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Faculty & Staff

The Board of Directors

Fr. Jason Barone

Director, Chaplain, Co-Founder of Veterum Sapientia Workshops and Institute

Fr Barone is a priest for the Diocese of Charlotte and currently serving in parochial ministry in Sapphire and Highlands, NC. After completing seminary studies at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, NE and Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD, he was ordained to the sacred priesthood in June of 2012. In his eight years of priestly ministry, he served in parishes, schools, the vocations office, and at St. Joseph’s College Seminary. In 2013, he began organizing the annual Veterum Sapientia conference. He is a co-founder of the Veterum Sapientia Institute.

Director, President, VSI Co-Founder

Dr Hewett studied linguistics, ancient and modern languages in Texas and various European countries before learning to speak Latin with Fr. Reginald Foster in Rome. He completed a License in Patristic Sciences at the Augustinianum Pontifical Patristics Institute and a joint doctorate in medieval philosophy (University of Salerno) and Patristic Sciences (Augustinianum). In 2010 he co-founded the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study, which he served as Executive Director through January 2020. In 2015 he received the President’s Award for service to the field of Classics from the Society for Classical Studies. He now teaches Latin and Greek at the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Bavaria, Germany and is delighted to volunteer as first President of the Veterum Sapientia Institute.

Director, Vice-President, Co-Founder of VS Workshops and Institute

Magistra - Introductory Latin

Magistra Annula is Associate Professor of Latin at Belmont Abbey College, coming to North Carolina after a decade at Wyoming Catholic College. She teaches Latin at the Charlotte Diocese’s new St. Joseph College Seminary in addition to her work at Belmont. Earlier in her career she studied with Fr. Reginald Foster and at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. Returning to her native California, Nancy founded SALVI in 1997 and served on its board until 2019, directing SALVI workshops (Rusticationes) around the country and abroad. She holds her PhD (2006) from UCLA.

Staff

Mr. Christopher Owens, STM (PUSTA)

Executive Officer

Christopher Owens completed licentiate studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“the Angelicum”) with a concentration in Thomism, and is a doctoral candidate at the same university.

His research investigates the question of predestination in the writings of the early Thomists. More generally, Christopher’s research interests in both philosophy and theology are focused on the preambles of faith, ontology, meta-ethics, and action theory as found principally in the Thomistic tradition, as well as in the medieval dialectic of the University of Paris. Additionally, Christopher serves on the editorial board for Philosophical News, the official journal of the European Society for Moral Philosophy, and is vice-president of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, based in Norcia, Italy.

Dr. John Pepino, PhD (CUA)

Academic Dean

Magister - Liturgical Theology

Dr Pepino teaches Latin and Greek at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Nebraska, USA. He also teaches online Latin courses using Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina series. His own bilingual background (French and English) and boyhood in multilingual Europe predisposed him to a natural, oral/aural approach to Latin. His interests also include the decline of the living Latin culture in the Western Church as well as the means the Holy See advocates to recover it.

Marketing Officer

Magister - Introductory Latin

Magister Gregorius was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, where he attended a high school which offered an excellent Latin program. He attended McGill University in Montreal, where he studied Classical Languages and Literature, and the Augustinian Patristic Institute in Rome, where he studied the Fathers of the Church. For 23 years, he worked as a tour guide in Rome, and for the last 13 years, he has been a regular contributor (and for 8 years editor) to the New Liturgical Movement website.

Office Manager & IT Director

Mr. Walther was a seminarian for ten years (United States, Italy, France, and Belgium). During which time, he twice assisted at the Veterum Sapientia summer immersion programs. He also earned the Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur (BAFA) from the French Ministry of Education and worked at a summer camp for boys in France for four summers. Then he served as a supervisor and customer relations manager for a private school in Brussels, Belgium. After leaving seminary, he re-enrolled at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, where he completed an associate’s in theology, a bachelor’s in theology and philosophy, and a master’s in dogmatic theology. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife.

