Saint Vincent Seminary awards degrees to five from Diocese; Bishop Kulick receives honorary doctorate
LATROBE —Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, awarded 21 degrees at its May 12 commencement, including an honorary doctorate to Bishop Larry J. Kulick of the Diocese of Greensburg, for his outstanding leadership and service. A 1992 graduate of the Seminary and a 1988 graduate of Saint Vincent College, Bishop Kulick also gave the commencement address.
In conferring Bishop Kulick with the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, Seminary Rector Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B., noted that “the Saint Vincent Community honors you today for your distinguished leadership and humble service to the Diocese of Greensburg, to the Catholic Church in the United States, and to the Universal Church. As a priest and a beloved pastor and practitioner of canon law, you have brought the saving message of the Gospel for more than thirty years to the flock entrusted to you, and as the Bishop of Greensburg from 2021 until the present, you have represented the people of your diocese at the local and national levels, always striving to let the joy of the Gospel of Christ shine forth for all.
“You have committed yourself to more than three decades of ministry to the people of your home diocese as a priest and a mentor for all the faithful,” Father Edward said, “first as a parish priest at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish in Greensburg and Immaculate Conception Parish in Irwin, and later as pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Kent, Saint Joseph Parish in New Kensington, and Saint James Parish in New Alexandria. At the same time, you served as a key administrative official for the diocese in your roles as director of clergy vocations, director of the permanent diaconate program, and episcopal master of ceremonies. Later still you earned your licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America before returning to Greensburg to work as the diocesan Vicar General.”
Father Edward noted that since Bishop Kulick’s appointment by Pope Francis as the sixth Bishop of Greensburg on December 18, 2020, the bishop’s “episcopal ministry has taken shape in many ways as you have led your priests, religious, and faithful through challenging times and brought a deepened spirit of hope and energy to your fellow believers as the entire Church takes up the call to the New Evangelization. We honor you, too, for your gracious service to the students, staff, and faculty of Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, where you are a faithful member of the Board of Regents, a trusted advisor to the Seminary administration, and a deeply respected and admired example of a true good shepherd for our seminarians and faculty members alike.
“We honor you today, Bishop Kulick, for your generous dedication to sharing the joy of our Risen Lord with your brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Greensburg, and for your wholehearted embrace of your vocation. Inspired by the spirit of your patron, Saint Lawrence, may your life and labors continue to bear fruit for the Church of Greensburg and for all those who live by your motto: “Christ is the Truth.”
There were eleven Master of Divinity degrees awarded, nine for men who will be ordained to the priesthood; one Master of Arts degree in Catholic philosophical studies awarded; four Master of Arts degrees in Ecclesial Ministry and one Master of Arts degree in Systematic Theology. Three students received the Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree concurrently with the Master of Divinity. Four awards were also presented during the commencement exercises.
Degrees conferred on those from the Diocese of Greensburg
Andrew J. Hamilton (center) earned both the Master of Divinity, summa cum laude, and the Bachelor of Sacred Theology, summa cum laude, from Saint Vincent Seminary. He studied at Saint Vincent College, then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Gannon University, Erie, in 2019. Hamilton was awarded the Judge Bernard Scherer award, granted by the faculty to the student who most exemplifies the qualities in the life and the mission of Judge Scherer, who was also a professor at Saint Vincent. He dedicated much of his life to teaching and forming students at Saint Vincent College and Seminary. Consideration is not just based on the student’s grade point average, but the recipient must also share Judge Scherer’s love of learning, the ability to discern God in all things, and the desire to share the faith with all of God’s people. Hamilton earned the respect of both his professors and his peers for his commitment to growth in faith, to academic achievement, and to his formation. Hamilton, said Academic Dean Father Patrick Cronauer, is a “highly disciplined student who has earned the respect of both his professors and his peers for his commitment to growth in faith, to academic achievement and to his formation for the priesthood.”
The son of William and Donna Hamilton of Ford City, he will be ordained to the priesthood on June 3 in the Diocese of Greensburg.
Mark A. Ferlin (center) of Latrobe earned a Master of Arts in Ecclesial Ministry, magna cum laude, from Saint Vincent Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He obtained a Master of Science degree in hydrogeology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1993. He earned a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from Seton Hill University, Greensburg, in 2019. He and his wife Kathy live in Latrobe. He is in the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Diocese of Greensburg.
Jerome (J.T.) Tuskan (center) of New Kensington earned a Master of Arts in Ecclesial Ministry, summa cum laude, from Saint Vincent Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in journalism in 1976 and completed the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from Seton Hill University, Greensburg, in 2020. He is in the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Diocese of Greensburg.
Kate E. Parkinson (center) earned the Master of Arts in Ecclesial Ministry degree, summa cum laude, from Saint Vincent Seminary. She is a 2006 alumna of Saint Vincent College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. The daughter of Lawrence and Mary Kathleen Barkowski, she lives in Natrona Heights with her husband, Cody. A member of Saint Joseph Church in New Kensington, she serves the Diocese of Greensburg as the executive assistant to Bishop Kulick.
Katie Zuzik (center) earned the Master of Arts in Ecclesial Ministry degree, summa cum laude, from Saint Vincent Seminary. She is the pastoral associate of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, which is also her home parish. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in English-writing from Millikin University, and a certificate in Pastoral Ministry, and a bachelor’s degree in sacred music from Seton Hill University. She grew up in Greensburg but lived for many years in the Midwest before returning to her hometown.