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Fr. Augustine DeNoble, OSB, obituary

Born: October 25, 1925
Professed: September 8, 1950
Ordained: May 19, 1955
Died: November 9, 2019

Fr. Augustine DeNoble, O.S.B., a monk of Mount Angel Abbey, passed peacefully to the Lord on November 9, 2019. At the time of his death, Fr. Augustine, 94, was the eldest member of the monastic community.

Fr. Augustine was born in Wisconsin and grew up in Tillamook, Oregon. After college studies at Mount Angel Seminary, he entered the Abbey and made profession as a monk in 1950. His ordination to the priesthood followed in 1955. He earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Washington and served for many years as assistant librarian at the Abbey. Fr. Augustine also set up the libraries of the Abbey’s monastic foundations in Idaho and Mexico.

As a gifted archivist and researcher, Fr. Augustine became particularly knowledgeable in the early history of Mount Angel Abbey, and he saw to the compilation and binding of much related historical material. The monastic community is also indebted to Fr. Augustine for his years of work to develop the Abbey’s English version of the Liturgy of the Hours, which remains in daily use by the monks of Mount Angel.

As a priest, Fr. Augustine loved the ministry of sacramental reconciliation, and many knew him as a wise and compassionate confessor. Many Abbey visitors (and residents) delighted in the beautiful flowers he lovingly cultivated beside the Stations of the Cross that wind along Abbey Drive.

May he rest forever in the peace of Christ whom he served so long and so lovingly.

Categories: Monastery, Uncategorized

Nine seminarians admitted to candidacy for Holy Orders

At a Mass on the morning of October 23 at Mount Angel Abbey, nine seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary were admitted to candidacy for Holy Orders by the Most Rev. Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland, who served as principal celebrant. The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders marks the point when the seminarian publicly declares his commitment to enter final preparation for service to the people of God as an ordained minister in the Church. Through the bishop, the Church accepts and publicly affirms the candidate’s commitment to continue on the path toward ordination.

Admitted to candidacy were Cheeyoon Timothy Chun of the Diocese of Orange, Caleb Joshua Cunningham of the Diocese of Baker, Anthony Obinna Ezeaputa and Jordan Taylor Sanchez of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Joshua Daniel Falce of the Diocese of Boise, Anthony Robert Galati of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oscar Saul Medina Zermeno and Bonaventure Chukwunomso Okoro of the Diocese of Fresno, and Junghoon (Val) Park of the Archdiocese of Seattle. All of the men are in their third or fourth year of theology and will begin now to prepare for ordination to the transitional diaconate.

In addition to the seminarians and the monastic community of Mount Angel, the Mass was attended by 36 bishops, religious superiors, and vocation directors who were present for the Mass and the Episcopal Council meeting that followed. Family members and guests of the candidates attended, as well as the entire seminary and monastic community of Mount Angel.
In his homily at the Mass, Archbishop Sample described the Rite of Candidacy as “a rite of passage that places you now in a different phase of preparation. You enter now into a phase of more intense preparation for ordination.”

Archbishop Sample reminded the entire community of seminarians that their best and primary preparation for priesthood is the loving relationship they must form with Jesus Christ. They must, he said, make their priority in life “your relationship with God, with Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit. There is nothing more important in your preparation [for priesthood] than that.”

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. Students experience exceptional academic instruction in a deeply spiritual, prayerful, and formative environment.

Categories: Monastery, Seminary

Staying active is part of the formation plan

Seminarians spend hours each day at prayer and study. But some also crash the boards, send headers into the corner or beast it up in the weight room.

“Being physically active is a great way to grow in holiness,” says Kyle Rink, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Seattle who leads a mountaineering club for seminarians and is a stalwart in the daily 4 p.m. indoor soccer game in the seminary gym.

According to Rink, hikes in the Cascades make seminarians aware of God’s grandeur and sports help them function as a team and reach for greatness.

Physical fitness actually is a part of seminary formation. The goal is for future priests to learn to live a balanced life. Seminary leaders and bishops know that healthy men can be more effective pastors.

“Being active improves my overall health and improves my performance in school,” says Rink, 25. “It keeps me happy. If I did not do this, I would have less drive in general.”

He played baseball and soccer and ran track in school. Soccer is popular at the hilltop seminary, where students come from soccer-loving nations like Mexico, Argentina and Nigeria. The daily game draws 12 to 18 players with all kinds of skill levels. Men with less experience are treated with care and respect, and the competition among skilled players is fierce and fun.