Mr. Andrew Brehm, MA (CC - Chicago)

Kitchen Table Latin Coordinator

I come from a large Catholic family and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but my teaching vocation has taken me to other parts of the country, including San Diego, CA and Milwaukee, WI, where I’ve been blessed with many rewarding experiences at the high school and middle school levels. Having been an English major, I find inspiration in great works of literature but also have strengths teaching religion in Catholic schools and parishes, where I have modeled meaningful prayer opportunities, including weekly “miracles and mystics” journal reflections, sacred art Scripture studies, days of recollection, and monthly service outreach at a local food pantry. Furthering my ministry efforts, I organized a faculty service day, sponsored/instructed Confirmation candidates, and co-facilitated Confirmation and Lenten retreats. My relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist and a daily devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary bring life and hope to my Faith. During summers off, I enjoy travelling and was fortunate to have attended the Beatification of Pope John Paul II and visited the miraculous spring at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France – both trips afforded me invaluable spiritual encounters. I also enjoy attending classical music concerts in Millennium Park, visiting art museums, biking along the lakefront, spending time with my nieces and nephews, or simply enjoying a good cup of coffee with family and friends.

Mrs. Megan Walther, LMSW (SAU)

Registrar & Director of Student Services

Mrs. Walther is from Nashville, TN but currently resides in St. Louis, MO with her husband. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Trevecca Nazarene University and her Master’s in Social Work from Southern Adventist University. She is currently licensed in the state of Missouri and has a multitude of experiences in creating and finding resources to assist with diverse populations. She has studied two years of Latin in high school and attended Vinculum as sous chef.

Faculty

Magister David Bonagura

Magister - Classical Latin

David Bonagura teaches Latin and theology at Regis High School in New York City, is an Adjunct Professor of Classical Languages at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, and an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Catholic Distance University. He is the author of Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism and Staying with the Catholic Church: Trusting God’s Plan of Salvation.

He has written numerous popular articles for various publications in print and online, including America, Catholic World Report, Crisis, First Things, The Catholic Thing, The University Bookman, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has written scholarly articles for Antiphon, New Blackfriars, and Nova et Vetera. He resides in Floral Park, New York, with his wife and six children.

Fr. Thomas Buffer, STD (PUG)

Magister - Liturgical Theology

Fr Buffer is a priest of the Diocese of Columbus, ordained in 1991. He studied Latin for six years with Fr. Reginald Foster, OCD, in Rome. He wrote his doctoral thesis, Salus in St. Hilary of Poiters, under the direction of the future cardinal Luis Ladaria at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has taught at the Pontifical College Josephinum, the International Marian Research Institute (University of Dayton), and the Liturgical Institute. He has translated over thirty of the hymns of the breviary.

Dr. Daniel B. Gallagher, PhD (PUG)

Magister - Liturgical Theology & Canon Law

After a decade of service to Benedict XVI and Francis as a papal Latinist, Daniel Gallagher was named the Ralph and Jeanne Kanders Professor of the Practice in Latin at Cornell University in 2017. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Catholic University of America, and the Pontifical Gregorian University and has published extensively in Thomistic and medieval philosophy, especially in the areas of metaphysics and aesthetics. He is dedicated to handing on the Latin language based on the principles and methodology of his long-time mentor, Fr. Reginald Foster, O.C.D.

Magistra Jenni Glaser, MA (FU)

Magistra - Introductory Latin

Magistra Bella holds a B.A. in Theology from Biola University and an M.A. in Classics from Fordham University. She learned to speak Latin under Nancy Llewellyn in 2011, and Greek at the Polis Institute of Jerusalem, where she taught Greek and Latin and acted as coordinator from 2014-2018, both in Israel and Rome. She is currently a graduate student at Bryn Mawr college, working on Greek and Roman Theater.

Magister Eugene Hamilton, MA

Magister - Classical Latin

Eugene Hamilton is a professor at Wyoming Catholic College and has over 15 years experience teaching Latin. He holds a M.A. in Classics and another M.A. Education. He first learned to speak Latin with Nancy Llewellyn during many summer retreats with SALVI and spent two years teaching alongside her at Wyoming Catholic College. Eugene has broad interests ranging from classical poetry to early modern Colloquia. In his free time he enjoys exploring the local mountains with his family.

Magister Nathaniel Heithoff, MA (UK)

Magister - Introductory Latin

Magister Heithoff learned to speak Latin under the guidance of Dr. Llewellyn and Mr. Hamilton at Wyoming Catholic College, where he obtained a B.A. in Liberal Arts. He then deepened his knowledge and appreciation of Latin by earning an M.A. in Classics from the University of Kentucky. His interests in the Classics range from the biographies of Cornelius Nepos to the Confessions of St. Augustine to the letters of Erasmus. He is excited to be a part of the VSI community and looks forward to sharing Latin as a living language.

