The Oblates of Saint Benedict of Saint Vincent Archabbey have announced the 2024 schedule of talks on Benedictine spirituality. The talks are generally at 3 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month in the Brownfield Center, the building behind and adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica Parish Assembly Room. They are free to Oblates as well as to other inquirers.
Oblates of Saint Benedict are Christian men and women who choose to associate themselves with a religious community of Benedictine monks in order to strengthen their baptismal commitment and enrich their Christian way of life. Oblates do not take vows or live in a monastery. They continue to live in the world while they strive eagerly to live out the values of the Gospel.
Guests for the January 21 talk will have the opportunity to hear both Father John Mary Tompkins, O.S.B., vice rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, who is giving the afternoon talk, and Most Rev. Larry J. Kulick, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, who will give a talk that evening.
Father John Mary will speak about lectio divina, a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer in the Brownfield Center. Bishop Kulick will speak at 7 p.m. on the topic of “Intentional Discipleship” in the Parish Assembly Room.
Father John Mary received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and had assignments in Germany and northern Virginia before coming to the Archabbey. Ordained in 1993 he has served in the pastoral apostolate at numerous parishes and has been serving at the Seminary since 2010 in various roles.
Bishop Kulick is a 1984 graduate of Saint Joseph High School, Natrona Heights, Bishop Kulick earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, in 1988. He attended Saint Vincent Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in systematic theology in 1991 and a master of divinity degree in 1992. He was ordained to the priesthood May 16, 1992, by Bishop Anthony G. Bosco at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.
He was appointed the Sixth Bishop of Greensburg by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, December 18, 2020. Prior to his appointment as Bishop-elect, he served as Diocesan Administrator after his predecessor, Bishop Edward C. Malesic, was installed as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland September 14, 2020.
Father Philip Kanfush, O.S.B., procurator of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will give a talk on “Stewardship in the Rule and Benedictine Spirituality.” Father Philip is a professor in the Education Department at Saint Vincent College and also is the founder of the Bearcat B.E.S.T. program at Saint Vincent College. He is the author of Renewed Each Morning, Reflections from the Rocking Chair, and contributing editor to Saint Vincent Basilica: One Hundred years.
Brother John Fisher Helms, O.S.B., a junior monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, for a talk on Saint Benedict and His Rule. Brother John Fisher entered the Saint Vincent community as a novice in 2022.
Father Killian Loch, O.S.B., prior of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will speak about “Work in Benedictine Spirituality.” Father Killian was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton, where he served for many years, then felt a call toward the Benedictines. He came to Saint Vincent in 2010, and has worked in campus ministry at Saint Vincent College. He presently also serves as vocation director for the Archabbey.
Brother Hugh Lester, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey for nearly 30 years, in his talk on Forgiveness in Benedictine Spirituality. Brother Hugh has had a variety of roles at the Archabbey and at Saint Vincent Seminary, where he presently serves as financial consultant. He has worked in the retreat program, with the Benedictine annual appeal, and is also stipendarius.
Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B., rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, will speak on stablity in Benedictine spirituality. Father Edward has been a member of the monastic community for nearly 30 years. He also teaches sacred scripture at the Seminary, and writes and publishes at both the popular and academic levels. He frequently offers retreats for laity, religious and clergy.
Father Alfred Patterson, O.S.B., a hospital chaplain, will give a talk on “The Well and the Infirm in the Rule of Saint Benedict.” Father Alfred came to Saint Vincent from the Air Force, and has been a member of the monastic community for nearly 40 years. He has served in a number of parishes in the parish apostolate of the Archabbey, and is presently a chaplain
Father Justin Matro, O.S.B., pastor of Saint Bartholomew Parish, Crabtree, will speak on “Liturgy of the Hours,” the daily prayers of Church, which are marked through the hours of each day. Father Justin is a former rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, and continues to teach on the faculty. He has been involved in a number of community ministries, including work with the Union Mission homeless shelter for men. He is also known for his culinary abilities and has appeared on the television show “Chopped.”
Father Isaac Haywiser, O.S.B., will give a presentation on “Meditation and Contemplation in a Busy Life.” Father Isaac has been a monk of the Archabbey for nearly 15 years. He has served in the parish aposotlate and in a variety of other roles at the Archabbey and Seminary, including assistant health benefits manager, and an assistant in the bookstore, summer retreat program, and has assisted in hospital ministry.
Father Boniface Hicks will give a series of talks on Oblate Day on September 22 at Saint Vincent Archabbey. His topic is forthcoming and a schedule will be announced closer to the date. Father Boniface is director of spiritual formation at Saint Vincent Seminary and also directs the seminary’s Institute for Ministry Formation. He has been involved with WAOB radio, and is the co-author and author of numerous books.
The October 20 Oblate talk will be given by Brother Aidan Sheridan, O.S.B. Brother Aidan has been a member of the monastic community since 2021 and assists Father Donald Raila with the Oblate program. He is presently a student at Saint Vincent Seminary. His topic will be “The Eucharist and Benedictine Spirituality.”
The Oblate Day of Recollection is set for Saturday, October 28, with the speaker to be determined.
Brother Jose Rosa, O.S.B., a junior monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will talk on “Beauty in Benedictine Spirituality” on November 17. Brother Jose is a student at Saint Vincent Seminary, works in Campus Ministry at Saint Vincent College, and is involved with a number of different retreat programs and the Knights of Columbus.
The December 15 Oblate talk and speaker is still in the process of being scheduled.