg. His sister is Mrs. Dean Sickenberger of Greensburg.
Archabbot Douglas attended Catholic grade schools at Saint Joseph, Everson, and Holy Cross, Youngwood, Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in May of 1968, a Master of Divinity from Saint Vincent Seminary in May of 1971 and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Tennessee in December of 1977. He was professed as a Benedictine on July 11, 1966, and ordained to the priesthood at the Archabbey Basilica on May 21, 1972, by the late Bishop William G. Connare of Greensburg.
He was elected by his fellow monks on January 8, 1991 to become the eleventh Archabbot of Saint Vincent. On March 1, 1991, he received the Abbatial Blessing from the late Anthony G. Bosco, Bishop of Greensburg. On May 11, 2010, he was re-elected to an additional ten-year term as Archabbot.
Prior to his election as Archabbot, Archabbot Douglas had served for five years as Secretary for Education of the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 1986 to 1991 and Pastor of Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish, North Side, Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1986. At Saint Vincent College, he served as Chairman of the Department of Psychology from 1979 to 1984 and Associate Academic Dean from 1983 to 1984. From 1978 through 1983, he was also a member of the staff in the Behavioral Science Department at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The Archabbot was consultant to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for a number of years and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the McFeely-Rogers Foundation.
Following his retirement as archabbot upon reaching his 75th birthday, Archabbot Douglas began serving as a consultant to the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College.
In his role as the Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey, he was leader of the first Benedictine monastery established in the United States and one of the largest monasteries in the world. He is also the chancellor of Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Seminary. Saint Vincent Benedictines operate the Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, and the Penn State Campus Ministry Program at State College in Pennsylvania. In addition to his responsibilities in this country, the Archabbot is also the leader of monasteries in Brazil and Taiwan. The Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey founded the original Fu Jen University in Beijing, the first Catholic University in China, in the 1920s. Today Saint Vincent Benedictines have a priory in Taiwan, do pastoral work and teach at Fu Jen University in Taipei.
In 1992 Archabbot Douglas was named “Man of the Year in Religion” by the Pittsburgh Vectors. In the fall of 1999 he received an honorary degree from Fu Jen University in Taiwan, Republic of China. In 2015, he was presented with the Arnold Palmer Spirit of Hope Award by Arnold Palmer at the Adelphoi Spirit of Hope Reception. The award is given to individuals who exemplify the spirit of compassion and caring toward children in the community and around the world. Archabbot Douglas serves as a member of the International Benedictine Commission on China.
The 30-year tenure of Archabbot Douglas has been a period of extraordinary development at Saint Vincent. The Archabbot often comments that without the generous help of countless friends, alumni and supporters, the academic and construction developments could not have been achieved.