Highlights from the Hill

So its been a really long time, I mean a really long time since we’ve posted. And well that’s terrible on our part, especially my part. A lot has happened here at Mt Angel so I hope to share some of the highlights for you. While I’ve tried to collect photos for posting it doesn’t always seem to work. So please bear with this text heavy post. In case I hadn’t mentioned it before, we have two new seminarians at Mt Angel Seminary. David Panduro who is in College II and Ivan Mora who is in pre-theology. Pretty soon I will have their bios up. We are glad to have them with us.

Steven Wood, who is in first theology received the ministry of Lector from Bishop Armando Ochoa this semester.  As an instituted lector he is commissioned to proclaim the readings in liturgy and also to help teach the faith. While this is not a step to the priesthood in the strict sense it is a milestone. In a sense it marks our entry liturgical ministry as the Church entrusts us with that service. The lector is also expected to study and pray with the Scriptures deeply and regularly.

I am pleased to announce that I was recommended to transitional diaconate by Mt Angel Seminary at the end of my annual evaluation as was Rev. Mr. Jose Victor Gutierrez. He along with Rev Mr. Michael Ritter will be ordained to the priesthood on June 6. On that same day, indeed in the same liturgy, my classmate Mr Raj Derivera and I will be ordained, God willing, to the transitional diaconate. So, please, keep us and all those who will be ordained to either order this summer in your prayers.  It is an exciting time!

One class we have is called Advanced Preaching/Presiding I. In this class we learn how to celebrate Matrimony and Baptism and Funerals. We also learn how to give Benediction and serve as the deacon in Mass. I have to confess in the Mass practice I was slightly off in my words. Another part of preparation for ordination is a five day retreat.  This is to prepare us for the spiritual reality of ordination.

On a less cheery note I should mention the passing of an important monk of Mt Angel Abbey who worked in the seminary, Fr Paschal Cheline. He was dear to countless people and this was testified to by the large crowd present for his funeral.  A number of alumni came and observed “even after death he’s still building community”. He had a plan for life: Jesus Christ, the Church, Liturgy, and novels. While it is impossible to take the totality of his influence, this article is a good summation. Pray for his happy repose.

Just recently Francis Cardinal George was called home to the Lord as well. He is remembered by many for a host of things. I personally will always remember this famous quote, “I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die as a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.” I think it indicates not the bleak reality we face but, rather, the depth and intensity of Christian hope and Charity. Do pray for his happy repose as well.

This semester is in its final weeks and soon we will be on Summer break which always holds the promise of a summer apostolate.  Stay tuned for more details!

This link will take you to a good blogpost with a fantastic video about seminary life.  Consider it! Consider Priesthood!