Biomedical engineering alumnus’ path to the priesthood

Long Island native and recently ordained priest Father John Buonocore, B.S.B.E. ’15, brings a unique blend of faith and science to his new role at Saint Gregory the Great in Plantation, Florida.
father john buonocore
Father John Buonocore (center) with his friends and fellow ’Canes, from left: Dr. Michael Groswald, B.A. ’15; Dr. Olivia Bullock, B.S. ’15; Robert Bullock, M.B.A. ’23; and Thomas Reilly, B.S.B.A. ’17.

Growing up in a close-knit Long Island family, Father John Buonocore, B.S.B.E. ’15, was shaped by strong faith and community values. In May, he was ordained at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Miami at a ceremony attended by more than 1,200 people. His path to priesthood was nurtured at the University of Miami, where he fondly recalls the sense of community and belonging he experienced on campus. “The U had a big impact on my vocational journey. It’s a great place to be,” Buonocore said.

While at the University, Buonocore pursued a major in biomedical engineering, where he gained a unique perspective on the interconnectedness of science and faith. The discipline, critical thinking, and empathy he developed during his studies seamlessly transitioned into his pastoral care, honing both his analytical skills and compassionate approach—qualities instrumental in his vocation as a priest.

Buonocore highlighted how the hands-on, real-world applications of the curriculum allowed him to tackle modern-day problems. “My time at UM and studying Biomedical Engineering gave me a unique view of the world and helped me appreciate the beauty all around us. One of the highlights for me was putting the skills I learned into practice through designing a pill dispenser for my senior design project. It showed me that what we learn affects and benefits others,” Buonocore said.                   

As he continued his studies, Buonocore felt a growing calling towards a life dedicated to service and faith. This inner stirring was significantly influenced by his interactions with Monsignor Michael Carruthers—the then University chaplain—who not only served as a mentor but also a role model. “Monsignor Carruthers showed me the reality of priesthood and priestly service. He inspired me to consider this route as a way to give my life to others,” Buonocore said.

While he is preparing for his new assignment at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Parish in Plantation, Florida, his commitment to spreading hope remains unwavering. “We have a lot of people in the world who are hopeless and have a lot of despair,” he said. “My goal is to help and give myself totally to the service of others and the community, as Christ gives Himself to us”

Buonocore hopes his story will encourage current and future students to embrace their own journeys with courage and conviction. “Not to settle for anything less,” he advises, urging others to seek truth and follow their hearts.

Buonocore looks forward to returning to his alma mater in the future and reconnecting with the UCatholic Campus Ministry and the vibrant community that shaped his journey. “I would love to come back and say a Mass at St. Augustine,” he said. He hopes his return might inspire and uplift students, offering them a chance to witness firsthand the enduring impact of faith and service developed at the University. As Buonocore embarks on this new chapter in his life, his compassion and commitment to serve others continue to shine brightly, illuminating a path for others to follow.