New priests assigned to Augusta



Nearly a quarter of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah are taking up new assignments next month.

The Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, announced the following appointments:

• The Rev. John Reynolds Ha Tran arrives to serve as parochial vicar of St. Teresa of Avila in Grovetown, with a ministry for the Vietnamese community in Augusta.

• The Rev. Richard Hart will return to his native Augusta upon retirement.

• The Rev. Scott Winchel will leave his post at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church in order to become the pastor at St. Theresa Church in Cordele, Ga.

• Avery Hanna will be appointed parochial vicar of St. Mary after he is ordained a priest June 1. Hanna was born and raised on Grand Bahama Island. He will complete his schooling at Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass., this spring.

Two Augusta natives will also be ordained June 1. Upon ordination:

• Jacob Almeter will be appointed parochial vicar of St. Anne Church in Columbus, Ga. Almeter was born and raised in Augusta, and attended Alleluia Community School.

Before seminary, Almeter studied to earn a degree in criminal justice and planned for a career with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a game warden. After finishing seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., this spring, Almeter will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Savannah by Bishop Gregory Hartmayer at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah.

• Kevin O’Keefe will be appointed parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Church in Warner Robins, Ga. The Augusta native will also be ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah.

He is a graduate of Alleluia Community School and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Thomas More College in Merrimack, N.H., and a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from l’Institut d’Etudes Théologiques in Brussels, Belgium. He is currently in seminary at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America.