Dr. Alex Petkas, PhD (PU)

Magister - Patristic Theology

Dr Petkas is a classicist and technical sales manager in the corrosion prevention industry. He has been involved in both pro- and semi-pro Greek for 10 years. He holds a PhD in Classics from Princeton University. He has taught for the Paideia Institute, Princeton University, the University of California San Diego, and California State University Fresno. He has published in professional journals and volumes on classical and late antique Greek rhetoric, neoplatonic philosophy, and early Christianity. He is working on a book on Synesius of Cyrene and Hypatia of Alexandria.

Magister Sean Pilcher

Magister - Introductory Latin

Magister Pilcher, a native of Iowa, began his study of Latin at a young age. During various extended stays on the continent, he became fluent in several modern languages and fell in love with the city of Rome. His Latin study continued at Saint Louis University where he began his work as a translator. His recently-completed translation of the Tabula Libri Ethicorum (Aquinas Institute, forthcoming) is the first in any language of the Angelic Doctor’s concordance of the Nicomachean Ethics. He also works to prepare and authenticate sacred relics. His approach to living Latin is informed by his mentor Fr Reginaldus Foster, OCD. He currently teaches Latin to all ages in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Magister Marcus Porto

Magister - Introductory Latin

Magister Marcus holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and a Latin Fluency Certificate from Academia Vivarium Novum, where he learned to speak Latin under Luigi Miraglia. He is currently a graduate student at Kentucky University, studying Latin under Terence Tunberg and Milena Minkova, and works as a classical languages’ instructor, Liberal Arts teacher, and editor at Instituto Hugo de São Vitor, Brazil.

Magister - Scholastic Theology

Pater Pelagius is a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, ordained in 2010. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America and is the translator of several Scholastic works, including On the Motive of the Incarnation, the first volume in CUA’s Early Modern Catholic Sources series, and Book 2 of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Sentences, edited by the Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine. Fr. Schrader is the author of The Shortcut to Scholastic Latin, published by the Paideia Institute Press. He has attended every Veterum Sapientia conference since its inception.

Magister Jacob Terneus, MA (UK)

Magister - Introductory Latin

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Wyoming Catholic College, Mr. Terneus has pursued further studies at the University of California at Berkeley, the Institutum Studiis Latiniis Provehendis at the University of Kentucky, and finally Marquette University (where he is ABD in Philosophy). His formal research centers on ancient and early medieval conceptions of will and freedom (especially in the Stoics, Plotinus, and Augustine). He also has great interest in spoken Latin and active Latin pedagogy. Mr. Terneus’s writings appear in the Imaginative Conservative, St. Austin Review, Journal of the Cardinal Newman Society, VoeglinView, and Integritas. He currently resides near Madison, WI, with his wife Miriam and daughter Irene.

Magister Zachary Thomas, MTS (UND)

Magister - Classical Latin

A graduate of Wyoming Catholic College, Mr. Thomas studies the Latin Middle Ages at Cornell University, where he focuses on allegorical exegesis of Scripture and the liturgy. He has taught Latin courses to high school, elementary students, and seminarians using Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina series and run Latin discussion tables for college students.

Dr. Jeremy Thompson, PhD (UC)

Magister

After a formation in classical studies, Jeremy Thompson completed his doctoral degree in medieval history at the University of Chicago. He has conducted research in several European countries and currently resides in Germany. At its broadest, his research concerns the intersection of the natural sciences and arithmetic in medieval religious thinking.

Magister Benjamin Yates, MA (UC)

Magister - Introductory Greek

Ben Yates is a PhD student in Classics at the University of Chicago. He earned his BA in Latin and a second BA in Greek at the University of Dallas, and his MA in Classics at the University of Chicago. His research interests lie in Greek philosophers and poets, namely Sophocles and Plato. Though formally a classicist, Ben remains interested in and captivated by 20th century Catholic poets and theologians, namely David Jones and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. He loves Greek and Latin and teaching others to love Greek and Latin.

Fr. Kevin Zilverberg, SSD (PIB)

Magister - Sacred Scripture

Fr Zilverberg is Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture and a formation director at St. Paul Seminary (U. of St. Thomas, MN). He has given many lectures in Latin on diverse topics of Catholic interest. His biblical and Latin expertise converge in his study of the Old Latin, Vulgate and Neo-Vulgate versions of the Bible, a convergence reflected in his publications. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (SSD – Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome) on Old Latin Daniel, which was honored summa cum laude.