Rink also lifts weights, runs and rides his bike. “The country roads around here are amazing,” he says. “You can just go and go.”

He is president of the seminary’s Frassati Society, named after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, an early 20th-century Italian who mixed devotion, charity, social justice work and outdoor adventure.

The men climb peaks in the ample surrounding wilderness, ski, trek on snowshoes and pray outdoors.

“It is not just sports for sports’ sake, but you know you are going to grow,” Rink explains.

When he came to seminary, Ivan Lara was pushing 300 pounds.

“Coming to seminary opened my eyes to how far off the deep end I had gone,” said Lara, now 22, trimmer and studying for the Diocese of Las Vegas.

He starts each day with prayer and 30 minutes of exercise that gets his heart pounding. He runs the field in the seminary daily soccer game, plays basketball twice per week and shows up for volleyball once per week. The gym is his favorite seminary building, except for the church.

As a boy, Lara played all kinds of sports, but stopped as a teen when his parents could not afford fees or transportation. When he landed a job, he spent money on snacks instead of sports.

Being active helps all parts of his life, he says. “In class I am more focused. I am more focused on liturgy and prayer.”

Seminary sports have helped Lara get more disciplined. Once a “go with the wind” person, he now sets goals for weightlifting and running and works toward them. He has learned to eat better, thanks to the seminary food service. He makes sure to get enough sleep.

He is surprised seminary took on all parts of his life, but he is glad.

“The thing that is really difficult here is balancing your life,” he says. He knows the same will be true when he is serving in a parish someday, God willing. The experience he gained at seminary, he said, could make a big difference.

When it comes to basketball, the seminary has an organized squad that has played teams from other small schools like Multnomah College of the Bible, Reed College and Concordia University.

“We play against their junior varsity. If we played varsity, we’d get killed,” says a good-natured Val Park, who hopes to be ordained a deacon next year for the Archdiocese of Seattle. He helped get the organized hoop team going.

“It’s a good way to let some steam out,” Park says of competition. “We try to keep a good balance, keeping it light so all people will come and build fraternity.”

For Park, sports long have been a way to build friendships and develop a team perspective.

“You learn how to find your role in connection with people around you,” Park says. “It allows you to be something bigger that just yourself. God willing, we will be team players as priests.”

Park and his fellow players think they would benefit from having a coach. If there is a willing volunteer out there, the seminary wants to hear.

Story by Ed Langlois for the Catholic Sentinel. Reprinted with permission.

Categories: Seminary

Tony Del Castillo sees beyond external trappings

Tony Del Castillo cannot see. Yet he says a friend’s question years ago helped him perceive people with clarity, to look beyond an individual’s quirks, foibles and facades.

“God used her to open up my eyes in a sense,” said Del Castillo, the first blind seminarian at Mount Angel Seminary in its 130-year history.The 40-year-old sat in a classroom in October recalling the early impetus for his vocation journey. His guide dog, a black Labrador named Dagwood, rested at his feet. A lecture on modern philosophy had just finished and Mount Angel professor Andrew Cummings collected his notes.

“When I make a controversial point and it gets too tense, Dagwood lets us know with a growl,” said Cummings with a smile.

Del Castillo, a second-year theology student for the Diocese of Orange, California, was born with Leber congenital amaurosis, an eye disorder that affects the retina. His brother has the same condition.

The boys’ parents, both committed Catholics, were advocates on behalf of their sons and others with disabilities, fighting at the state and national levels to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

“They helped me learn to speak up for myself and to be an advocate,” said the seminarian.

Del Castillo is a skilled pianist and drummer, and after high school he studied jazz at the University of Southern California.

One memorable day his friend Lisa, a devout Christian, asked him in a nervous tone of voice, “How can I love you better?”

“The way she said it, I knew she wanted to know how she should treat me as a blind person,” recalled Del Castillo. “Most people don’t know if they’re going to say something offensive. I told her to treat me like she would anyone else. But her question spoke volumes because she included the word ‘love.’ What she was really saying was, ‘What’s the best way to get beyond the surface? Because you are someone that I like as a friend but can love as a brother.’

“That was one of those points that inspired me to grow in my faith,” Del Castillo said. “It started to change my whole outlook on life and how I look at other people. God’s sight tells us that we have to look past what’s superficial.”

