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Bishop Brandt Receives Honorary Doctorate

Bishop Brandt Receives Honorary Doctorate January 27

LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA — Nine students received the Master of Arts degree and seven the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary at the May 6 commencement.

The Most Rev. Lawrence E. Brandt, J.C.D., Ph.D., received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Receving the Master of Arts degree were Jacob Ray Barkley of Uniontown; James Campbell of the Diocese of Erie ; Br. Maurus Mount, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey; Helene Paharik of Greensburg; Alan Polczynski of the Diocese of Greensburg; Br. Peter Rayappan, O.S.B., of Asirvanam Monastery, India; Sr. Marilyn L. Schauble, O.S.B., of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, Erie; Rev. Joseph E. Sioli, C.O.; Charles C. Ugo, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Receiving the Master of Divinity degree were Rev. Vincent P. Cieslewicz, Jr., of Houtzdale; Dr. William J. Hisker of Greensburg; John P. Mulcahy of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston; Br. Jose Juan Ortiz, C.O. of the Pharr Oratory, Texas; Chidi Osondu of the Diocese of Savannah; Br. Peter Rayappan of Asirvanam Monastery; and Mark Van Alstine of the Diocese of Savannah.

Bishop Brandt was a member of the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, from 1991 to 2000. He was re-elected to the Board of Regents in October 2001. In 1992, he was named a member of the Board of Regents' Planning and Academic Affairs Committees, and chaired the Academic Affairs Committee, 1997-2000, and from 2001 to present.

Bishop Brandt completed his high school and college education at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, and his philosophical studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, with the Ph.D. degree in philosophy in 1966. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Florence, Italy, and completed his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, with residence at the North American College. He completed doctoral studies in canon law at the Lateran University in Rome with the J.C.D. degree in 1983.

Bishop Brandt was ordained a priest on December 19, 1969, in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

He graduated from the Holy See's school for diplomats in Rome, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, and was subsequently posted in 1973 in the Vatican diplomatic service to the Papal Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Tananarive, Madagascar, and later to the Nunciatures in Bonn, Germany; Quito, Ecuador; and Algiers, Algeria. He was named Chaplain of His Holiness with the title Monsignor by Pope Paul VI in 1974, and decorated in 1977 by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany with the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, for his role in negotiating an accord between the Holy See and the Federal Republic of Germany. Pope John Paul II designated him a Prelate of Honor on November 12, 1991.

While serving as a Vatican diplomat, he was appointed Pastor of the Anglo-American Parish in Tananarive, Madagascar, by Cardinal Jerome Rakotomalala, Archbishop of Tananarive in 1973, and also named Pastor of the Italian Parish in Algiers by Cardinal Leon Duval, Archbishop of Algiers, in 1979.

After returning to the Diocese of Erie, he received an appointment as Assistant Chancellor and resident chaplain at the Gannondale Residential Center for Girls, a rehabilitation facility for adolescents, with membership on its Advisory Board from 1985-1998, and was named Vice Chancellor of the Diocese in 1984. In 1984 he was appointed personal representative of the Bishop to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, and served on its Executive Committee, Administrative Board, and, since 1987, on its Personnel Committee. He was elected by the Bishops of Pennsylvania as Vice President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the highest elective office in the Conference, for three successive terms from 1987-1993, and served as acting President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference from May 1989 to January 1990. He was appointed diocesan representative to the Pennsylvania Conference on Interchurch Cooperation, the statewide ecumenical body, from 1990 to 1998.

Bishop Brandt was named Chancellor of the Diocese of Erie, January 1, 1991, and member of the Administrative Cabinet of the Diocese. He became a member of the Priest Retirement Board in 1991. He was named to the Board of Members, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Erie in 1992. He served as Promoter of Justice and Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal. On October 16, 1995, he was appointed chaplain to the Saint Thomas More Society, a professional society for Catholic lawyers.

Elected to the Board of Trustees of Gannon University from 1985-1995, Bishop Brandt served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1990. He was a member of the Board's Nominating Committee from 1985 to 1990, served as Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee from 1990 to 1995, and served on the Executive Committee of the Board throughout his tenure on the Board. He also served on the Presidential Evaluation Committee.

He was named a member of the Board of Corporators of the Saint Vincent Foundation for Health and Human Services in Erie on October 20, 1986.

On September 27, 1997, he was inducted as a Knight into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem by Cardinal Carlo Furno, Grand Master of the Order, at an investiture ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.While continuing his full-time duties as Chancellor of the Diocese, he was appointed parish priest at St. Hedwig Church in Erie on October 17, 1998.

On September 25, 1999, he was elevated to the rank of Knight Commander in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. He was appointed the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg on January 2, 2004 by Pope John Paul II. His episcopal ordination and installation took place on March 4, 2004.

MASTER OF ARTS

Jacob Ray Barkley is the son of Ray C. Barkley and Renee F. Barkley of Uniontown. He is a 1997 graduate of Geibel Catholic High School, Connellsville. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious education and sociology in 2001 from Saint Vincent College. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005.

James C. Campbell of the Diocese of Erie is the son of John P. and Dolores M. Campbell of Erie. He is a 1998 graduate of Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie and a 2002 graduate of Gannon University, with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and philosophy. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with highest honors. He also received the Diakonia Award in 2005, based on academic performance, service to the community by upbuilding student morale and spirit, leadership, and creative outreach. The award is given by the faculty.

