Liberty, Fraternity, Catholicity: A “Free Weekend” with Diocesan Brothers

Formation for the priesthood is serious business, but even people engaged in serious business need some time to relax.  Mount Angel has a monthly “Free Weekend” to make sure that we seminarians take the time to recreate ourselves.  Every weekend has free time, but on Free Weekends seminarians can return home, go camping, or spend a couple of nights away from the Hilltop.

This last Free Weekend (February 20-22), four of us Sacramento guys—Ivan, Ivan, David, and myself—took the opportunity to visit Portland (Preston, a seminarian from the Diocese of Honolulu, also joined us).  The biggest city in Oregon is just an hour away from Mount Angel, but there’s a huge difference between the bustling city and our peaceful Hilltop.

After Saturday morning Mass, we set out for Portland.  Our first stop was The Grotto, a Marian shrine with an incredible view.  We spent time walking the Grotto’s replica of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth and enjoyed an incredible view from a cliff-top chapel.

After the tranquility of the Grotto, we jumped into the activity of the downtown.  We lunched at a burger joint, browsed the largest bookstore in the world, and finished off with a visit to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

We didn’t spend the whole weekend away from our studies, but it was a well-needed break in the middle of mid-term exams.  Even better, it was a chance to bond as friends and diocesan brothers.  Thanks be to God for free time!!!


At the Grotto: Steven W, David P, A Servite Priest, Ivan M, Ivan F

Saint Wannabes (and God Willing 'Gonnabees'): Sacramento Seminarians with a Statue of St. Philip Benizi