His revelations prompted his involvement with USC’s Catholic center and a music ministry. Since there weren’t hymnals in braille, Del Castillo listened to the music to memorize it by ear.

“The music was a good teacher,” he said. “I learned more about things we believe as Catholics because music can convey teachings about social justice, the Eucharist, God’s love.”

Del Castillo started considering the priesthood in 2003, but his passion remained music. He earned a master’s in popular music and taught blind youths percussion.

It was a chance to transmit the lessons he’d gained from his parents. When students would come up to him and say, “I can’t do this or that in school,” he’d say, “Yes, you can. I’ve done it. But you need to learn to be an advocate for yourself.”

The seminarian added that blindness has helped him identify with a range of people “who are thought of as ‘the other,’” and he hopes through his vocation to lift up those who’ve been dismissed — “be they homeless, immigrants, or dealing with racism or sexism.”

In 2014, Del Castillo began seriously to explore the priesthood and went through a discernment process. He applied to a seminary and received unanimous recommendations that he was a good candidate.

“Unfortunately, the rector of that seminary basically told my vocations director: ‘Tell him that he shouldn’t even apply.’ They didn’t know how they were going deal with me.”

Del Castillo sent a letter to the rector saying he understood the concerns but that he’d like to discuss ways it might work out. It was fruitless.

“That was tough,” said Del Castillo. “But it was a good lesson in patience and perseverance.”

Eventually he applied to Mount Angel, which was open to the possibility of a blind seminarian, and he began studies last year.

“I was amazed by how peaceful it is here, and the people are awesome,” said Del Castillo, who holds no animosity toward the first seminary. “It wasn’t right how they handled it, but in the long run this is better how it worked out.”

Del Castillo has adapted well at Mount Angel. He’s often able to get course material in braille or audio or scan a book and convert it into audio. He regularly uses a touch-screen tablet that includes braille.

As self-sufficient as he is, Del Castillo reaches out for assistance when needed. It took a while to get comfortable navigating campus, “but the guys are great and helped me out,” he said of his fellow seminarians.

“And Dagwood here, he helps me be more independent,” he said, adding with a grin that “the guys think of him as the seminary mascot, and he’s also a holy dog.”

He once took Dagwood outside for a bathroom break and encountered a group of seminarians about to start a walking rosary. They invited Del Castillo to join, but he had lots of homework to finish and kept trying to tug the dog back inside. Dagwood had his own ideas. “And, well, guess who ended up praying the rosary that day?” Del Castillo said, laughing.

Father Steve Clovis is vice president of administration and director of human formation at Mount Angel. “There are things that Tony and Dagwood depend on us for — simple things — and they give us profound things in return,” said the priest, who’d stopped to say hello and scratch the guide dog, then off-duty and therefore available for pats and scratches.

“They inspire us and humble us,” said Father Clovis. “They remind us of what we can give and be for others and what others can give and be for us. It’s been a blessing having them here.”

Story and photo: Katie Scott; first published in the Catholic Sentinel. Reprinted with permission.

Categories: Seminary

Blessed Conchita helps us understand the need for holy priests

Mount Angel Abbey, Mass celebrating Bl. Conchita.The Church celebrated the spiritual power of a faithful Catholic lay woman Sept. 14 at Mount Angel Abbey.

More than 400 people filled the Abbey church for a Mass of thanksgiving for Blessed Conchita Cabrera, a Mexican mystic who died in 1937 at age 75.

Concepcion Cabrera de Armida was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1862, the seventh of nine children. Later known as Conchita, she experienced mystical gifts even as a child, including having the baby Jesus as a playmate. She was a mother of nine, widowed at age 39.

While raising her children as a model of Catholic parenthood, she also became a prolific spiritual author whose diary alone includes more than 60,000 pages in spite of no formal schooling.

A regular in Eucharistic adoration, Blessed Conchita received messages from the Lord regarding the need for sanctity in priesthood. Church authorities have accepted her writings, which are quoted in the Congregation for the Clergy’s booklet on priestly holiness and spiritual maternity — the idea that priests have mother-like duties in spiritual life.

In 1907, she received a message from Jesus: “I must be offered by you at every moment.”

Conchita, an inspiration behind the priests and brothers of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, has many admirers in Oregon.

“She is in my heart,” said Kathy Valdez, a member of St. Mary Parish in the town of Mt. Angel. “She is an example of a strong, loving, faithful woman who served God and others around her.”

