Fellowship of Scholars Find Space for Rich Dialogue

The first-ever Fellowship of Scholars sponsored by the Mount Angel Institute was held from May 29 through June 1, 2024, at Mount Angel Abbey’s guesthouse.

Professor Piero Coda presents his thoughts on Trinitarian Ontology at Mount Angel Abbey.The gathering of more than 20 scholars was unique for many of those participating in the discussions due in part to the presence of Msgr. Piero Coda, full professor at Sophia University Institute in Italy and Secretary-General of the International Theological Commission. Using Msgr. Coda’s method of “doing” theology as a respectful dialogue with an openness to the Holy Spirit, the discussions focused on Msgr. Coda’s teachings on Trinitarian Ontology. All of this may sound intimidating, but Msgr. Coda’s method is simply a way of doing theology that invites the participants to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as they present their views and listen to one another. In this spirit of openness and receptivity to the other,
Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, and Professor Piero Coda at the Fellowship of Scholars at Mount Angel Abbey.a rich dialogue can emerge, which many participants felt was a key difference from other academic conferences they had attended. The conference at Mount Angel was also important in bringing the thought of Msgr. Coda to the English-speaking world of theology, where he is still largely unknown.

Dr. Liam de los Reyes, professor of moral theology at Mount Angel Seminary, speaks further on the significance of this event. He says it was an opportunity for participants to “intentionally situate their scholarly and intellectual interests within their spiritual vocations to life in Christ,” something often missing in the wider academic field of theology. Regarding Msgr. Coda’s method, de los Reyes notes that the Fellowship offered scholars “a reprieve and an opportunity for slower discussion, more in-depth conversation, and time and space to think about the implications of the papers they are hearing and the discussions they are having.” And on a personal note, he was also glad for the opportunity to stretch his thinking outside of his usual field of study in a relaxed atmosphere, and for “opportunities to reconnect with friends and acquaintances and renew friendships around our common love of theological inquiry.”

The Fellowship of Scholars 2024, hosted by the Mount Angel Institute at Mount Angel Abbey.Br. Anselm Flores, OSB, coordinator of the Mount Angel Institute, worked with de los Reyes and other Mount Angel Seminary faculty members in planning and hosting the event. In his own words: “I had thought that I would be the one benefiting most from listening to some of the conversation around the table. After all, these scholars were the very authors I was reading in seminary! But I realized that they were also benefiting from us, from the space we offered, from monks, and even from me. I was humbled that some of my heroes looked up to the monks, and I felt proud and happy of my vocation. At the same time, I felt the responsibility. God has given Mount Angel a gift and charism. The Fellowship of Scholars was a brief and strong epiphany of our vocation as a monastery.”

Indeed, this event was an exceptional opportunity to practice many of the rich ways Mount Angel seeks to be a light for both the local and worldwide Church, an opportunity from which we will undoubtedly continue to reap the fruits in the months and years to come.

– Br. Matthew Sislow, OSB

Participants in the Fellowship of Scholars 2024

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, Mount Angel Seminary
Msgr. Piero Coda, Sophia University Institute
Peter Casarella, Duke Divinity School
Fr. Khaled Anatolios, University of Notre Dame
Scott Ables, University of Portland
Rev. Sarah Coakley, University of Cambridge
David Turnbloom, University of Portland
Taylor Timpane Ross, Fordham University
Jonathan Ciraulo, Saint Meinrad Seminary
Andrew Cummings, Mount Angel Seminary
John Rico, Mount Angel Seminary
Grant Kaplan, Saint Louis University
Rev. Justin Coyle, Mount Angel Seminary
Christopher Hackett, Saint Meinrad Seminary
Ted Papa, Mount Angel Seminary
Roberto de la Noval, Mount St. Mary’s University
Matthew Vale, Boston College
Ross McCullough, George Fox University
Karen Kilby, Durham University
Liam De Los Reyes, Mount Angel Seminary
Fr. Brandon Gallaher, University of Exeter
Jordan Daniel Wood, Belmont University

Categories: Monastery, Seminary, Uncategorized

2024 Commencement at Mount Angel Seminary

His Eminence Christophe Cardinal Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the US (center, first row), joined Mount Angel Seminary’ 135th graduation ceremonies, May 11, 2024. The presence of His Eminence Christophe Cardinal Pierre at this year’s Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises elevated the celebrations in a unique way.

