Highlights From the Hill

We’ve been back in school for about a month now so I’ll try and recap the events of the last month.

We were very happy to have our two new brothers with us. I’ll have (hopefully) their bio’s up soon.

We begin our Spring semester with our annual silent retreat. The retreat this year was given by Msgr Joseph Hanefeldt, who will soon be ordained Bishop and installed as Bishop of Grand Island, Nebraska. Msgr Hanefeldt  gave a series of conferences on priestly virtues. The virtues he presented were: availability, generosity, receptivity, and pastoral charity, at least those are the ones I remembered. A virtue is classical understand as a character trait which one cultivates and develops. It was a spin on a classic topic and very well done! Retreats are a great time to focus on the spiritual life and gain insight.  While the conferences are important equally important is the time spent in prayer and listening for God’s voice.

Classe came in with a bang! After the weekend off we were back at the books and the Walk for Life came upon us quickly. Half of the seminary went and the other half stayed and participated in our annual “Peace and Justice Day”. It is a day of service which is done in conjunction and in solidarity with the Walk for Life. It involves a lot of community outreach and so serves as an important reminder that while we fight the ever important battle for respect for life, from natural conception to natural death, we have to care for life as well. I’ll write more when the pictures come in and we have some from Walk for Life as well. We spent the morning at a food bank or school and the afternoon in community gardening; the day was spent helping illiteracy (a huge factor in poverty) and hunger Here’s some of us at work!


Yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday, we had our annual party  which was great fun. I was surprised that despite being in the Pacific Northwest we had a number of Patriots’ fans.  Part of our party is a chili cook off. My class participated but sadly didn’t win. But we have a final chance for victory next year. The Super Bowl game is proceeded by our own flag football game. The teams are the “New Men” (those guys who started this year) and the “Old Men” (those who have been around) for some reason we’ve changed the name to “Returning Guys” I think it’s because the age span has increased here ;) ;)

Today we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord and in some ways closes our celebration of the Incarnation. This feast marks when our Lady and St Joseph brought the Lord to the Temple. Here at Mt Angel we have Mass in the evening and it begins with the blessing of candles outside and a procession into the darkened church. It reminds us that Christ is the “light to the nations and glory of Israel”.

Lastly please keep our Theo III and Theo IV guys in prayer as they begin the process for diaconate and priestly ordination.  As the details of my diaconate start being settled there’s a sense of excitement and joy but at the same time it is a sobering feeling as well. As our Lord says in the Gospel “to whom much is given much is expected” (Luke 12:48).

This new video came out and while a bit longer than normal it is a very good one. It presents the reality of discernment.  It should encourage you in your discernment, not by inspiring you but hopefully by showing you how down to earth and human the process is. Enjoy!