Valdez, a mother and grandmother, said that she is “deeply touched” by Conchita’s self-giving in family and community. “The Lord instructed her to work through the laity,” Valdez said.

“I came to learn more about Conchita and know more details about her life,” said Jocelin Morales, a 25-year-old member of St. Anthony Parish in Tigard who speaks of Conchita in the present tense. “She has a very deep connection with God and through him she has been able to help others.”

Jocelin’s sister, 27-year-old Viri, admires the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and came to support them as they extend Conchita’s ministry. “She was very dedicated and helped others, even though her family was a lot of hard work,” Viri said.

“She is my spiritual mother,” said Brother José Ortega, a Missionary of the Holy Spirit who is enrolled at Mount Angel Seminary. “She lived according to God’s will.” Brother José said his calling to consecrated life came from God but went through Blessed Conchita. The order has served parishes in western Oregon for several decades and specializes in spiritual direction.

Through Blessed Conchita’s inspiration and help, several other ministries emerged, including a lay movement called the Apostleship of the Cross, a contemplative institute of nuns, a group of consecrated laity, and a movement of clergy called the Brotherhood of Christ the Priest.

After Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to her, she was beatified in Mexico City in May. In 2007, Rome’s Congregation for the Clergy had written, “In the future, she will be of great importance for the universal Church. The spiritual motherhood for the sanctification of priests consumed her completely.”

During the Mass at Mount Angel Abbey, relics of Blessed Conchita were placed near the front of the church under an icon of her.

After the Abbey bells pealed over the Hilltop and to the valleys below, a procession included a large banner with a likeness of a smiling Blessed Conchita.

Archbishop Gustavo GarciaArchbishop Gustavo Garcia of San Antonio, Texas, blessed the relics and icon with incense as the faithful bowed and crossed themselves.

“Suffering can be absorbed by love,” Archbishop Garcia told worshippers in English and Spanish, summing up one of Blessed Conchita’s messages. “What is needed today is self-surrendering love.”

A widow who knew the pain of loss, Blessed Conchita reflected on suffering for everyday people. For her, suffering for Jesus is a great joy for a Christian, Archbishop Garcia said, choking up with emotion. He beseeched her in prayer: “May you help us to hear the Lord as you did.”

Archbishop Garcia, who once served in Oregon, is a Missionary of the Holy Spirit.

Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample attended, as did retired Portland Archbishop John Vlazny. Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle was on hand as well.

Most of the congregation were lay members of parishes in the region, especially St. Matthew in Hillsboro, served by the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.

Father Peter Arteaga, a Missionary of the Holy Spirit who serves at the seminary, organized the event.

The Mass was held during Mount Angel Oktoberfest, so some visitors to the abbey happened in by chance.

“I had never heard of her before,” Sarah McDonald of Lake Oswego said of Blessed Conchita. “She is just fabulous.”

–      By Ed Langlois; reprinted with permission from Catholic Sentinel

Categories: Monastery, Seminary

Two new deacons for Mount Angel Abbey

New deacons at Mount Angel Abbey.

The community of Mount Angel celebrated the ordination of two new deacons, Brothers Ephrem Martinez and Timothy Kalange, on August 17, 2019.

In a powerful moment, Archbishop Alexander Sample silently laid his hands on the heads of the candidates, then began to sing the prayer of ordination.

Brother Timothy said one part of that long yet beautiful prayer spoke strongly to his heart. The archbishop asked that God might “abound in those being ordained every Gospel virtue: unfeigned love, concern for the sick and poor, unassuming authority, the purity of innocence, and the observance of spiritual discipline.”

“These are powerful virtues to which every Christian should aspire and are especially important today in serving the people of God,” Brother Timothy said.

In his homily, Archbishop Sample called the diaconate the final step before the priesthood, “a very special vocation” for a professed Benedictine monk.

“You, brothers, have this unique and wonderful blessing to combine both your religious vocation . . . (and) a call to ordained ministry in the church,” Archbishop Sample said. “The laying on of hands to receive the grace of Christ, to be able to proclaim the word, to serve at the altar and to minister among the people of God as servants. You are called to be icons of Christ the Servant in your ministry.”

Br. Ephrem Martinez receives the Gospels.As deacons, the two men now are able to perform baptisms and marriages, as well as assist at the altar and preach during Mass. After a period of a year or two as deacons, they may be ordained as priests.

