Lay Formation Programs Graduation - Saint John's Seminary
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Lay Formation Programs Graduation

May 24, 2021

On Monday, May 24th, five students from the Lay Formation Programs of Saint John's Seminary graduated earning either the Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (MAM) or the Master of Theological Studies Degree (MTS).

Cardinal Sean O'Malley celebrated a Mass for our graduates and their families. Following the Mass, each graduate was presented with their diploma during a commencement ceremony. Members of the Class of 2020 were also present and were ceremonially able to receive their degree. The commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 was cancelled last year due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Mass and ceremony were live-streamed on the seminary Facebook page.

Saint John's Seminary is a graduate school of theology and offers two fully accredited graduate degree programs in Catholic theology for laity, religious and deacons in addition to forming future priests. These two degree programs are faithful to the Catholic intellectual tradition, are carefully crafted to provide an integrated and thorough study of Catholic theology, and allow for specialization in one of two themes: acquiring skills to minister within the Church, or honing one’s skills to participate fully in the New Evangelization of the world.

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Brenden James Bell - MTS

Brenden Bell is a native of Southern California. He studied at St. Mary’s College of California where he graduated with a double major in religious studies and philosophy in 2011. Feeling drawn to the priesthood and religious life, he entered formation with the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in 2015. After several years of formation and discernment, he felt God call him to serve in the world as a layman leaving the seminary in 2019. In 2020, Brenden completed his MTS at Saint John’s Seminary with a thesis on G. K. Chesterton and the New Evangelization.

Brenden is extremely grateful for the education and spiritual formation that he has received from Saint John’s and the Oblates. He looks forward to new adventures as he continues to follow the Lord wherever He leads. Brenden is currently the Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ. There he helps oversee a number of parish ministries including men’s and women’s ministries, parish formation programs, and the Family RCIA program.

Deacon Peter W. Bujwid - MAM

Deacon Peter Bujwid is a permanent deacon serving the last two years at the parishes of St Agnes and St Camillus in Arlington. Deacon Peter has been married to Betsy for 31 years and together they have three adult children. He works in the field of Information Technology and most recently for the Archdiocese of Boston, where he has been for 8 years.

“The MAM program is both a deep and comprehensive course of study. It offers the student an opportunity to grow and develop their knowledge of scripture, Catholic teaching, theology and church history. It is a tremendously rich experience; one I would recommend for anyone who wishes to learn and grow in their understanding of our Church, our faith and of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Deacon Peter commenced his MAM studies while preparing for the permanent diaconate. He was ordained in 2019. "I will miss the time of student fellowship and the guidance and teaching of the faculty who are not only experts in their respective fields of study, but teach from a place of deep faith."

Deacon Robert P. Horne - MAM

Deacon Bob Horne and his wife Susan (MAM ’12 graduate) have been married for 33 years. They live in Needham where they raised their three children who are now grown and on their own. Bob has degrees from Boston College and Babson College (MBA) and worked for many years as a technology manager and consultant in the Financial Services industry.

Seeing how much Susan enjoyed her coursework and formation in the MAM program, Bob’s curiosity led him to the catechism certificate class and eventually to the permanent diaconate. He was ordained in September of 2018 at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, coincidentally (or not) the parish where he grew up and received his sacraments of initiation.

Bob has been assigned as Deacon to St. Joseph Parish in Needham where he and Susan are long-time parishioners. Since the goal of “faith seeking understanding” is never complete in this life, Bob has greatly appreciated this opportunity to continue ongoing formation in the Saint John’s Seminary Lay Formation Program.

Benjamin D. Knopf - MAM

Benjamin Knopf is the owner and sole carpenter of Bell Tower Timbers, LLC. Bell Tower Timbers is a woodworking company that specializes in ornamental timber framing and architectural wood carving for both ecclesial and residential customers.

Before beginning a company dedicated to the sacred arts, he spent six years in training as a seminarian of the Roman Catholic Church. This unique training allows his woodwork to achieve theological depth and beauty that will last for years to come.

Before becoming a seminarian, Benjamin attended a small vocation college where he majored in Building Trades-Construction. He graduated at top of the school of Applied Sciences and was awarded the Paul B. Orvis award for Excellence. Such excellence is reflected in the quality construction that he strives to bring to all his customers.

He is currently in the process of purchasing a large horse boarding facility with his wife and looks forward to the unique opportunities that will come with such a purchase, not least of which will be learning how to ride

Luciana R. Prunier - MAM

Luciana Prunier lives in Wayland, Massachusetts, with her husband and children. She became involved in Church Ministry as a catechist at Good Shepherd Parish in Wayland, and her love for catechesis and formation grew from there. She has been involved in various aspects of Church life including Liturgical Ministry, Pastoral Visitor at Leonard Morse and Emerson Hospitals, and Prison Ministry at MCI Framingham. More recently, she served as Director of Faith Formation at our local parishes. Prior to dedicating her time to assist the Church, she worked at Biogen Idec in Cambridge as a scientist for thirteen years. She is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and enjoys learning new languages.

Luciana is deeply grateful for the immense support and encouragement she received from her family, friends and co-workers, and all the amazing parish priests, spiritual mentors, and the religious sisters at St. Patrick’s Manor, and all the wonderful staff and faculty for the Lay Formation Programs at Saint John’s Seminary. She is very excited to see where the Lord will lead her to serve the Church next!