Brother Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B., a native of southern California, will be ordained to the priesthood at Saint Vincent Archabbey by Most Rev. Lawrence E. Brandt, J.C.D., Ph.D., Bishop of Greensburg, on Saturday, May 29, 2010. Brother Bonaventure was raised in Minneapolis, MN and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1970, majoring in English and Secondary Education. He taught senior English at Coon Rapids Senior High School for two years before returning to southern California in 1972.
After successful business ventures in insurance and donut shops, he entered Western State University / Thomas Jefferson College of Law, San Diego, in the Fall of 1975 and completed his studies for the Juris Doctorate degree in December of 1977. He was admitted to the State of California Bar Association the following year and practiced law continuously thereafter, including nearly ten years of daily civil litigation practice in the areas of general business and corporate securities matters. During his law practice he was also Chief Executive of one of the nation’s largest travel agency concerns and became an expert in the field of franchise law. In the last 15 years of his practice, he focused on contracts, generally in the entertainment industry. He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in 2005, following his profession of simple vows as a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey. His parents, John and Vera Curtis, are both deceased, but were long-time residents of Coronado, California. His sister, a resident of Los Angeles since 1962, is Loretta Roberson. His wife, Roswitha, originally from Innsbruck, Austria, died from cancer in 2000. She was survived by their three daughters, who were raised and continue to live in San Diego: Christina is a first grade teacher at Clearview Elementary School, Chula Vista (a charter school); Stephanie Anne is a CPA and department supervisor at Cubic Corporation, a military-industrial giant headquartered in San Diego; and Katherine Rose is a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in San Diego.
He entered the novitiate at St. Vincent on July 1, 2004, made simple profession of monastic vows on July 10, 2005, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 2008. He was ordained to the diaconate on May 30, 2009 by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. He will be ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 2010. He earned the master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2010, with highest honors. He 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.
Brother Bonaventure has served as an assistant in the Archabbot’s Office (2005-2007), and was named assistant director of Archabbey vocations (2005-2009). While a full-time seminary student, he also taught Language Rhetoric, Business Law, and Introduction to Marketing classes as a member of the faculty of Saint Vincent College from 2005-present. In 2009 he was named secretary to the monastic chapter and the Council of Seniors, a development consultant for Benedictine Military School, Savannah, and acting executive director of the Saint Vincent Summer Theater.