Saint Vincent Seminary honored Most Reverend Paul Gregory Bootkoski, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, with an honorary doctorate at its 168th annual commencement Friday, May 9. Bishop Bootkoski also received an honorary doctorate at the commencement, which took place in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.
Lay students, diocesan and religious seminarians from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archdiocese of Campinas in Brazil, the Diocese of Cheng Du in China, the Diocese of Covington, the Diocese of Greensburg, the Diocese of Paterson, Saint Vincent Archabbey, and Saint Gregory’s Abbey in Oklahoma also took part in the ceremony.
Bishop Bootkoski was named the Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen by Pope Saint John Paul II on January 4, 2002, and installed as the Fourth Bishop of Metuchen on March 19, 2002. On July 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Bootkoski to serve as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was ordained by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick on Sept. 5, 1997 in Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica, Newark. He subsequently was named vicar general and moderator of the curia, responsible for daily management and operation of the administrative agencies of the archdiocese.
On January 5, 2001, following Archbishop McCarrick’s installation as Archbishop of Washington, the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Newark elected Bishop Bootkoski diocesan administrator, responsible for the temporary management of the archdiocese. He served the archdiocese in that capacity until the installation of Archbishop John J. Myers on Oct. 9 that year.
Bishop Bootkoski holds a bachelor of arts degree in classical languages from Seton Hall University, a master of divinity degree in theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary, and a master of arts degree in education from Manhattan College.
ARCHDIOCESE OF ATLANTA
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. He received the master of divinity degree. He also received the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Homiletics 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.
ARCHDIOCESE OF CAMPINAS
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. He received the master of divinity degree, magna cum laude. He also received two awards, the Sacred Scripture Award, given by the faculty to the graduate who most demonstrates excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture, 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.
DIOCESE OF CHENG DU
Yi Liang Huang of Deyang, Sichuan, China graduated from Yun Xi High School in Shi Fang, Sichuan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Si Chuan Catholic Seminary in Cheng Du, Sichuan in September 2001. He received a master of arts degree.
DIOCESE OF PATERSON
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. He received the master of divinity degree.
DIOCESE OF COVINGTON
Josiah N. Booth is the son of Ray Booth and Vanna Mae Critoria of Navarre, Ohio. He is a 2003 graduate of Central Catholic High School, Canton, earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the Pontifical College Josephinum and Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2009. He received the master of divinity degree.
Trinity P. Knight of Thibodoux, Louisiana, is the son of Randy A. Knight of Horn Lake, Mississippi, and Taraleen Gaudet of Houma, Louisiana. He is a 1998 graduate of Thibodaux High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Joseph Seminary College, Saint Benedict, Louisiana, in 2003, and studied theology/divinity at Notre Dame Seminary in 2003 and 2004. He did additional graduate work at the Pontifical College Josephinum from 2007 to 2009. He received the master of divinity degree.
DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG
Michael T. Aimino of Dayton is the son of Frederick and Mary Lou Aimino of Dayton. He graduated from Punxstawney Area High School in 1984, and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1989. He earned a certificate in pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University in 2011. He earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry, summa cum laude.
Stephen E. Black of Homer City is the son of the late Charles and Mary Black. He graduated from Laurel Valley High School in 1972. He earned a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership from Saint Francis University in 2008. He is a permanent deacon candidate from the Diocese of Greensburg.He earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry, cum laude.
Jeffrey Cieslewicz, Sr., of McKeesport is the son of Mary Cieslewicz and the late Vincent P. Cieslewicz. He is a 1976 graduate of McKeesport Area Senior High and attended Penn State McKeesport, where he earned an associate’s degree in electrical engineering in 1980. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business with a certificate for pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University in 2011.
He earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry, magna cum laude. He is a permanent deacon candidate from the Diocese of Greensburg.
Edward E. Jones of Blairsville is the son of Virginia Peters of Blairsville and the late Boyce Jones. He graduated from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida in 1967. He earned an associate of arts degree at Brevard Community College, Florida, in 1969. In 1971, he earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He received a certificate in pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University in 2011. He earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry.
Herbert A. Nicholson of Latrobe, is the son of the late Leroy and Edna Nicholson. He attended Westmoreland County Community College from 2007 to 2010. He has also studied at Seton Hill University. He is a permanent deacon candidate for the Diocese of Greensburg. He earned the master of arts degree in ecclesial ministry, cum laude.
SAINT GREGORY’S ABBEY
Brother Simeon Spitz, O.S.B., is a monk of Saint Gregory’s Abbey, Shawnee, Oklahoma. He is the son of Jerry Spitz of Canute, Oklahoma and Susan Boyer of Phoenix, Arizona. He is a 2002 graduate of Canute High School, Canute, Oklahoma. He earned bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from Saint Gregory’s University in 2007, where he studied philosophy and political science. He was presented with the Bachelor of Sacred Theology, summa cum laude.
SAINT VINCENT ARCHABBEY
Brother Michael A. Antonacci, O.S.B., of Jeannette, is the son Sheila Antonacci and the late Jerome Antonacci. He is a 2003 graduate of Hempfield High School, and is a 2007 graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he earned bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and physics with highest honors. He will be ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 2014. He received the master of divinity degree, summa cum laude. He received the Diakonia Award, 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.
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 will be ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 2014. He earned the master of divinity degree, summa cum laude and also the Bachelor of Sacred Theology, summa cum laude.
Father Maximilian Maxwell, O.S.B., of Philadephia, is the son of the late Robert Luke and Susan Maxwell. He is a 1992 graduate of West Philadelphia Catholic High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication and religious studies from Saint Vincent College in 2007. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 7, 2013. He received the master of divinity degree.