Two novices made their first profession of monastic vows on July 10 in the Saint Vincent Basilica. Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey, received the first vows of Brother Bonaventure Curtis and Father Peter Augustine Pierjok. The two men spent a year learning about the Benedictine order as novices. They will spend the next three years as junior monks, a period of reflection and monastic formation, at which time they can petition for solemn vows, which are a commitment to monastic vows for life.
Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B.
BROTHER BONAVENTURE CURTIS, O.S.B.
Brother Bonaventure Curtis, O.S.B., a native of southern California, 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 a successful business venture in insurance, 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. In the last 15 years, his practice focused on transactional matters, generally in the entertainment industry.
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 in 2000. She was survived by their three daughters, who were raised and continue to live in San Diego: Christina is a fourth grade teacher at Clearview Elementary School, Chula Vista; Stephanie Anne is a CPA and senior analysis for the Corky McMillian Companies; and Katherine Rose is a nursing student.
As of August 12, 2005, Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B. of St. Vincent assigned Brother Bonaventure to teach Freshman Composition and a business law course at St Vincent College, the fourth oldest Catholic college in North America. Brother Bonaventure will also work with the St. Vincent Archabbey Vocation Director and serve as an assistant in the Archabbot’s office, while he engages in full-time Pre-theology studies at St. Vincent Seminary.
Peter Augustine Pierjok, O.S.B. II
FATHER PETER AUGUSTINE PIERJOK, O.S.B.
Father Peter Augustine Pierjok, O.S.B., is the son of the late Harry A. Pierjok, Sr., and Emma L. Pierjok. His sister is Roseanne Pierjok Cross of Rolla, Missouri.
He is a 1965 graduate of Nashville Community High School, Nashville, Illinois. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in design from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1969, studied philosophy at both Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, and at Saint Vincent College, and earned a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1987.
Before entering Saint Augustine Community in 1983, he had a fifteen and a half year careeer in sales and marketing, last employed by Do-It Best, Inc., headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On April 16, 1987 he made perpetual vows with the Benedictine Community of St. Augustine, Peoria. He was ordained a deacon on May 23, 1987, and a priest on May 28, 1988 by Bishop Edward W. O’Rourke.
He was named associate director of Highwoods Learning Center, Washington, Illinois, in 1986 and director in May of 1988. At that time he was also named associate director of Saint Augustine Manor and Conference Center. In June 1990, Bishop John J. Myers appointed him assistant pastor of Saint Vincent DePaul Parish, Peoria. In 1992 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Church, Kickapoo, Illinois, and in June of 1999 pastor of St. Jude Church, Peoria. He served as pastor of St. Mary Church, Henry, Illinois; Immaculate Conception Church, Lacon, Illinois and St. Joseph Church, Henry, Illinois from June 2003 until June 2004 when he was released by the Diocese of Peoria to pursue a monastic vocation at Saint Vincent Archabbey. Father Peter Augustine completed the novitiate and professed first vows on July 10, 2005.