Commencement 2021 at Mount Angel Seminary
The 28 students of Mount Angel Seminary’s graduating class of 2021 ended the year with a Baccalaureate Mass in the Abbey church on April 23, followed by Commencement the following morning. “This was a year like no other” was a sentiment often heard throughout the two services.
President-Rector Msgr. Joseph Betschart, during the Commencement Exercises, commended the students and the entire seminary community for their “character, dedication, and commitment” in the face of innumerable challenges. “It’s certainly been a year full of challenges like no other. But it’s also been a year full of opportunities and graces like no other, as our Lord continues to guide us, sustain us, accompany us, and provide for us along the way.” He continued noting that throughout it all, he has never seen the community more joyful, more united together, more dedicated, focused, and committed, and make more growth than he has seen this year, which he said was a tremendous source of inspiration to him and to countless others.
As part of his Commencement Address, the Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of Seattle, noted that the graduates are preparing to go “into a troubled world.” He advised them to “learn to live the many moments of tension” they would encounter. “Learn also,” he said, “that oftentimes tension is the playground of the Holy Spirit, out of which is born the creative solution that is necessary to build God’s kingdom.”
The Senior Farewell address was given by Deacon Cheeyoon Chun of the Diocese of Orange. “Regardless of how long we have resided here as students,” he said, “we came as guests, but this place will always remain our home. We shall make our descent down the
hill once more to bear witness to what we have seen. We leave with confidence and the preparation to lay down our lives for our friends.”
Seminarians receiving their Bachelor of Arts from Mount Angel Seminary’s College of Liberal Arts were Michael Gerard Caster, Diocese of Las Vegas; Ivan Lara, Diocese of Las Vegas; Taylor Kaimanaokekai Mitchell, Diocese of Honolulu; Charles Patrick Nagore, Diocese of Tucson; Andy Toan Nguyen, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Javier Olmedo, Diocese of San Diego; Simon Mai Tran, Diocese of Las Vegas; and Jaime Zuazo, Diocese of Salt Lake City.
Those receiving their Pre-Theology Certificate of Completion were Scott Vincent Borba, Diocese of Fresno; Alberto Carrillo Pacheco, Diocese of Salt Lake City; Shawn Raymond Daniel, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Jose Luis Gomez, Diocese of Salt Lake City; John Paul Langsfeld, Archdiocese Santa Fe; Jonah Kenneth Powell, Diocese of Baker; and Tristan Schubert, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.
Deacon Cheeyoon Timothy Chun, Diocese of Orange; Deacon Joshua Falce, Diocese of Boise; Deacon Tony Galati, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Franklin Ubochioma Iwuagwu, Archdiocese of Santa Fe; Deacon Val Park, Archdiocese of Seattle; Br. Israel Sanchez, O.S.B., Mount Angel Abbey; Deacon Jordan Taylor Sánchez, Archdiocese of Santa Fe; and Br. Joseph Mary Tran, O.C.D., Order of Discalced Carmelites, each received their Master of Divinity from the Seminary’s Graduate School of Theology.
Receiving their Master of Arts (Theology) were Michael Andrew Ceragioli; Shannon Leigh Rick; and Brody Robert Stewart, Mount Angel Abbey.
Br. Israel Sanchez, O.S.B., also received his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology.
Gina Ranee Anderson and Rev. Jose T. Ramirez each received their Doctor of Ministry degree.
In closing the Commencement Exercises, the Right Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., Abbot and Chancellor, again acknowledged the challenging year this has been, noting that it was also “a wonderful time for growth. You showed yourselves able to rise to the occasion, again and again,” he told the graduates. “I congratulate you on that.” Quoting from the Apostle Paul, Abbot Jeremy offered his closing words: “Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, seek things above.”