Two Benedictines from Saint Vincent Archabbey were ordained to the diaconate Saturday, April 27, in the Archabbey Basilica by Most Rev. Lawrence E. Brandt, J.C.D., Ph.D., Bishop of Greensburg. Brother Michael A. Antonacci, O.S.B., of Jeannette, and Brother John Paul Heiser, O.S.B., of Bethel Park, will take the next step in their journeys toward priesthood.
Brother Michael is the son of Jerome and Sheila Antonacci and has one brother, Jared, also of Jeannette. Brother Michael, a 2003 graduate of Hempfield High School, is a 2007 graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and physics with highest honors.
He entered the novitiate in July 2007 and made simple profession of vows the following year. On July 11, 2011, he made solemn profession of monastic vows.
In 2008, he was named assistant miller for the Saint Vincent Gristmill as well as teaching assistant for the Saint Vincent College Physics Department. He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in 2008.
Brother John Paul is the son of Randy and Sherry Heiser, and has three brothers, all of Bethel Park, Jeffery, Steven and Brennan.
He is a 2004 graduate of Bethel Park High School and earned a bachelor of arts degrees in international politics and psychology from Penn State University in 2008. While at Penn State he served in various leadership roles, including as president of the Newman Catholic Student Association. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma.
He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2008 and professed simple vows on July 10, 2009. He made solemn profession of monastic vows on July 11, 2012. He began studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in the fall of 2009.
He has served as sacristan (2009-present), assistant master of ceremonies (2009-present), assistant to the director of vocations (2009-present) and assistant archivist (2009).