St. Vincent Benedictine community elects new archabbot


Father Martin de Porres Bartel, OSB, a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey for 40 years who served as the 14th president of St. Vincent College (SVC) from 1995 to 2000, has been elected the 12th archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey.

Bartel has been serving as the administrator of the MACH1 (Monaca, Aliquippa, Center and Hopewell) Parish Grouping in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In July of 2013, he was appointed pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Center Township by Bishop David A. Zubik. In September 2017 he assumed responsibility for St. Titus Parish, Aliquippa, and Our Lady of Fatima, Hopewell. With the diocesan reorganization initiated in October of 2018, St. John the Baptist Parish, Monaca, became part of the grouping, and Bartel became the administrator of all four parishes.

With his election, Bartel also becomes chancellor of SVC and of St. Vincent Seminary. The archabbot of St. Vincent is the spiritual head and Father of St. Vincent Archabbey, the first Benedictine monastery in America. The St. Vincent monastic community is comprised of more than 150 monks who are priests or brothers. They serve at Benedictine Priory in Savannah, Georgia, Wimmer Priory in Taipei, Taiwan, and São Bento Priory in Vinhedo, Brazil. St. Vincent Benedictines also operate Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, and the Roman Catholic campus ministry program at Pennsylvania State University, and serve in parishes in Savannah; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland, and the dioceses of Greensburg, Altoona-Johnstown, Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania.

An archabbot is an ordinary of a self-governing monastery, in the tradition of St. Benedict and his Rule for Benedictine monasteries. His role to the monks is equivalent to that between a bishop and his people. The archabbot is a prelate in the Roman Catholic Church and is entitled to wear a ring, pectoral cross and mitre, and is entitled to carry the crozier (or pastoral staff).

Bartel succeeds Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, OSB, who resigned upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 on May 8, 2020. The installation Mass for Bartel is planned for mid-August.

In addition to his pastoral work in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bartel was appointed to the Priest Advisory Council and was elected as a religious order representative to the Presbyteral Council. Bishop David Zubik also appointed him to the board of directors of Serra Catholic High School.

Prior to his assignments in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bartel served in the Diocese of Greensburg as pastor of St. Bruno Parish, South Greensburg, and administrator of St. Benedict Parish, Marguerite (2008-2013), and as pastor of St. Martin Parish, New Derry (2001-2009).

Bartel earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1989 and a master of business administration degree from Bowling Green State University in 1984, where he concentrated his studies on management information systems. A 1984 graduate of St. Vincent Seminary, where he earned a master of divinity degree with highest honors, he also earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Temple University in 1978 with a major in accounting and a minor in computer science. He has also taken graduate courses in finance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1981), Latin and philosophy courses at St. Vincent College (1980-1981), and undergraduate courses at the University of Akron (1975-1977). He is a 1974 graduate of Barberton High School, Barberton, Ohio. He attended the Institute for Educational Management sponsored by the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in 1992.

He made his simple profession of vows as a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey on July 10, 1980, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1983. He was ordained a deacon on Aug. 11, 1984, by the late Bishop Norbert Gaughn and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1985, by the late Bishop William G. Connare of Greensburg. He served his deacon internship at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church, North Side, Pittsburgh.

An associate professor of business administration at St. Vincent College, Bartel taught accounting, statistics, business law, school law, legal research and business ethics from 1989 to 2001.

Administrative assignments at St. Vincent College include service as assistant treasurer (1985-1986); assistant controller (1980-1985); acting provost (spring 1992), and acting academic dean (1992-1993). He also served as a dormitory moderator from 1990 to 2000.

In conjunction with his legal studies, he served as a judicial clerk to Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Bernard F. Scherer (1989-1990), as a legal intern at Community Legal Services, Philadelphia (1988-1989), and as a summer associate in the law offices of Peter Goldberger in Philadelphia (1988).

He has also served as a consultant in the areas of financial analysis, legal research, accounting systems, probate and estates, budgeting, income, payroll and inheritance taxes and corporate law (1989-present). In addition, he was a graduate assistant in the Management Information Systems Institute at Bowling Green State University (1978-1979) and a staff auditor at Ernst and Young Certified Public Accountants in Akron, Ohio (1978). He has served as a financial counselor to the president and council of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries since 1993.

A certified public accountant in Pennsylvania since 1989, he is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has been affiliated with the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Westmoreland Bar Association, the American Business Law Association and the Intercommunity Legal Conference.

Bartel served from 1990 to 1995 as a member of the Westmoreland Bar Association’s Publications Committee and as case editor of the Westmoreland Law Journal. He is the author of several articles published in The Pennsylvania CPA Journal, Villanova Law Review, Legal Bulletin, Temple Law Review and The Duquesne Law Review.

He has been honored twice with the conferral of the St. Vincent College Student Faculty Award (1990, 1991) and was the recipient of a St. Vincent College Faculty Research Award in 1990. He was also named to membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society.

Bartel has served as a member of the St. Vincent College Board of Incorporators since 1989 (secretary 1991-1997) and the Wimmer Corporation Board of Directors since 1985 (treasurer since 1989). He has served on the St. Vincent Archabbey Council of Seniors (1990-1993, 1995-present).

While president of St. Vincent, his community service activities included membership in the Latrobe Area Chamber of Commerce (chairman, Community Partnership Committee since July 1995), the Eastern Westmoreland Development Corporation, the Latrobe Downtown Project and the Central Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the boards of directors of The Westmoreland Trust (1995-present), Latrobe Area Hospital (1995-present), and Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Harrisburg (1996-present). He was appointed chair of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Community Service Advisory Board by then-governor Thomas J. Ridge in July 1996. He was invited by Retired U.S. Army General Colin Powell to represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the Presidents’ Summit on America’s Future on April 27-29. In April 1998, he was elected to a two-year term as a member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) Research Committee.

He was born Nov. 14, 1955, in Barberton, Ohio. He is a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Bartel, Sr., of Barberton. He is one of 10 children, including Sr. Maura Bartel, OP, Akron; Elizabeth Bartel, Cleveland, Ohio; Robert J. Bartel, Jr., Doylestown, Ohio; Regis A. Bartel, Cleveland; Eileen A. Bartel Volosyn, Cleveland; Patricia L. Bartel Davis, Stratford, New Jersey; Thomas C. Bartel, Barberton; Mary R. Bartel, Cleveland, and the late Karl Bartel.

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