At the invitation of Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., Chancellor of Mount Angel Seminary, Cardinal Pierre agreed to come to celebrate the Pontifical Baccalaureate Mass and give the commencement address. He did so in honor of the Seminary’s 135th anniversary, in recognition of Msgr. Joseph Betschart’s twelve years of service as president-rector which concludes this year, and to congratulate Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange on his graduation from Mount Angel Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program. In his homily at the Baccalaureate Mass, Cardinal Pierre spoke to the graduates directly: “How do you see yourself living your vocation, a vocation which your studies have intended to serve? Ask the Father to meet your desire with his desire. Ask the Father in Jesus’ name, as a child of God in Christ, to fulfill his plan for your life and to help you serve those to whom your mission calls you.”

After the conferring of degrees, Msgr. Joseph Betschart addressed the Mount Angel Seminary community for the last time as president-rector, encouraging the graduates and expressing gratitude for his service in the Seminary. “Mount Angel is truly a special place to encounter the Lord Jesus, to fall ever more deeply in love with him, his priesthood, his Church, and her people,” shared Msgr. Betschart.

The following seminarians received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from Mount Angel Seminary’s College of Liberal Arts: David Huy Do, Archdiocese of Seattle; Robert T. A. Kelly, Archdiocese of Santa Fe; Seth Mitchell London, Diocese of Orange; Luis Angel Meza, Diocese of Fresno; Tomás Salomon Tanuz, Archdiocese of Santa Fe; Br. John Terron, M.Sp.S., Missionaries of the Holy Spirit; Blake Joseph Thamer, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; and Ramses Robert Yates, Diocese of Yakima.

Three seminarians received their Certificate in Philosophy: Tyler Matthew Alt, Diocese of Orange; Br. Simeon Chung, O.S.B., Prince of Peace Abbey; and Patrick John Ryan, Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Two students received their Master of Arts (Philosophy): Juanpablo Macias, Archdiocese of Las Vegas, and Victor Goranov.

The following seminarians received their Master of Divinity degrees from Mount Angel Seminary’s Graduate School of Theology: Magnus Igbokwe, Archdiocese of Las Vegas; Deacon James Patrick Webb Ladd, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Deacon Maximiliano Muñoz, Archdiocese of Seattle; Nemesio Santana, Diocese of Fresno; Deacon Anthony Scott Shumway, Diocese of Salt Lake City; Deacon Michael Tyrell Williams, Archdiocese of Las Vegas; and Br. Robert Sempijja, O.C.D., (Dec. 2023), Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Five students received their Doctor of Ministry degrees: Fr. Bryan Edward Dolejsi, Archdiocese of Seattle; Edwin E. Ferrera; Manolito Sabado Jaldon, Jr.; Myrna Jeannette Keough, D.S.M.; and Bishop Kevin Vann, J.C.D., D.D., Diocese of Orange.

Categories: Seminary, Uncategorized

Mount Angel Seminary – Ministries Mass 2024

Five seminarians from Mount Angel received the ministry of lector and nine seminarians received the ministry of acolyte on March 22, in the church of Mount Angel Abbey. Bishop Jeffrey M. Fleming, of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, installed the lectors and acolytes. Bishop Fleming is a graduate of Mount Angel Seminary, having received his master’s degree in theology in 1992. During the homily, Bishop Fleming encouraged the seminarians to hear how the Lord is calling them through these ministries of lector and acolyte. “God is calling you by name. God has chosen you. Will you allow God to call you to new ministry, to new life?” asked Bishop Fleming.

The seminarians receiving the ministry of lector were:

  • Marcos Ricardo Alvarado Trasmonte and Adalberto Montes-Contreras, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
  • Victor Fernando Amador, Diocese of Sacramento
  • Alan Hoetker, Diocese of Orange
  • Br. Matthew Sislow, O.S.B., Mount Angel Abbey

The ministry of lector is conferred upon those who proclaim the readings from Scripture at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. A lector also may recite psalms between the readings and present the intentions for the general intercessions.

The seminarians receiving the ministry of acolyte were:

  • David Pham Hoang, Diocese of Orange
  • Rico Daniel Landavazo, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
  • Nathanial Wayne Loe, Diocese of Spokane
  • Patrick Gitau Mbuiyu, Richard John Ordos II, and Sylvester Vijay Rozario, Archdiocese of Seattle
  • Br. Damien-Joseph Rappuhn, O.S.B., St. Martin’s Abbey
  • Andy Julian Sanchez, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
  • Elliot Yaryk Sifuentes, Diocese of Fresno

An acolyte assists a deacon or priest, primarily in the celebration of Mass. He attends to the needs of the altar and may distribute Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister. The acolyte can assist the priest or deacon with purifying the sacred vessels after the distribution of Holy Communion. He also may be entrusted with exposing and reposing the Blessed Sacrament for Eucharistic adoration, but does not give the Benediction, which is reserved for a priest or deacon.

Categories: Seminary, Uncategorized

Rice Bowl for Lent at Mount Angel Seminary

On Friday, February 16, the Catholic Relief Services and Works of Mercy Committee at Mount Angel Abbey hosted a community soup and pasta supper. The supper gave students, faculty, families, and formators an opportunity to gather in fellowship. We also had the opportunity to hear from two alumni who are also CRS Global Fellows, Fr. Chad Hill ’22 (Seattle) and Fr. Michael Shrum ’08, OSB. Fr. Chad and Fr. Michael shared about their own work and experiences with CRS, which let students hear powerful testimony about the work of CRS on the ground to help our brothers and sisters overseas who are suffering from hunger, homelessness, as orphans, and other forms of material and spiritual suffering and poverty. The Global Fellows especially emphasized how much CRS’s work empowers the communities they work with through agricultural and occupational training and through solutions that will serve a community over the long term, like digging wells and efficient irrigation methods. One of the most powerful moments was when Fr. Michael recounted his conversation with a bishop in Haiti who said, “When you work with CRS, you are working directly with me.” The dinner was a great success with over 60 participants and was the official start to Mount Angel Seminary’s CRS Rice Bowl collection during Lent.

Categories: Seminary

Abbot Jeremy travels to Rome

Abbot Jeremy traveled to Rome in early February to participate in a plenary assembly of the Dicastery for Divine Worship. Those in attendance included cardinals, archbishops, and bishops from around the world. One of 3 main speakers at the plenaria, Abbot Jeremy spoke about the curriculum at Mount Angel Seminary, which is centered on Communion Ecclesiology and emphasizes the liturgical formation of seminarians.

During their meeting, Pope Francis addressed the Dicastery for Divine Worship and greeted each participant individually.

Benedictines present at the plenaria assembly of Dicastery of Divine Worship in 2024.

The picture (left) shows the strong Benedictine influence at the plenaria. Left to right: Abbot Olivier-Marie Sarr, OSB, abbot of Keur Moussa (Senegal) and a former student of Abbot Jeremy’s at Sant’Anselmo; Archbishop Aurelio Garcia Macias, under-secretary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and professor at Sant’Anselmo; Abbot Jeremy; Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship; Archbishop Vittorio Viola, OFM, secretary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and professor at Sant’Anselmo; Fr. Bernhard Eckerstorfer, OSB, rector of Sant’Anselmo; and Fr. Pierangelo Muroni, professor at Sant’Anselmo.

Fr Israel Sanchez, OSB; Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB; Fr. Ephrem Martinez, OSB at Sant'Anselmo, Rome, 2024.

While in Rome, Abbot Jeremy stayed at Sant’Anselmo, where he taught a semester each year for nearly two decades and spent time with Fr. Israel Sanchez, OSB, and Fr. Ephrem Martinez, OSB, two monks of Mount Angel who currently live at Sant’Anselmo while pursuing advanced degrees in theology. Fr. Israel is studying patristics at the Pontifical Institute Augustinianum, while Fr. Ephrem is studying spiritual theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Abbot Jeremy also received honors from his alma mater, the Benedictine College of Sant’Anselmo, where Fr. Bernard A. Eckerstorfer, OSB (rector), granted him the honor and title of “Professor Emeritus” of the Faculty of Theology at Sant’Anselmo. On behalf of the Athenaeum’s academic community, Fr. Bernard also bestowed on Abbot Jeremy the “Diploma of Merit,” an honor given to those who have left a profound mark on the culture, research, and life of Sant’Anselmo and the life of the Church and the Benedictine Confederation.

Abbot Jeremy responded, “I carry Sant’Anselmo in my heart. Returning here, I still find that peace that we breathe and that every student can breathe. It was a grace to study and then teach in a place like Sant’Anselmo.”

Upon his return to Mount Angel, Abbot Jeremy talked about his experience at the plenaria and shared some of his reflections on the Eucharistic liturgy in spiritual life of all the faithful on Mater Dei Radio’s morning program.

Categories: Monastery, Seminary, Uncategorized

Loving the priesthood: Fr. Michael Niemczak

When Archbishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe asked Fr. Michael Niemczak if he would serve on Mount Angel Seminary’s priestly formation faculty, he responded with a firm “yes.”

Faculty 15“I just love the priesthood,” shares Fr. Niemczak. “To be in a place that tries to teach future priests what the priesthood is all about, that was exciting for me.” Fr. Niemczak arrived at Mount Angel Seminary in July 2023 and currently serves as the coordinator of the propaedeutic stage of seminary formation. That means he works with the men new to seminary life, whether they are right out of high school or have already completed college and had a career.

Fr. Niemczak describes the essence of the propaedeutic stage as “discovering with [the seminarians]: what kind of man are you going to be, and is that man a priest?” From the perspective of the universal call to holiness, Fr. Niemczak likes to share with the seminarians that “the goal is not that they have an ‘Fr.’ in front of their name; it’s that they have an ‘St.’ in front of their name.” 

That perspective took on a deeply personal meaning for Fr. Niemczak when he traveled recently to Poland to concelebrate the beatification Mass for the Ulma family. Born in the U.S. to Polish immigrants, Niemczak is a relative of the Ulma family, who were cousins of his great-grandfather. During World War II, the entire family – mother, father, 6 children and a 7th in the womb – was martyred in 1944 by Nazi soldiers for providing safe harbor to two Jewish families. The Ulma family, Fr. Niemczak has reflected, were not the only ones to harbor Jewish families during the war, but he is grateful that they have been the ones chosen to be the face of the heroism of many.

Fr. Niemczak brought over 1,000 prayer intentions with him from people worldwide, which he had gathered ahead of the beatification. During his time in Poland, he paused to read, remember, and pray for each intention.

– Ethan Alano

Learn more about the Ulma family and Fr. Niemczak’s pilgrimage.

Categories: Seminary, Uncategorized

Mount Angel Seminary Celebrates Commencement 2023

On the morning of May 6, Mount Angel Seminary graduates, monks, faculty, family and friends gathered in the Abbey church for the celebration of the 2023 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises. A full church for each celebration signified an outpouring of support for the graduates and gratitude to God for the successful completion of another academic year.

Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker, who also served as the principal celebrant for the Baccalaureate Mass, gave the commencement address. In his remarks, which focused on God’s creation of the universe and human beings, he reflected that “to be human is to know that life is a gift, and the deeper that perception enters into our being, the more human we are.”

During the Senior Farewell address, Deacon Marc Gandolfo of the Diocese of San Diego reflected on the centrality of the Eucharist in his experience of seminary formation. He shared that “in the same way that in the Mass, the gifts are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, so we have been forever changed by our time spent here at Mount Angel.”

The following seminarians received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from Mount Angel Seminary’s College of Liberal Arts: Marcos Ricardo Alvarado Trasmonte, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Alejandro Marquez Mendoza, Diocese of Sacramento; Jorge E. Noricumbo, Diocese of Fresno; Ethen Vincent O’Campo, Diocese of Orange; Edgar Allen Domingo Pobre, Diocese of Honolulu; Joshua Adam Tennyson, Diocese of Boise; Frederick J. Tucker, Archdiocese of Seattle; and Br. Ricardo Velez, M.Sp.S., Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.

Sean-Matthew Roberto Flores, Diocese of Las Vegas, and Adalberto Montes Contreras, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, each received their Pre-Theology Certificate of Completion.

The following seminarians received their Master of Arts (Philosophy): Victor Fernando Amador, Diocese of Sacramento; Joseph Ryan Canepa, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Robert Joe Martinez, Diocese of Las Vegas; and Jacob Juan Valdez, Diocese of Fresno.

The Seminary’s Graduate School of Theology conferred the Master of Divinity degree upon Deacon Sylvester Musonda Chanda, Archdiocese of Seattle; Deacon Nelson Hall Besouro Cintra, Diocese of Boise; Deacon Arturo Cisneros, Diocese of Fresno; Deacon Caleb Joshua Cunningham, Diocese of Baker; Deacon Marc Andrew Gandolfo, Diocese of San Diego; Deacon Ian Michael Gaston, Diocese of Orange; Br. Charles Borromeo Gonzalez, O.S.B., Mount Angel Abbey; Deacon Anthony Hoangphan, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Deacon Efraín Razo, Jr., Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Deacon Timothy Josef Segert, Diocese of Boise; and Deacon James Joseph Tasy, Diocese of Fresno.

