On February 29, 2016, Reverend Gregory J. Semeniuk, C.M. will begin service as Vicar for Multicultural Ministries in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Vicar for Multicultural Ministries represents Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. to the various cultural and ethnic Catholic communities in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He succeeds Reverend Bruce Lewandowski, C.SS.R., who held the post from June 2011 to December 2015. Until being assigned to other duties by the provincial of his order, the Redemptorist Fathers.
Father Semeniuk studied for the priesthood with the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, commonly known as the Vincentian Fathers. Following ordination in 1989, he served as Director of Students at Saint Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. Beginning in 1993, he along with another Vincentian priest, began a bilingual evangelization ministry with an emphasis on Hispanic Catholics living on Long Island, New York.
In 2003, he was charged with opening a house of discernment for Hispanic candidates to the Vincentian Order. In 2004, he began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. In May 2014, he defended his dissertation on the soteriology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. From August 2011 to August 2015, he served as Dean of Student and a faculty member at Saint John’s Seminary, Camarillo, California. Presently, he is the superior of the Vincentian Theologate in Philadelphia.
The Vicar for Cultural Ministries oversees the pastoral and administrative work undertaken by the Archdiocesan Offices for Hispanic Catholics, Black Catholics, and Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees. Additionally, this Vicar also ensures that pastors charged with ministry to various cultural and ethnic groups have the resources needed to do so effectively. Presently, there are 36 sites for Hispanic ministry, 15 for black Catholics, and 40 other multicultural ministries in the Archdiocese.