Father Robert J. Roche, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will host an advent program, Lunch with the Lord, from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays during Advent. The free program will be held Nov. 27 (Friday), Dec. 3, 10 and 17 in the Saint Vincent Parish Center Assembly Room.
Father Robert studied at Xaverian College, an affiliate of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with a bachelor of science in biology in 1943. He earned his master of science in biology in 1952, also from Catholic University. Further studies in education were pursued at Saint John’s University in Brooklyn, N.Y. (1951-1953). He was ordained on June 2, 1962. He taught in the Biology Department of Saint Vincent College and also microbiology and anatomy to the nurses in training for the Latrobe Hospital until 1968. During his teaching time at Saint Vincent he wrote laboratory manuals in general biology and microbiology for private use at Saint Vincent College. In 1968 he was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Jeannette, and later to Penn State University as one of four Benedictine Catholic chaplains.
In 1969 Father Robert served in Taiwan, Republic of China, to assist at Wimmer Priory and teach at Fu Jen Catholic University in the Biology Department until 1985. He was recalled to Saint Vincent where he was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Saint Marys, then at Saint Mary’s Parish in Saint Marys.
In 1989 Father Robert was appointed pastor of Saint George Parish in Patton. From there he was assigned to Queen of Peace Parish, Patton, until he was reassigned to the abbey in 2009.