In this transitional period, Brother Timothy will serve as a deacon at the abbey as well as at St. Mary Parish in Mount Angel. He also will teach at Mount Angel Seminary.

“I pray that in serving the people of the parish and teaching future priests I will serve the monastic community well, be a gift to the church, and give glory to God,” he said.

Brother Ephrem also is teaching classes at the seminary and oversees the monastic kitchen. He will continue ministering to the Spanish-speaking adults at St. Mary Parish. He said the highlight of his diaconate ordination was the people from the parish who attended.

“They now have become like my new relatives and family,” he explained. “They came at 6 a.m. and made all the food for the reception. They support me in many ways and are really happy for this moment.”

Categories: Monastery

Julie Notburga Simpson – The 7-Hour Oblate

Julie Simpson became an oblate novice in February of 2018. It was a big step toward fulfilling her longtime desire to become a Benedictine oblate of Mount Angel Abbey. That November, she had a tumor removed and in December, was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. The doctors told Julie she likely had about a year to live.

Julie Notburga SimpsonJulie was ready to make her full oblation in February of 2019, but renovations of the Abbey’s guesthouse postponed the retreat when oblate novices make their final commitments. In March, after more scans, Julie learned her tumors were growing in number and size. There was nothing more to be done; Julie had less than two months to live. The desire to make her oblation – her full act of commitment to live as a Benedictine oblate – became urgent.

When I learned of Julie’s situation, I decided to make the trip to her home in Washington state and receive her oblation on Monday of Holy Week, April 15.
By Friday, April 12, the family was told Julie had
just hours to live. By Saturday, she had only moments of coherence, and on Sunday, she was moved to the hospice unit of Providence Hospital in Everett, Washington.

On Monday morning, I arrived at the hospital as friends and family gathered for the Oblation
Mass. In the homily, I reminded Julie that as we celebrate Holy Week, we look toward the feast of the
Ascension. As Jesus rises into heaven, beyond this earth, we pray, “Where the head has gone before in Glory … the body is called to follow … in hope.”

After this, Julie’s oblate mentor, Darlene Goodwin, presented Julie for oblation. Since at this point she was unable to speak for herself, the entire group
of her relatives and friends voiced Julie’s desire to become an oblate and associate herself with the monks and works of Mount Angel Abbey. Darlene read the oblation promises and Julie took the name of an Austrian saint known for her charity, Notburga. I accepted Julie’s oblation and placed a medal of St. Benedict around her neck, which she was able to grasp in her hand.
At Communion, Julie received a drop of the Precious Blood as Viaticum for her journey. Before the Final Blessing, everyone assembled and anointed her with nard, as Mary had anointed Jesus in the Gospel reading for that day’s Mass.

Seven hours later, Julie Notburga Simpson, oblate of Mount Angel Abbey, passed from this world to follow where Christ, her Redeemer, has gone.

– Fr. Ralph Recker, O.S.B., Director of Oblates

Categories: Monastery, Uncategorized

Saint Benedict Festival 2019 on the Hilltop

Feast. Pray. Meet the Monks.That was the guiding theme for the fifth annual Saint Benedict Festival at Mount Angel Abbey on July 13.

Fasting and prayer gave way to feasting and prayer, as a thousand-plus of the Abbey’s friends – old and new – and generous supporters made their way to the Hilltop to meet and celebrate the feast of St. Benedict with the monks.
By all accounts, both guests and monks enjoyed the food, drink, music, tours, games and, especially, the camaraderie.
Mount Angel residents Kathy Wall and Mary Grant were eyeing the strawberry shortcake when they stopped to give their impressions of the festival.

“I love the way the monks mingle and are out here with everyone,” Wall said. “… they are so friendly, so welcoming, so warm. I love it.”

“Everybody needs to socialize,” Grant added. “We need to socialize with them. They’re not just strange guys dressed in black on top of the hill. They are normal, nice people that like to have fun.

“And what a selection of wine – wow!” Grant continued. “And Fr. Martin’s beer! You can’t beat it.”

Trent Sislow, who entered the monastic community as a postulant in March, was hosting the lawn game competitions during the festival. A self-described introvert, Sislow said after all the socializing ended he would probably need to spend some quiet time with a book in his room. But he was clearly having fun interacting with the folks who stopped by to try their skill, and said he was glad to be a part of the festivities.

