Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

On August 12 Br. Richard Berquist (’10) entered the novitiate for the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Two weeks later, on the Feast of St. Augustine (August 27), he was vested and received the Dominican habit during compline.


Br. Richard (top row, second from left) with his fellow novices

Br. Richard is now undergoing the first year of Dominican formation at St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco, where he assists the church’s pastor and fellow alumnus, Rev. Michael Hurley, O.P. (’99). Prior to joining the Dominicans, Br. Richard earned a master’s degree in philosophy at The Catholic University of America. Please pray for him and all his fellow novices as they discern their vocations!


Justin Lefevre (’00)By God’s grace, the College has been blessed with 60 alumni priests to date, and more are still on the way. The latest young graduate to answer God’s call is Justin Lefevre (’00), who this month is entering the Sacred Heart of Jesus Monastery in Portland, Oregon — the first Maronite monastery in the Western United States. He will be a postulant with the Monks of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and he will soon begin preparing for the priesthood. “The College and its intentions will be in the monastery’s prayers continually,” he writes. And may he be in all of our prayers as he continues to discern his vocation.


Deacon Joshua Mayer ('03)The video above is of the ordination Mass of the Rev. Mr. Joshua Mayer (’03), whom the Most Rev. James Wall, Bishop of Gallup (N.M.), ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 24. Deacon Mayer is a seminarian at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado, where he studies under the direction of a fellow Thomas Aquinas College alumnus, Rev. Gary Selin (’89), the school’s formation director.

Frater Jacob (Joseph Hsieh ’06)Meanwhile, the College has learned the joyful news that another alumnus will also shortly be entering the transitional diaconate. Frater Jacob (Joseph Hsieh ’06), O.Praem., will be ordained on June 21 at the hands of the Most Rev. Kevin William Vann, Bishop of Orange (Calif.) and the College’s 2013 Convocation Speaker. Frater Jacob recently appeared on this blog when he and several of his Norbertine confreres performed at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in May.

May God bless both these young men in their new ministries and as they prepare for the priesthood!

 


Paul Jacobs and the Norbertine Abbey Choir

Frater Jacob (Joseph Hsieh ’06, left) and Frater Simeon (Charles Goodwin ’10, second from right), joined by 12 of their Norbertine confreres, performed at Los Angeles’s Disney Concert Hall on May 4, where they assisted Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs in presenting Bach’s Clavier-Übung III.

Fraters Jacob and Simeon are seminarians with the Norbertine Canons in Silverado, Calif., where they sing in the Abbey Choir. Mr. Jacobs, chair of the organ department at the Juilliard School, invited the choir to sing the chorale melodies of the German Missa Brevis at his concert. According to an article on the Norbertines’ website, the organist “was particularly interested that music written originally for religious purposes should be sung by a schola of religious.” Jacobs and the Norbertines performed the two hour-long work from memory, without intermission, drawing “an instant standing ovation from the packed house afterward.”

 


Deacon Matthew Busch (’04) By God’s grace, on Saturday, May 10, the Most Rev. Gregory Parkes will ordain Deacon Matthew Busch (’04) into the priesthood of Jesus Christ for the Diocese of Pensacola–Tallahassee (Fla.). Deacon Busch will the College’s 60th alumnus priest. His ordination will take place at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

Joshua Mayer ('03)Just two weeks later, Joshua Mayer (’03) will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, May 24, for the Diocese of Gallup (N.M.). Mr. Mayer is currently a second-year seminarian at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colo., where he studies under the direction of another Thomas Aquinas College alumnus, Rev. Gary Selin (’89), the school’s formation director.

Br. Andrew Marie Norton ('06)Finally, Br. Andrew Marie Norton, O.S.B. (’06) will be ordained to the priesthood on Sunday, October 26. A Benedictine monk, Br. Andrew is one of 11 Thomas Aquinas College alumni at Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, Okla. Like Mr. Mayer, he also benefits from the direction of a fellow alumnus, Rev. Mark Bachmann, O.S.B. (’82), the Abbey’s co-founder and subprior.

Please pray for these faithful young men and their vocations!

 


April 04,
2014

Matthew Busch ('04)

The College has just received word of another alumni ordination, following the two reported here earlier this week. By God’s grace, on Saturday, May 10, the Most Rev. Gregory Parkes will ordain Deacon Matthew Busch (’04) into the priesthood of Jesus Christ for the Diocese of Pensacola–Tallahassee (Fla.). Deacon Busch will the College’s 60th alumnus priest. Please pray for him, and praise be to God for His gift of so many holy vocations!


Joshua Mayer ('03)By God’s grace, Joshua Mayer (’03) will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, May 24, for the Diocese of Gallup (N.M.). Mr. Mayer is currently a second-year seminarian at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colo., where he studies under the direction of another Thomas Aquinas College alumnus, Rev. Gary Selin (’89), the school’s formation director.

Br. Andrew Marie Norton ('06)A few months later, Br. Andrew Marie Norton, O.S.B. (’06) will be ordained to the priesthood on Sunday, October 26. A Benedictine monk, Br. Andrew is one of 11 Thomas Aquinas College alumni at Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, Okla. Like Mr. Mayer, he also benefits from the direction of a fellow alumnus, Rev. Mark Bachmann, O.S.B. (’82), the Abbey’s co-founder and subprior.

Please pray for these faithful young men and their vocations!


Conor Bopp ('12)Following the recent news that Derek Remus (’11) has entered the seminary comes word that another recent graduate is doing the same: Conor Bopp (’12) is a first-year student at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, where he is studying for the Diocese of Omaha. On the diocesan website, Mr. Bopp writes:

“[Thomas Aquinas College] was something of a Catholic immersion program for me: my family and previous schooling had provided a basic understanding and love for God and the Church, but at the College I was thrown headlong into studies of Augustine, Aquinas, and Aristotle; discussions on ethics, predestination, and the miraculous Sacraments; and, for the first time in my life, I could attend daily Mass, in either the Novus Ordo or Tridentine forms. All of this disposed me toward hearing God’s call in my junior year.”

Perhaps while at Kenrick-Glennon, Mr. Bopp will reunite with his onetime tutor at the College, Dr. John Finley (’99), who now teaches philosophy at the seminary.

Please keep Mr. Bopp in your prayers as he faithfully answers God’s call!
 

 


Derek Remus ('11)“Certainly coming to the College has helped me in my vocation discernment,” remarked Derek Remus at the time of his graduation in 2011. “Studying St. Thomas, philosophy, and theology has increased my love of the intellectual life and has made me think more about a kind of teaching and preaching vocation in the priesthood.” After graduation, his plan was to spend some time retiring student debt and further discerning his vocation.

On Monday, just two year since his graduation, Mr. Remus will be taking the next step in answering God’s call. “I will be entering St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Calgary,” he writes.

Thanks be to God! Please join us in praying for Mr. Remus, his new life as a seminarian, and his continued discernment.


John Winkowitsch (’04) writes that the College “has helped inspire yet another alumnus to enter the seminary.” This fall he began studying for the Diocese of Madison (Wis.) at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. “I’ve never been happier,” he reports, adding, “My first semester has been wonderful, due in no small part to all the prayers of my friends and family.” Above is a vocational video he made for the Diocese this past summer:

Mr. Winkowitsch also presented a “Theology on Tap” in July on the subject, “Friendship: The Key to Eternal Happiness.” Audio of that talk is available below: