Meet our 2022 Graduates - Saint John's Seminary
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Meet our 2022 Graduates

May 22, 2022

The Saint John's Seminary community offers heartfelt congratulations to our sixteen Lay Formation Programs graduates.

On Monday, May 23 sixteen Lay Formation Programs Graduates attended a Commencement Mass celebrated by Bishop Uglietto.

Saint John's offers a Lay Formation Program open to laity, professed religious, and deacons. The lay Formation program offers two fully accredited graduate degree programs in Catholic theology. These two degree programs are faithful to the Catholic intellectual tradition and are carefully crafted to provide an integrated and thorough study of Catholic theology.

Saint John's offers two degree programs which allows candidates to acquire skills necessary to minister within the Church, or honing one’s skills to participate fully in the New Evangelization of the world.

  • Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM)
    For those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Catholic faith and serve the local church — usually in an official ministerial capacity.
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
    For those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Catholic faith and evangelize the fields of culture, work, politics and family.
Learn more


Photo Album

Romanus Ejikeme Ajaero

Master of Arts in Ministry

Romanus Ejikeme Ajaero grew up from a Catholic family. He is married with six children. Romanus has been a founding member and the first Coordinator of the Power of Prayer Charismatic Renewal, a Nigerian prayer group located at Saint Katharine Drexel Parish in Dorchester. He held this position from its inception in 2006 until 2017.

He is the current Coordinator for the Healing/Deliverance ministry for the Charismatic Renewal Services of the Archdiocese of Boston, a ministry he started in 2010, working with various ethnic communities like the Anglos, Hispanics, Haitians, Ugandans, Nigerians, and Vietnamese, providing ministrations to all peoples.

Romanus has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and works at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and Edinburg Center in Bedford, MA.

He is also affiliated with Trinity Health Services, Inc. as the Coordinator, responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training of staff since 2000.

In 2019, he felt inspired to go back to school to obtain a Master’s degree in Ministry at Saint John’s Seminary. Romanus and his family are also involved in various ministries at Saint Jude Church in Waltham, MA. Romanus completed his Field Education program at Saint Jude and subsequently started a prayer group, which meets weekly, and a healing mass, which is held once a month.

Romanus is completing his Master’s Degree program in May 2022 and plans to continue to work in the vineyard of the Lord as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Deacon Jared Auclair

Master of Arts in Ministry

Jared was ordained to the permanent diaconate in October of 2020 and is assigned to St. Michael's Parish in Hudson, MA. Over the last year or so he has enjoyed getting to know the community and to engage in several ministries from performing baptisms to helping teach faith formation. One day Jared hopes to be able to teach in the permanent diaconate program. Professionally, he is the Associate Dean of Professional Programs and Graduate Affairs at Northeastern University and an analytical chemist. Jared has been married to his wife, Melissa, since 2007 and has two children, Madison, 14, and Jackson, 11

Deacon Ronald A. Dowding

Master of Arts in Ministry

Ron Dowding is a permanent deacon serving in the parish of St. Mary in Holliston where he and his wife Jeanne have worshiped for over 30 years. They have two adult sons. Deacon Ron has degrees and certificates from Northeastern University and Harvard University and has worked in the IT industry for many years.

Ron was drawn to the diaconate after serving in many ministerial capacities for several years. He was ordained into the Permanent Diaconate by Cardinal O’Malley on October 3, 2020.

Ron is grateful for the dedication of the faculty and staff and the fellowship of the students in the MAM/MTS programs. He is now looking forward to exploring new ministries in his retirement years.

Deacon Anthony Foti

Master of Arts in Ministry

Deacon Anthony Foti is a permanent deacon serving the last year at St. Patrick’s parish of Stoneham. Deacon Anthony has been married to Franca for 31 years and together they have three adult children. He works as an optometrist in Wilmington where he has had a private optometric office for over 30 years.

Deacon Foti writes, “The MAM program is a comprehensive course of study. It offers everyone an opportunity to grow and develop their knowledge of Catholic teaching and Sacred Scripture, theology, and church history. It is a tremendous discernment process and a rich faith experience; one I would recommend highly for anyone who wishes to learn and grow in their understanding the mission of our Church, our faith and of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Deacon Anthony commenced his MAM studies after he was ordained into the permanent diaconate. He was ordained in 2020. According to Deacon Foti it was the perfect year for an eye doctor, looking to restore 20/20 vision to his patients. He adds, "I will miss the 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."

Peggy Higgins

Master of Arts in Ministry

Peggy lives in Wayland with her husband Geoff, a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Boston at Good Shepherd Parish. Their son Pat and his wife Jenna live in the Philadelphia area and are the wonderful parents of two young daughters. Peggy is fully immersed in parish life at Good Shepherd Parish as a liturgical minister, choir member, and co-coordinator for Adult Small Groups. She is also an active member of the Boston Cursillo Movement of the Archdiocese of Boston as well as in the After Care Prison Ministry for the women at MCI-Framingham. Recently retired, she has had a lengthy career in academia as an Associate Dean at Brandeis University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Dean at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and at her alma mater Wheaton College. Peggy considers it a blessing both spiritually and academically to have been part of the MAM program. She looks forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for her next.