“This festival is a real full-blown hospitality experience,” Sislow said. “It’s great to have all these people here to experience a little bit of our monastic life …. We are not here doing all this for our own sake. We’re here so we can share with all these people. We have such a great community here; it kind of makes it easy.”

One of the popular tours offered at the festival was of the newly-renovated Saint Benedict Guesthouse and Retreat Center. Guest master Fr. Pius X Harding, O.S.B., led large groups through the stunning new common spaces in the building. He apologized for not being able to provide a glimpse of the bedrooms, noting all the rooms were full for the weekend.

Bob and Char Wendling of Oregon City and Mike and Mamie Dec of Milwaukie lingered in front of the Last Supper sculpture in the guesthouse dining room. The impressive piece was done by Tomasz Misztal, a Polish artist who now resides in Oregon. Mamie Dec, who knows Misztal, pointed out details and shared insights about his work.

Bob Wendling marveled at the complete transformation of the guesthouse.

“I have attended retreats and stayed in the retreat house many times in the past,” Wendling said. “It is such a serene place. My first retreat here was with my Catholic fraternity – Phi Kappa Theta – at Oregon State University back in 1962. It was a beautiful place then but is even more beautiful now.”

Mike Dec said, “We do retreats for married couples in our parish, and our next retreat will be here. But I have a feeling it will continue to be full a lot of the time.”

The one frustration for a festival guest is that there was not enough time to see and do everything. As the last guesthouse tour ended, it was nearly time to join the liturgical procession with the monks leading everyone into the church to bless the new St. Benedict statue, followed by Vespers.

As Abbot Jeremy Driscoll told the guests when the festival began earlier in the day: “Feast. Pray. Meet the Monks. All this is what we are here to celebrate and give thanks for.”

Many are no doubt already looking forward to next year’s festival, scheduled for Saturday, July 11, 2020.

– By Steve Ritchie for Mount Angel Abbey

Categories: Monastery

Commencement 2019 at Mount Angel Seminary

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: Monastery, Seminary

Ministries Mass: A step toward ordination

At a Mass celebrated March 8, two dozen seminarians from Mount Angel Seminary took a step forward in their journey to ordained priesthood.

The Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima, was the principal celebrant and instituted nine men in the ministry of lector and 16 in the ministry of acolyte. The seminarians are currently studying theology at Mount Angel and represent seven dioceses and one religious community.

As instituted lectors, the seminarians are called to serve the Church as “bearers of God’s word,” proclaiming the word in the Liturgy and preparing people for the sacraments. Accordingly, they are to be especially attentive themselves to the Scriptures and meditate on it constantly so as to better witness to others our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Instituted in the ministry of lector on Friday were: Anthony Hoangphan and Efrain Razo, Jr., from the Archdiocese of Portland; Sylvester Musonda Chanda and Andrew Charles Hollands, from the Archdiocese of Seattle; Michael Thomas Evert, from the Diocese of San Diego; Ian Michael Gaston and Hun Chae (Mark) Jung, from the Diocese of Orange; Oscar Saúl Medina Zermeño and James Joseph Tasy, from the Diocese of Fresno.

As instituted acolytes, the seminarians are entrusted with the responsibility of assisting priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, especially as ministers of Holy Communion at the Liturgy and to the sick. Accordingly, they “should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s Sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness.”

Instituted in the ministry of acolyte were: Peter Atwood Laughlin and Luke Aaron Stager, from the Archdiocese of Portland; Sergio Armando Chávez Cabral and Tristan Peter Alec Dillon, from the Diocese of Salt Lake City; Arturo Cisneros, Oscar Saúl Medina Zermeño, Juan Carlos Reynoso Lozano, and Dalton Scott Rogers, from the Diocese of Fresno; Agustin Rajan Henderson, Darrell James Segura, Jr., and Adrian Julian Sisneros, from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe; Chad Kirwan Hill, Alexander Thomas Nelson, and Brody Robert Stewart, from the Archdiocese of Seattle; Michael John Hoolihan from the Diocese of Orange; and Br. Joseph Mary Tran, O.C.D.

Since 1889, Mount Angel Seminary has educated and formed thousands of priests to serve more than 11 million Catholics in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities around the world. As the oldest seminary in the western United States, Mount Angel is the only seminary in the West that offers a College of Liberal Arts, a Graduate School of Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry Program.

Categories: Monastery, Seminary

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