Brother Maurus Mount, O.S.B., is the son of Frank E. and Alina M. Mount of Indialantic, Florida. He is a 1996 graduate of Melbourne High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in classical languages from Marquette University in 2000. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with highest honors.

He entered the novitiate at Saint Vincent Archabbey in July of 2001, and made his first vows on July 10, 2002. In 2002 he was named assistant guestmaster and assistant master of ceremonies/sacristan. In 2004 he was named manager of the Basilica Gift Shop.

Helene Elizabeth Paharik of Greensburg is co-director of Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University. She is a 1983 graduate of Quigley Catholic High School. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies and theology from Seton Hill in 1987 and has also particulated in the Notre Dame University Study Abroad Program in Jerusalem. She earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors.

Alan N. Polczynski of the Diocese of Greensburg is the son of Rose Polczynski of Lower Burrell and the late Sylvester Polczynski. He is a 1984 graduate of Burrell Senior High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater arts from Point Park College in 1989. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with honors. He also received the Hon. Judge Bernard F. Scherer Award, given to the student who most exemplifies the qualities evident in the life of Judge Scherer. Criteria for the award, given by the faculty, include a breadth of learning, knowledge which allows one to integrate theology and the life of the People of God with academic areas, wisdom and the ability to see the interconnectedness of all life, the practice of corporal works of mercy, witness to faith and a hope-filled attitude.

Br. Peter Rayappan, O.S.B., is the son of Nicholas and Amalorpavam of Dharmapuri, India. He is a monk of Asirvanam Benedictine Monastery. He is a 1992 graduate of St. Mary's High School in Dharmapuri. He received a P.U.C. degree from Saint Antony's College in Krishnagiri, India. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Mysore University in 1998. In 2004 he was named assistant to the prior at Saint Vincent. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors, and the Master of Divinity degree in 2005, with honors.

Sr. Marilyn L. Schauble, O.S.B., of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, Erie, is a 1966 graduate of McDowell High School in Erie and earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1970 from Mercyhurst College, Erie, in music education and voice. She received a master of arts degree from Saint Joseph College, Rensselaer, Indiana, in church music and liturgy and voice in 1979. She earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with highest honors.

Rev. Joseph E. Sioli, C.O. is a member of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Pittsburgh. He is a 1989 graduate of Pennsauken High School, Pennsauken, New Jersey. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992 and has also studied at Rutgers University. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with highest honors.

Charles C. Ugo of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is the son of Mrs. Cordelia Chizuba Ugo of Nigeria and the late Kevin Ugo. He is a 1995 graduate of Nguru Secondary Commercial School, Nigeria, and earned a bachelor of philosphy and R.A. degree from Claretian Institute of Philosophy in Nigeria in 2000. He earned the Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors.

MASTER OF DIVINITY

Rev. Vincent P. Cieslewicz, Jr. is from Houtzdale, Pa. He is a 1968 graduate of McKeesport High School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Slippery Rock University in 1972 and also studied theology at Saint Vincent College. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005.

Dr. William J. Hisker of Greensburg is the son of Mary J. Hisker of Greensburg and professor of business education at Saint Vincent College. He is a 1965 graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Saint Vincent College in 1969 and a MRCPL (professional masters degree) from the University of Oklahoma in regional and city planning in 1973. He earned a doctorate in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors.

John P. Mulcahy of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is the son of George and Anne-Marie Mulcahy of Pittsburgh. He is a 1989 graduate of Canevin Catholic High School, Pittsburgh. He received a bachelor of science degree in business accounting from Saint Vincent College in 1996. In 2004, he earned a master of arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors. He also received the Sacred Scripture Award in 2005, given to the graduating student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture.

Br. Jose Juan Ortiz, C.O. is son of Juan and Concepcion Luna Ortiz of Dallas, Texas. He is a member of the Pharr Oratory of Pontifical Right in Pharr, Texas. He is a 1992 graduate of Rio Grande City High School in Texas. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and English from The University of Texas - Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, in 1996. He also earned a Bachelor o f Catholic Thought degree in philosophy from Saint Philip's Seminary, which is affiliated to the Pontifical University of the Lateran, Rome. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005.

Chidi Osondu of the Diocese of Savannah is the son of Luke Chijioke and Sussan Uzoamaka Osondu of Nigeria. He is a 1991 graduate of St. John Cross Seminary in Nigeria. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosphy from Claretian Institute of Philosphy in 1998. In 2004, he earned the master of arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors, in addition to receiving the Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., Homiletics Award. Chosen by the Rector's Council, the award is given to the fourth-year student who has most clearly demonstrated excellence in preaching.

Mark Van Alstine of the Diocese of Savannah is the son of William L. and Marie A. Van Alstine of Augusta, Georgia. He is a 1983 graduate of Alleluia Community School, Augusta. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University in 1987 and also attended the University of South Carolina at Aiken. In 2004, he earned the master of arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary. In 2004, he also received the Honorable Judge Bernard F. Scherer Award, given to the student who most exemplifies the qualities evident in the life of Judge Scherer. Criteria include a breadth of learning, knowledge which allows one to integrate theology and the life of the People of God with academic areas, wisdom and the ability to see the interconnectedness of all life, the practice of corporal works of mercy, witness to faith and a hope-filled attitude. He earned the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, with high honors.

 



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