Spirituality

Benedictine Monks

Fr. Frank Ziemkiewicz, O.S.B.

Headmaster
Fr. Frank Ziemkiewicz, O.S.B., is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Prior of Benedictine Priory in Savannah. His previous experience includes serving as Dean of Students at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. and as pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in St. Mary’s, Pa. His service term at St. Mary’s was interrupted as he had to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Army during a tour of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He received a commission in the Army’s engineer branch in 1971 and through the ROTC was on active duty in Germany from 1972-74. His military service included having a company command for the 3rd Engineer Battalion while in Fort Stewart, Ga. from 1975-78. The Reverend Colonel’s final assignment was with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. While in Savannah, he became acquainted with the Benedictine community and pursued a calling to the priesthood.

Leaving active duty in the military, he went to the Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe. Father continued his military career following his ordination as a priest, later attaining the rank of Colonel before retiring in February 2007. He has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary.

Fr. Jean-Luc Zadroga, O.S.B.

Benedictine Prior and Theology teacher
Fr. Jean-Luc Zadroga, who hails from the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1997 from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and master of divinity and master of arts degrees in theology from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2001. He was ordained a deacon in 2000 and a priest in May 2001 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh by Bishop Donald Wuerl.

From 2001-02 he served as parochial vicar of Saint Margaret of Scotland, Green Tree. He served as secretary and master of ceremonies to Bishop Wuerl from 2002-03, then as parochial vicar of Saint Sebastian Parish, Ross Township from 2003-05. In December of 2005 he was named parochial vicar of Saint James Parish, Sewickley, where he served until July 2008, when he entered the novitiate at Saint Vincent.

Additionally, he served as chaplain for North Catholic High School from 2004-08. He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2008 and made solemn profession of monastic vows on July 11, 2012. At Saint Vincent he has served as assistant director of Campus Ministry and assistant in the Saint Vincent College Student Affairs Office and as an assistant in the Alumni Affairs Office.

Fr. Ronald Gatman, O.S.B.

Campus Ministry
Fr. Ronald Gatman was born Jan. 27, 1943, in Laconia, Ky. He graduated from Holmes High School and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of arts degree in education and French.

At age 24, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to California for nine months, followed by Texas for an additional three months of schooling. He served in Scotland for a year, followed by isolated duty for nine months in Turkey. Due to budget restraints, he was released early after serving in the Navy for three years and seven months.

Upon returning to the United States, to become fluent in French, he enrolled at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and attended for two semesters. He went into the seminary studying theology in Fribourg, Switzerland, and continued his pastoral studies at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa.

In 1974, he became a novice, accepting his simple vows. In 1977, he professed his solemn vows, and on May 19, 1979, he became an ordained priest. For the next 36 years, he taught at Benedictine Military School, teaching religion, until he retired from teaching in 2007. Since his retirement, he serves more as a priest, being called upon by former Cadets’ families to make presentations, for hospital visits, to perform sacraments of baptisms, weddings, and anointing of the sick.

Br. Timothy Brown, O.S.B.

Media Center Manager
Br. Timothy Brown was born in 1946 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He attended Holy Trinity School and Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie before completing two years at Dutchess Community College and then serving in the Navy Reserve.

Upon completion of active duty, he graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a bachelor of arts degree in art history. After graduation, he worked for the State of New York, in Albany, for several years.

One day, he went on a tour of the new county library and picked up a brochure from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., which is run by the Benedictines of St. Vincent Archabbey. The life of living in community, prayer and work appealed to him so he wrote to the vocations director at St. Vincent Archabbey, who invited him to visit. He said he immediately felt at home there.

While at seminary, he earned a master of divinity degree. In 1981, he was assigned to the faculty of Benedictine Military School, where he was involved with classroom teaching for two years and was then asked to acquire a master of library science degree at the University of Maryland so that he would be qualified to manage BC’s new media center. Along with managing the media center, he has taught courses in religious studies, and English grammar and composition. He also taught a course in TV production and helped Cadets produce live school news broadcasts that were transmitted throughout the school via a CCTV system. He served as moderator of the drama, speech and debate clubs. Br. Tim also assisted students with a school publication and had Cadets get involved with the Georgia Association of Media Assistants.

Fr. David Klecker, O.S.B.

Computer Science teacher
Fr. David Klecker, who is from Minnesota, earned a bachelor of science degree in 1997 from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He has done graduate work at the Angelicum in Rome, the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, and at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Conn.

He completed his master of divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary in 2016. He was ordained a deacon in the spring of 2011. At the Archabbey, his assignments have included work in the Archabbey Public Relations Office; assistant to the monastic community in computer technology and as a videographer.

Fr. David professed solemn vows on July 11, 2018, in Latrobe, Pa. He was ordained a priest Sept. 22, 2018, in Latrobe, Pa. He received his master's degree in computer science from Georgia Southern University in May 2019.

Br. Matthew Hershey, O.S.B.

Theology teacher
Br. Matthew Hershey, a native of State College, Pa., earned a degree in special education from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2008. In addition to teaching, he has coached club soccer, and been a high school boys junior-varsity soccer coach and varsity assistant.

He became a novice of Saint Vincent Archabbey on July 1, 2013, and professed simple vows on July 10, 2014.

He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in the fall of 2014. His assignments have included assistant director, Archabbey guests and guest facilities; assistant, college athletics; assistant to the director of vocations, and miller, Saint Vincent Gristmill.

Fr. John Paul Heiser, O.S.B.

Social Sciences and Psychology teacher
Fr. John Paul Hesier grew up in Bethel, Pa., and graduated from Bethel Park Senior High School, where he played lacrosse as defensive captain. Upon graduation he went on to Pennsylvania State University, where he earned bachelor of arts degrees in international politics and psychology, and was heavily involved in Catholic leadership on campus.

Immediately following completion of undergraduate studies, Fr. John Paul entered the novitiate of St. Vincent Archabbey. He took solemn vows along with Fr. Jean-Luc Zadroga in 2012. In 2013, John Paul was ordained a transitional deacon. On May 17, 2014, John Paul earned a master of divinity degree and bachelor of sacred theology degree from St. Vincent Seminary, and was ordained to the holy priesthood. He spent his first year as a priest as the only priest assigned to West Virginia University’s university parish, campus ministry, and as the primary chaplain to Ruby Hospital.

Fr. John Paul serves St. James Catholic School as a part-time parochial vicar while also teaching at Benedictine Military School, where he assists with BC’s lacrosse program.