Two Benedictines will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, June 10 by Most Rev. Larry J. Kulick, J.C.L., Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. The monks are Brother Celestine Xu, O.S.B., of Shanghai, and Brother Gregory Visca, O.S.B., of Valrico, Florida.
CELESTINE XU, O.S.B.
Brother Celestine was born in a traditional Buddhist family. He was converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 2000 in Shanghai and baptized in Saint Ignatius Loyola Basilica in 2001.
He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey on July 1, 2015, and made simple profession of monastic vows on July 10, 2016. He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in 2016. He professed solemn vows on July 11, 2019. He was ordained to the diaconate on May 14, 2022 in the Archabbey Basilica by Bishop Kulick. Following his ordination he was assigned to serve as deacon at Christ the King Parish, Leechburg and Saint Gertrude Parish, Vandergrift. Brother Celestine earned the master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2023.
His other assignments at the Archabbey and College have included assistant to the director, Saint Vincent Gallery and assistant to the director, Saint Vincent Concert Series (2016-present); assistant in the Basilica Gift Shop (2016-2017); assistant to the director of vocations and calendarius (2017-2019)assistant director, Archabbey art collection (2018-present); assistant to the director of the Saint Vincent College bookstore and socius of juniors for the monastic community and assistant in the summer retreat program (2022-present).
GREGORY VISCA, O.S.B.
Brother Gregory Visca, the son of Michael and Victoria Visca of Valrico, Florida, was born in Kent, Ohio, but moved to Tampa with his family at the age of six. His sister is Brittany McMeans of Spring Hill, Tennessee.
He noticed a call to the priesthood at an early age, but it wasn’t until 8th grade that he started to seriously discern.
The call persisted throughout his time at Bloomingdale High School, from which he graduated in 2007, and then he applied to enter seminary for the Diocese of Saint Petersburg upon graduation. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint John Vianney College Seminary in 2011 and has also studied theology at Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. After completing his studies, he discerned that diocesan priesthood was not where he was being called, and he became a Pro-Life and Chastity missionary for Generation Life. During this time he encountered several monks from Saint Vincent Archabbey and began to discern a call to religious life.
He entered Saint Vincent Archabbey as a novice in 2018 and made first profession of vows on July 10, 2019. He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in 2019, in the master of divinity degree and ordination program, and is also working toward a master of arts degree in monastic studies.
Following his profession he was assigned as sacristan and assistant master of ceremonies (2019-2021); assistant to the director of vocations (2019-2021); and assistant Gift Shop manager (2019-2021). In 2021 he was assigned to teach theology at Benedictine Military School in Savannah. He returned to Saint Vincent in the fall of 2022 to complete his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained to the diaconate on November 26, 2022 by Most Rev. Larry J. Kulick, Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg.