The Reverend Colonel Frank Ziemkiewicz, O.S.B., retired U.S. Army Colonel and pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, has been named Headmaster of the Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, and Prior of Benedictine Priory, effective August 1, according to an announcement by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey, which sponsors the school. He will succeed the Reverend Jude Brady, who has served as headmaster since 1999.
Benedictine Military School is a Catholic, Benedictine, high school educating a diverse male population in the military tradition. While Benedictine is committed to preparing young men for college, the school also fosters life-long learning and service to the community.
Father Frank has served as pastor in St. Marys since 1999, with his term of service interrupted by a tour of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. While in St. Marys he also served as superior of the Benedictine Priory.
“Father Frank has served the monastic community as well as its educational and pastoral apostolates, and his country, with great success,” Archabbot Douglas said. “He is an outstanding leader, excellent priest, educator and administrator. His experience as a pastor, as Dean of Students at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, and in the military provides him with a wealth of experience as he undertakes his new duties as Headmaster of Benedictine Military School in Savannah—one of the leading college preparatory schools in the Nation.” Father Frank was ordained a priest in 1984, and served as Director of the Physical Plant (1984-1994) and Dean of Students (1994-1999) at Saint Vincent College. He was a member of the Opportunity Program’s advisory board, and was honored for his outstanding service by Saint Vincent College students in 1991, 1995 and 1998 with the presentation of a Student Government Award.
The Army has been a large part of Father Frank’s life. He received a commission in the Army’s engineer branch in 1971 through ROTC and served on active duty in Germany from 1972 to 1974 and at Fort Stewart, Georgia from 1975 to 1978, in the 3rd Engineer Battalion where he had a company command. His final appointment at Fort Stewart was with the the Corps of Engineers, Savannah District.
While stationed in Savannah, he became acquainted with the Benedictine community there, and pursued a calling to the priesthood. Father Frank then left active duty to enter the monastery at Saint Vincent. He continued his military career following his ordination. As a reserve officer, he was assigned as an engineer with the Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, later the Baltimore District then, after ordination, as a chaplain with the 339th General Hospital, Pittsburgh and then with the 464th Chemical Brigade, Johnstown, PA.
He attained the rank of Colonel before retiring in February of 2007.
From July of 2005 to January 2006 he was deployed to Afghanistan serving principally in the Kandahar region. Later in January and through June, he was assigned to the Multi-National Corps – Iraq, Chaplain’s Office, Baghdad where he served as the senior priest in the country.
Father Frank succeeds Father Jude Brady, O.S.B., who has served as President of Benedictine Military School and prior of the monastic community in Savannah since 1999.
“Father Jude has done an exceptional job for the past eight years leading Benedictine,” said Paul P. Hinchey, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We regret his departure, but we also understand why Archabbot Douglas needs his gifts and experience in a new ministry.”
Father Jude will become pastor of Saint Benedict Parish in Carrolltown, in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. He will also serve on the Human Resources Council at Saint Vincent Archabbey.
“I’m very pleased to rejoin the Savannah community and to serve the students and alumni of Benedictine,” Father Frank said. “I am also fortunate to follow on the very excellent efforts of Father Jude.”
Born July 17, 1949 in Schenectady, New York, Father Frank is the son of the late Frank Paul Ziemkiewicz and Lucille Catherine (Stabile) Ziemkiewicz. He has two sisters, Eleanor Marie Maliszewski of Sarver, Pennsylvania and Susan Marie Hummerich of College Park, Maryland; and two brothers, Dr. Paul Frank Ziemkeiwicz of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Alexander Paul Ziemkiewicz of Pittsburgh.
He attended St. Scholastica Parochial School, Aspinwall, and is a 1967 graduate of Fox Chapel Area High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1983.Father Frank made simple profession of vows on July 10, 1979 and solemn profession of vows on July 10, 1982 at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. He was ordained a priest on May 26th, 1984 at the Archabbey Basilica before the late Bishop William G. Connare of Greensburg.
For additional information on this story contact Paul Hinchey at 912-819-2404.