The Rev. Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., is a very busy man. The St. Marys native has served in many capacities at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and was recently named the institution’s executive vice president.
Father Paul will act as chief advancement officer for the college. This responsibility entails working with the president and the board of directors to develop a wide-reaching philanthropic program. According to a recent press release by the college, he will provide “vision, leadership and strategic planning for support by alumni, parents, friends, corporations, businesses and foundations.”
“My current assignment at Saint Vincent involves mostly development work which I enjoy because of the great people I have the opportunity to meet,” Taylor said. “The alumni and friends of Saint Vincent are good and generous people, many of whom remain very connected to Saint Vincent, and I try to keep those connections strong.”
Taylor is an alumnus of Saint Vincent College himself, earning a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics with highest honor, as well as Saint Vincent Seminary, where he earned a master of divinity degree in theology with honor.
“Saint Vincent College prepared me well with a great foundation to study for a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics at Duke University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College,” Taylor said.
He graduated from Elk County Christian High School in 1983 and said it prepared him well for the next steps in his education.
“Elk County Christian High School, now Elk County Catholic High School, provided a great education for me to go on to study mathematics at Saint Vincent College. While at ECCHS, the mathematics teacher who motivated me and many others was Mr. Greg Snelick,” Taylor said.
Taylor is the son of Irene (Straub) Taylor and the late Robert L. Taylor of St. Marys, and spent happy times during his childhood growing up in the center of town.
“My brothers, Larry and Bert and I, grew up at our home on Walnut Street with a great neighborhood,” Taylor said. “Larry and Maureen, and Bert and Jenn, now live in Maryland. I have seven nieces and nephews: James, Emily, Ryan, Zachary, Owen, Madeline and Nicholas.”
Although he has an extensive educational background, Taylor felt a higher calling.
Shortly after graduating from Elk County Christian, he entered the Benedictine monastic community at Saint Vincent, professing solemn vows in 1988 and becoming ordained a priest by the Most Rev. Anthony G. Bosco in 1992. After earning his various degrees, he returned to Saint Vincent and assumed several roles integral to the college’s successful operation and growth.
“Upon returning to the monastery, my work has included Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Life and Development in the college, as well as work in a parish on weekends at Saint Louise de Marillac Parish in Upper Saint Clair, and working also at the Saint Vincent Gristmill,” Taylor said.
Area residents who twirl the Terrible Towel during football season may be interested to know that this hometown man has also worked with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last nine years, serving as a chaplain.
In addition to acting as chaplain for the Steelers, Taylor has also served as executive director of the Saint Vincent Archabbey Apostolates and Endowments and will continue to fulfill that role, coordinating the institutional advancement programs of the Archabbey and the Seminary. The institutions he works with include the Benedictine high school in Savannah, Ga., Saint Vincent foundations in Taiwan and Brazil and the international Benedictine university of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome.
In addition to all of the other spiritual and professional roles Taylor takes on, part of his work also involves government relations.
“I have had the pleasure to meet and to work with many of the people serving in public office. In November 2010, (then-) Governor-elect (Tom) Corbett asked me to serve on the Education Committee of his Transition Team,” Taylor said.
An integral part of Taylor’s work is spreading the message of faith and service to others, particularly youth.
“Since 1999, we’ve developed a partnership with Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J., so for 13 years, I have been leading a group of Saint Vincent students to spend a week of service in January each year in this inner-city school operated by the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey,” Taylor said. “This is a great community that I really enjoy being a part of. In 2010 I was honored to be inducted as an honorary alumnus of Saint Ben’s Prep.”
With all of his travels and responsibilities that keep him very busy, Taylor still manages to keep his family as a top priority on his list. He returns to St. Marys as frequently as possible to visit with his mother and other family members, and also participates on the board of directors for Straub Brewery. He also continues to spend time participating in some of the activities he enjoyed growing up.
“I still keep up the hunting tradition I learned in St. Marys, now in southwestern Pennsylvania and sometimes in the southeastern U.S.,” Taylor said.
He noted that his hometown and the place he has called home for many years now have a deep connection.
“Saint Vincent has always had a strong partnership with St. Marys. Our foundings were only four years apart and we have similar histories,” Taylor said. “Many students have come to Saint Vincent from St. Marys over the years to receive a quality Benedictine education and have enjoyed success in their work, in their families and in the church, and I’m sure that tradition will continue in the years to come.”