The Theological Institute of Saint John's Seminary Celebrates Graduation of 11 Students - Saint John's Seminary
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The Theological Institute of Saint John's Seminary Celebrates Graduation of 11 Students

May 24, 2024

Brighton, MA – May 24, 2024 – The Theological Institute of Saint John's Seminary honored eleven graduates on Thursday, May 23rd, at a commencement ceremony. The graduates earned either a Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) or a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley officiated at a celebratory Mass for the graduates and their families. Following the Mass, each graduate received their diploma during the commencement ceremony.

"We are incredibly proud of our graduates and the dedication they have shown in pursuing their theological studies," said Very Rev. Stephen Salocks, Rector. "These degrees will equip them to serve the Church and their communities in vital leadership and ministerial roles."

About the Theological Institute

The Theological Institute at Saint John's Seminary offers two graduate programs in Catholic theology. The MAM and MTS programs are grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and provide a comprehensive exploration of Catholic theology. Students can specialize in either pastoral ministry or the New Evangelization to prepare for specific areas of service within the Church.

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📸 Photos: Gregory Tracy

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Graduation Class of 2024

Ami Bailey-MAM

Ami Bailey received her B.A. at Brandeis University. She is currently the Office Administrator at Trinity Church in the city of Boston. Her role at Trinity has included assisting the clergy with their needs as well as managing HR and payroll for the staff. Ami is a lector and a member of the choir in her home parish, Our Lady of the Angels in Hanover. She is pursuing work in the Catholic Church as Pastoral Associate post-graduation.

Anthony Caruso-MAM

Anthony was born in Newton, MA, attended Newton Public Schools and then Boston University where he received his B.S. in Secondary Education. He joined the Master of Arts in Ministry Program here at Saint John’s Seminary back in 2017 and has been taking courses and working on field education projects since. After a wonderful forty-year career in banking, Anthony began working at Ascension Parish in Sudbury and Maynard and now at Corpus Christi-Saint Bernard Parish as Business Manager. In his role, Anthony is responsible for the obvious functions such as paying the bills, maintaining the campus and overall office administration, but he also has the opportunity to contribute pastorally, participating in parish planning, small groups, assisting with wakes and cemetery prayers and working with individual parishioners as needs arise. Anthony says he has found the coursework in the Master of Arts in Ministry Program has been an immense help and motivation in his day-to-day responsibilities as well as in preparing him to support the parish in other ways in the future. Anthony lives in West Newton with his wife Clara and they have three adult children and six grandchildren with whom they love to spend their free time.

Deacon Daniel Cerys-MAM

Deacon Daniel Cerys is a native of Wisconsin. Escaping the cold, he attended Stanford University, where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees. It was there he fell in love with his wife, Phyllis (Diaz) Cerys. Deacon Dan and Phyllis have been married for 35 years. They live in Melrose and are long-time members of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish. He was ordained as a permanent deacon in 2023, and Deacon Dan feels blessed to be assigned to St. Mary’s parish where he has begun an active ministry that includes being a minister of the Word (proclaiming the Gospel, preaching, catechesis), a minister of the Liturgy (Mass, baptisms, weddings, and funerals), and a minister of Charity (helping the poor, visiting the elderly and the sick). As a deacon active in both the Church and working in the secular world, he is a computer scientist researching artificial intelligence, cyber security, and team behaviors.

Although the majority of Deacon Dan’s M.A.M. courses and formation activities were accomplished within the archdiocese’s Diaconate Formation Program, most were taught by faculty of The Theological Institute at Saint John's Seminary, providing an excellent foundation for diaconal ministry.

Paula Chesbrough-MAM

Paula grew up in East Boston and is a descendant of the Chesebrough family who arrived in Boston from Boston, England in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet. She graduated from the former Girls’ High School in Roxbury, the nation’s first all-girls high school, established in 1825. She entered the workforce to establish a career in banking that would span more than 50 years. As a banker, she developed a broad range of skills enriched by her part-time attendance at Simmons College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, followed by an MBA from Bentley University. Paula retired from banking as an Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2020.

Since childhood, Paula has been engaged in lay ministry. At 10, she began singing in the parish choir and continues to today. She has served as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Usher, Funeral Team member, and has chaired the Liturgy Committee at Corpus Christi – St. Bernard parish for over 15 years, as well as being a member of the Parish Finance Council. Paula entered the M.A.M. program to cultivate her faith and strengthen her bond with Jesus. Upon graduation, she is looking forward to whatever Jesus has planned for her.

Deacon David Cosgrove-MTS

David Cosgrove was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the seventh child of Joseph and Patricia Cosgrove. At an early age, the family moved to Duxbury, Massachusetts, where he spent his childhood. After graduating Duxbury High School in 1991, David and his identical twin brother attended Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. In the Spring of 1995, David graduated from Saint Anselm College with a BA in History. During his time at Saint Anselm, David met his wife of over 24 years, Jasmine. David and Jasmine currently reside in Duxbury where they raise their three children: Jack, Aidan, and Bridget. In the fall of 2022, David was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston and is currently assigned to Holy Family Parish of Duxbury where he has been a parishioner for more than 35 years.

Kari Decelles-MAM

Kari Decelles lives in Westford, Massachusetts with her husband Larry. Together they have three adult children, Maria, Teresa, and James.

