Two Saint Vincent Archabbey Benedictines with ties to the Pittsburgh region will be ordained to the priesthood by Most Rev. Anthony G. Bosco, Bishop of Greensburg, on Saturday, May 20. Br. Philip Michael Kanfush, O.S.B., of Monaca, and Br. Matthew Thomas Laffey, O.S.B., of Pittsburgh, will be ordained at a 10 a.m. Mass at Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.
Br. Philip is the son of Philip and Elizabeth (Farland) Kanfush, Jr., of Monaca. He is the youngest of six children. His sisters are: Denise Kempa and Aileen McCullogh, both of Monaca; Ladonna Dmitsak of Aliquippa; Monica Gorman of Medina, Ohio; and Michaleen Ensworth of Beaver Falls.
He is a 1980 graduate of Center Area High School, Monaca. At the the University of Pittsburgh he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985, and a Masters of Business Administration degree in 1991. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1996, and a Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1999, with highest honors. He also received the American Bible Society Award for excellence in the study of Sacred Scripture in 1999.
On July 1, 1993, he entered the Benedictine Community of Saint Vincent Archabbey and made simple profession of vows on July 10, 1994, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1997.
Before entering the monastery, Brother Philip was Assistant Director of Financial Aid and served as part-time faculty at the Community College of Allegheny County. Since arriving at Saint Vincent he has been an instructor in education (1994-present), assistant in the Benedictine Annual Appeal (1994-1996), assistant at the Archabbey gristmill (1994-1996), and director of the Basilica Gift Shop (1997-present).
From 1998 to 1999 he was Administrative Secretary to the Archabbot. He was ordained to the diaconate on April 19, 1999, and on August 15, 1999, began serving his diaconate internship at Saint Benedict Parish, Carrolltown.
Matthew Laffey, O.S.B.
Brother Matthew is the son of Alice (Kredell) Laffey of Pittsburgh and the late Edward Laffey. He is one of twelve children. His brothers and sisters are Regina Caldwell, Regis, Edward, Roseann Parker, Alice Leone, Margaret Vaughan, Helen Kondrich and Brendan, all of Pittsburgh; Theresa Laffey of Medina, Ohio and Monica Radkowski of St. Marys. A brother, Matthew, is deceased.
He is a 1972 graduate of Central Catholic High School there. He has attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary in 1999, with highest honors.
He made simple profession of Monastic vows on July 10, 1995. He made solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1998. He was ordained a deacon April 19, 1999 and has served his diaconate internship at Saint Peter Parish, North Side, Pittsburgh.
Before entering the monastery he worked for Allegheny Valley School for the mentally and physically impaired as a health provider. At Saint Vincent he has served as miller at the gristmill (1995-1996), assistant to the vocation director (1995-1998) and as socius of novices (1996 to August 1999). Brother Matthew was named vocation director in July of 1998.