Recipients of the Master of Arts (Theology) included Deacon Nelson Hall Besouro Cintra, Diocese of Boise; Br. Scott P. Dilworth, O.C.S.O., Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey; Daniel Edward Licon; and Maximiliano Muñoz, Archdiocese of Seattle.

The following seminarians received their Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology: Deacon Nelson Hall Besouro Cintra, Diocese of Boise; Deacon Caleb Joshua Cunningham, Diocese of Baker; Deacon Ian Michael Gaston, Diocese of Orange; Deacon Timothy Josef Segert, Diocese of Boise; and Deacon James Joseph Tasy, Diocese of Fresno.

Bishop Kolio Tumanuvao Etuale, bishop of the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, received his Doctor of Ministry degree.

– Ethan Alano

Categories: Seminary

Commencement at Mount Angel Seminary

Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement 2023

Please join us Saturday, May 6

Mount Angel Seminary

Baccalaureate Mass  |  8 am
Commencement Exercises  |  10 am

Both events will be livestreamed here.

Commencement at Mount Angel Seminary 2019

The students of Mount Angel Seminary’s graduating class of 2019 celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass on the afternoon of May 10 and Commencement Exercises the following morning. Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange, gave the Commencement Address, speaking to more than 300 family and friends assembled in the Abbey church.

In his address, Bishop Vann expressed his appreciation for the natural beauty of the landscape that surrounds Mount Angel Seminary. The beauty of this part of the country, close to the Cascade mountain range, he noted, helps to “form and define the landscape of the souls” who live and study at Mount Angel. In the same way, he said, “Your calling, your ministry, your vocation, strengthened by the degrees you will receive today … will truly form and define the culture and the lives around you.”

Commencement 2019 at Mount Angel Seminary 1Bishop Vann reminded the graduates that we don’t always see clearly or understand the purpose of the present moment in the broader picture of life. But, from his own experience, he has found that in the providence of God, what life presents today is the best preparation for tomorrow. Most importantly, the people we find ourselves with today form the community that will carry us through to whatever the next step is.

In presenting the Senior Farewell, Reverend Mister Dean Marshall, from the Diocese of Sacramento, echoed the importance of community as we are each called into unknown territory. “There are a lot of unknowns ahead of us,” he said, “and we leave now a place of comfort, a place where we know what to expect. But, the times ahead are wrought with excitement and grace.”

There were 44 in the 2019 graduating class of Mount Angel Seminary, with a total of 55 degrees and certificates awarded, including 13 Bachelor of Arts; two Pre-Theology certificates; two Master of Arts (Philosophy); 12 Master of Divinity; 13 Master of Arts (Theology); seven Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, and six Doctor of Ministry.

This Commencement marked the first cohort to graduate in the seminary’s new Doctor of Ministry program. Following the core curriculum of the seminary, the Doctor of Ministry concentrates on Scripture, Liturgical/Systematic Theology, and Pastoral Theology. The program provides an opportunity to deepen and enrich the work of those engaged in pastoral ministry through the pursuit of a professional doctorate.

Mount Angel Seminary offers fully accredited degree programs at all levels, including a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy; Master of Arts (Philosophy); Master of Arts (Theology); Master of Divinity; Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, offered in affiliation with the Pontifical Athenaeum of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome; and Doctor of Ministry. The Master of Arts (Theology) and Doctor of Ministry programs are open to non-seminarians and lay students.

Mount Angel Seminary, established in 1889 by the pioneer monks of Mount Angel Abbey, is the oldest and largest seminary in the western United States. It is the only seminary in the West that offers a four-year college and graduate school of theology, and one of only a few in the nation that offer degrees at all levels, baccalaureate through doctorate. Since its foundation, Mount Angel Seminary has educated and formed thousands of priests and many religious and lay women and men for service to the people of God in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities across the country and around the world.