Kari is a communicant of Blessed Trinity Parish and is a member of the Living with Loss ministry team, helping those experiencing grief find comfort and hope in Jesus Christ as well as a facilitator of the Circle of Friends ministry assisting caregivers and loved ones find hope, strength, and dignity while managing the progression of dementia. Additionally, she serves as a Eucharistic minister to the homebound and at Emerson Hospital.

While employed with a medical device company, Kari was drawn towards hospital and hospice chaplaincy after caring for several loved ones with terminal illnesses. The Master of Arts in Ministry (M.A.M.) program at Saint John’s Seminary has fostered Kari’s development theologically, and spiritually, while increasing her appreciation for the gifts of humanity through different field education placements.

Through the M.A.M. program, Kari has enjoyed “steeping” in theological and spiritual discovery while deepening her personal relationship with Jesus Christ and expanding her participation in His mission.

Kari is a chaplaincy intern at Holy Family Hospital and will be continuing her chaplaincy certification journey at Brigham and Women’s Hospital this summer.

Lorna DesRoses-MAM

Lorna DesRoses is a wife, daughter, sister, tatie (aunt), cousin, singer, and guide dog handler. She currently serves Black Catholics within the Archdiocese of Boston in the office of Multicultural Ministries.

With a background of teaching English as a Second Language and intercultural competency across diverse educational settings, Lorna is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry at The Theological Institute of Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA and is the creator and host of the Voices from the Pews podcast. She strives to joyfully give witness to the Good news of the love of Christ with everyone she meets. She lives in Boston with her husband.

“We unite ourselves with Christ’s redemptive work when we reconcile, when we make peace, when we share the good news that God is in our lives, when we reflect to our brothers and sisters God’s healing, God’s unconditional love.” Sr. Thea Bowman

Deacon Alan Doty-MAM

Deacon Alan Doty was ordained by Cardinal Archbishop O’Malley in September 2017 and is assigned to the Walpole Catholic Collaborative. He and his wife Pam have three adult children and a granddaughter. He is actively involved in RCIA and the Archdiocese Pro-Life office. Beyond his spiritual commitments, Deacon Alan’s interests are in science, the business of science, and exploring the intersection of science and faith. He finds great worth in the M.A.M. program as it gave him new tools to see and listen to the world through the eyes and ears of faith while strengthening his dedication to the Church and to his service as a Deacon.

Brother Nathanael Gregor, OCD-MAM

Br. Nathanael of Jesus is a Discalced Carmelite Friar at the Monastery of the Espousal of Mary and Joseph, located in Brighton, Massachusetts. From Milan, Michigan, he entered the novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ after graduating from high school. After studying classical humanities at their seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut and serving in the community's youth ministry in Oakville, Ontario, he left the Legionaries in order to discern a vocation as a brother in a more contemplative form of religious life. Returning to Michigan, he worked as a Latin teacher while furthering his discernment. Drawn by the teachings of St. John of the Cross, he began to discern a vocation with the Discalced Carmelite Friars and entered their postulancy program in Brighton, Massachusetts in 2019. After two years of initial formation at the Carmelite monastery and shrine at Holy Hill, Wisconsin, he returned to Brighton to study at Saint John’s Seminary as part of his formation for solemn vows.

Susan Ho-MAM

Susan is a Catholic convert, wife, mom, entrepreneur, and Director of Faith Formation and long-time catechist at Saint James the Greater parish in Boston. She is also a blogger who writes about her faith journey and experience in Lost Sheep Found.

The oldest of two children born to immigrant Chinese parents, she is a native of New York who spent her adolescent years in Virginia before landing in Massachusetts. Initially aspiring a career in medicine, she completed an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Old Dominion University instead, intent on pursuing a love for health and fitness. She later followed her parents’ footsteps into business ownership in an industry that has blended well with her various ministry roles.

While difficult to accept it was not God’s will for her to heal bodies as a medical doctor, she discerned over time that her greatest joy was found in healing souls in His vineyard instead. Her favorite spiritual companions include Saints Thérèse of Lisieux, Teresa of Calcutta, and the Desert Fathers. Her time of formation at The Theological Institute of Saint John’s Seminary is a fulfillment of her desire “to become successful in God’s eyes, not man’s.”

Maribeth Scott-MAM

Maribeth Scott lives in West Roxbury. She helps to train and coordinate the liturgical ministries at her home parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton. She is an active member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Sacred Heart & Our Lady Help of Christians Collaborative and is on the Secretariat of the Boston Cursillo. She enjoys the outdoors, including activities like hiking, skiing, and going to the beach. She's also a big fan of the Boston Bruins and loves spending time with her dogs.

When people ask her what she’ll be doing with her degree, she likes to joke “nothing” since she will continue her career in financial services full time. But she genuinely values how her degree supports her parish work, ministries, and volunteer commitments at places like the Pine Street Inn, the Centre Street Food Pantry, and, thanks to her field placement, her recent involvement in the Office of Spiritual Care at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

Maribeth is incredibly grateful for the love and support she’s received from friends and family while working on her degree, she recognizes the blessings in her life. She believes that acknowledging these blessings each day reveals Christ's influence, and she looks forward to continuing to grow into the person God intended her to be.