Matthew Allen Giles

Master of Theological Studies

Matthew is a native of Massachusetts. A convert to Catholicism, he was received in the Catholic Church in 2008. His desire to know the Lord and to serve the Church have led him in many directions over the years. After spending several years in formation with the Capuchin Franciscans in New York, Matthew returned to Massachusetts, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Emmanuel College in Boston and began his teaching career. In addition to his BA, he also earned a Master of Education, also from Emmanuel.

He spent 8 years working at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston, mostly recently at Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham. Matthew is currently on a faculty of the Brother Robert Treanor, CFX Middle School Division at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, teaching Church History to 8th Graders. Matthew is immensely grateful for his education in the MTS program at Saint John’s and for the opportunities it has provided to dive deeper into the great mysteries of the Faith.

Timothy Habeeb

Master of Theological Studies

Tim Habeeb is the Youth Minister at St. Mary's - St. Helen's - St. Thecla's Parish (Hanover, Norwell, and Pembroke, MA) and coordinates the parish's Life Teen SMASH youth ministry program. Tim is a graduate of Boston College, where he studied Psychology and minored in Mathematics. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Tim began working part-time as a Youth Minister, and was excited to transition to full-time ministry upon his graduation. He is proud to work in the same parish and Life Teen program that he attended while growing up. Tim also serves as the Massachusetts Area Contact for Life Teen.

Deacon Joe Harrington

Master of Arts in Ministry

Originally from St. Ann Parish in Dorchester, Deacon Joe is the eldest in a family of nine. He lives in Scituate with his wife Cathy of 34 years. They have two adult children, Justine and Joseph. Deacon Joe credits Cathy for encouraging his vocation and inspiring him to a life of service. She herself has devoted her nursing career to serving patients in Oncology, Home Health Care, Hospice and currently Cardiac Surgery.

Deacon Joe was ordained in 2013 and serves as a Permanent Deacon at the Collaborative Parishes of Resurrection and St. Paul in Hingham. He has previously served on the Board of Directors at Elizabeth Seton Academy in Dorchester and Boston Catholic Radio. He attended Don Bosco Technical High School and earned a B.S.B.A. degree in Marketing from Suffolk University in Boston. After many years in the management of New England radio stations, he left the radio industry to work with the Diocese of Fall River. He serves as Associate Director of Strategic and Pastoral Planning.

Deacon Joe is thankful to Fr. Tom Nestor for his encouragement and spiritual support. He is also grateful to Dr. Aldona Lingertat and Dean Paul Metilly, PhD for their guidance and inspiration to complete the MAM degree.

Deacon Joe strives daily to live the wisdom of the prophet Micah: “To Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humble with God”.

Jessica Keefe

Master of Arts in Ministry

Jessica Keefe is a resident of Dracut, MA. Also a graduate of Rivier University, Jessica fell in love with ministry at an early age. She is currently the Director of Faith Formation at her home Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Dracut, having worked there for the past twelve years in various capacities. It was her time there during which she realized she wanted to make a lifelong career of working in ministry. Jessica also co–owns Repair & Replenish Retreat Missions, working with many different parishes throughout the Archdiocese to plan retreats and mission trips. She credits her drive for working in this field to her late, beloved friend and former co-worker, Kathy Long, who pushed her to follow this path. In Jessica’s free time, she loves to travel and see the world. She is a newlywed to the love of her life, James, and after graduation, she looks forward to their honeymoon and taking some time to relax. Jessica is so thankful to all those who helped her here in the MAM program to accomplish her dream of achieving this Master’s degree, and she will be forever grateful.

Moira McCarty

Master of Theological Studies

Moira McCarty lives in Manville, Rhode Island. As a teenager, she was very involved in her local Catholic Youth Center, which inspired her to pursue an undergraduate degree at Le Moyne College, majoring in Religious Studies with a minor in music and business. It is in this formation where she discovered her love of youth ministry and faith formation.

Moira’s brother, Fr. Francis McCarty, OSB influenced her to pursue a Master of Theological Studies degree at Saint John’s Seminary. She is very grateful to him for his guidance and support as a mentor on her ministry journey. She is also very grateful to the MTS program for enriching her ministry experience and providing a welcoming environment to grow spiritually and academically.

Currently she serves as the Pastoral Coordinator at St. Aidan - St. Patrick Parish in the Diocese of Providence, organizing the parish office as well as the Faith Formation and Youth Ministry programming.

Lynne O’Connor

Master of Arts in Ministry

A native Bostonian, Lynne resides in Bedford, MA with her husband “OC” of 35 years. Together they are proud parents of two adult children and are active parishioners at St. Michael’s where Lynne taught religious education for several years as their children grew before shifting her focus to adult faith formation. Since 2011 she has led the Women of Grace ministry at her parish and also serves as a Regional Coordinator for the national apostolate.

Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Lynne pursued a business career for three decades as a management consulting partner and marketing executive. During this time, she experienced a deepening conversion as she and her husband cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s Disease. After her mother’s passing, she felt increasingly drawn to ministry work as a vocation and in 2016 enrolled in the Master of Arts in Ministry program (MAM) part-time shortly after meeting Dr. Aldona Lingertat at a Co-Workers in the Vineyard conference.

Reflecting on her journey as a MAM student, Lynne appreciates the wisdom and value of the program’s “whole person” approach to lay formation that addresses academic, human, pastoral and spiritual development. She is especially grateful for the dedicated and supportive community of staff, students, and alumni who share a passion for serving the Church. Looking ahead she is excited to join the staff of Women of Grace as Director of Mission Growth and Expansion.

Deacon Frank Perez de Alderete

Master of Theological Studies

Deacon Frank Perez de Alderete was born in Boston to Cuban parents who had made the United States their new home. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History/Political Science from Barry University, Florida. Upon moving back to Massachusetts, Frank enjoyed working as a catechist for various parishes across the Archdiocese of Boston.

After prayerful consideration, he decided to undertake classes that would allow him to become ordained as a Permanent Deacon. On October 2, 2021, he was ordained, and has received abundant joy from this sacrament. He has been assigned to the Holy Rood Collaborative in Chelmsford.

Frank enjoys teaching and sharing the gospel with people of all ages, especially when in the setting of Prison Ministry and has been excited to learn many new techniques throughout the MTS Program that he can incorporate into his daily ministry.

He has been married to his wife, Mary de Alderete, for 34 years, and is the proud father of Jonathan, Raquel, and Gabrielle. He’s also pleased to call Erin his daughter-in-law.

Deacon Peter Richardson

Master of Arts in Ministry

Deacon Peter Richardson is a Permanent Deacon assigned to All Saints Parish in Haverhill, MA. He was ordained in 2020. Deacon Peter and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 35 years and have two adult children. They became grandparents in 2021 and Deacon Peter baptized his first grandchild! Deacon Peter is currently semi-retired after a successful 37-year career as a professional civil engineer.

Raised as an Episcopalian, Deacon Peter went through RCIA and was received into full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 2000. He became involved with RCIA and soon realized that he needed to study the Faith on a deeper level so he could teach RCIA classes. After living his Cursillo in 2008, he began discerning a call to the diaconate. “Once I started my diaconate formation, I decided to take the MAM degree option so I could increase my understanding of the Faith and be more effective in ministry. The MAM program has more than met my expectations and I highly encourage anyone involved in Church ministry to consider pursuing a MAM degree. It has certainly made me a better witness for Jesus!”

Daniel Sousa

Master of Theological Studies

Sister Louise Marie Turner, MICM

Master of Theological Studies

Sr. Louise Marie, MICM owes her seven siblings, her vocation, her love of literature, learning, and people, to her parents, Ann and Ted. Her parents taught them awe for Christ’s real presence in the Sacrifice of the Mass and devotion to Our Lady in the daily family Rosary.

After attending Trivium School, Sister studied at the University of Dallas: English, and also polyphony, the creative imagination, javelin-throwing, human and divine friendship, and the sacramental life.

In 2010, Sister was drawn by their joy, communal charity, and love of the Church and her teachings to enter the Sisters of Saint Benedict Center, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Still River, MA, (

Sister thanks Sister Cecilia and her community for the gift of the MTS studies, and profoundly thanks the encouraging faculty and staff. Classes on the Trinity, on man’s participation in salvation, and on the world today, have deepened her understanding of Christ’s mysteries and of effective evangelization. They have enriched her Confirmation classes and her work in the Sisters’ missionary-styled bookselling across the US.

Sr. Louise Marie organizes retreats and walking pilgrimages for youth. As vocation director, she especially loves speaking about religious life and discernment, Christ’s personal love, technology and the Rosary, at colleges, parishes, and her convent.

Nicolas Twaalfhoven

Master of Theological Studies

Born in Berkeley, CA, Nick and his family settled in Marblehead, MA after a few quick early moves that included five years in his father’s native Netherlands. Beginning in elementary school, Nick became involved in his hometown parish, “Our Lady, Star of the Sea,” singing in the children’s choir and serving as an altar server. After completing four very formative undergraduate years at Boston College, where he went to as many football and hockey games as possible, Nick moved across the street to Saint John’s Seminary, where he spent a few years discerning a call to the diocesan priesthood. He remains incredibly grateful for the rich spiritual and academic formation he received and for the friends he met while in the seminary, and especially enjoyed learning about and singing Renaissance Polyphony. A few years ago, with Saint Francis unexpectedly guiding the way, Nick met his best friend and wife, Gabriela, who is now expecting their third child! Both now teach high school theology, Gabriela at Central Catholic in Lawrence and Nick at Bishop Fenwick in Peabody. You will frequently find the two of them debating contemporary theological and political issues while persuading toddlers to eat healthy food.