Categories: Seminary

Chamber choir performs sacred music

On March 19, 2023, a full audience packed the Abbey church to listen to the inaugural concert of the Mount Angel Chamber Choir, directed by Myrna Keough, Associate Professor of Music at Mount Angel Seminary. Composed of monks, seminarians, and friends of Mount Angel, the chamber choir performed a repertoire of sacred music. The concert also included a piece by the Mount Angel Seminary Choir and some instrumental performances by monks and seminarians.

Mount Angel Chamber Choir

The chamber choir began, in part, as an answer to a deep hunger for live choral music after an absence of it for nearly two years due to the pandemic. During that time, a number of monks and seminarians asked Keough if she would consider starting a polyphony choir once group singing became possible again. With the help and support of the Mount Angel Institute, the chamber choir began rehearsals in the fall of 2022. While it was a breath of fresh air to be singing together, there was a steeper learning curve in rehearsals than initially expected. “I underestimated how much that the pandemic, almost two years of not singing, would affect all of us,” shares Keough.

The large turnout for the concert illustrated to Keough that “this really met a need or filled a niche, which is wonderful; there really isn’t another choir like this in this area.” The concert lasted nearly an hour, and the audience was invited to hold their applause until the conclusion of the final piece. The nature of the compositions and the silence between pieces, not to mention the venue of the Abbey church itself, created an atmosphere of reverence and awe. “My prayer coming into [the concert] was that people’s hearts really would experience some of the beauty of heaven and find comfort wherever they happened to be in that moment,” remarks Keough.

Keough specifically chose compositions that could be employed in the liturgy and enhance the beauty of it. “The kind of music that is easily learned and easily played and often played is not satisfactory when it comes up against the kinds of things that we’re all dealing with in our lives of faith,” she reflects. Having liturgical music that requires practice, patience, and excellence helps serve the need people have for a more profound experience of God.

– Ethan Alano

Categories: Monastery, Seminary, Uncategorized

Called to share a message of reconciliation

Being instituted into the ministry of Lector “is a moment of intentionality, of choosing to move forward,” says Sylvester Rozario, a seminarian currently in his first year of theology at Mount Angel Seminary, studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle. “To proclaim [the Word of God], not just to read but to proclaim, to touch someone’s life, to let God speak through you, that’s a gift.”

Mr. Rozario was one of 10 seminarians instituted as Lector during a Mass at Mount Angel Abbey on March 6, 2023. At the same Mass, six seminarians were instituted as Acolytes. Both Lector and Acolyte are among the public steps seminarians take along the way in their years of theological study in preparation and formation for priestly ordination.

Ministries Mass at Mount Angel Seminary 2023.The principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass was Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D., of the Diocese of Las Vegas. Speaking to the seminarians during the homily, he said, “I ask each of you, … [to] hear and heed the words of Pope Francis as he describes the Lord Jesus as the very face of mercy. … Dispense the healing balm of mercy with careless abandon as you minister among God’s holy people, following the example of the Lord Jesus himself. … I enjoin you to assist your bishop and pastors to build a church that is the home of mercy, the domicile of forgiveness for today in a world marred by violence and vitriol.”

Br. Damien-Joseph Rappuhn, O.S.B., a Benedictine monk studying for priestly ordination for St. Martin’s Abbey in Lacey, Washington, said, “The institution as a Lector is a small step, but a profoundly meaningful step on the road of sharing God’s message of reconciliation and healing. The prophet [Isaiah] says that God’s Word, like the rain, gives life to the earth and will not return to him until it has achieved the mission for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11). As a Lector, this is the level at which I am invited to participate in that mission of bringing good news to this hurting, suffering world.”

Those instituted as Lectors include: Mbuiyu Patrick Gitau, Richard John Ordos II, and Sylvester Vijay Rozario, all for the Archdiocese of Seattle; David Pham Hoang, Diocese of Orange; Rico Daniel Landavazo, Archdiocese of Santa Fe; Erik Andrew Morris and Andy Julian Sanchez, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Nathanial Wayne Loe, Diocese of Spokane; Elliot Yaryk Sifuentes, Diocese of Fresno; Br. Damien-Joseph Rappuhn, O.S.B., St. Martin’s Abbey.

Those instituted as Acolytes include: Shawn Raymond Daniel, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Jose Francisco Orozco Cardenas, Diocese of Fresno; Jose Luis Gomez Diaz, Kenneth Rey Parsad, and Jaime Zuazo, all for the Diocese of Salt Lake City; John Paul Langsfeld, Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

– Theresa Myers

Categories: Seminary

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