Highlights From the Hill

After a long and busy summer seminary is now in full swing for both our Mt Angel and St. Patrick’s men. We are pleased to have a number of new seminarians for studying for the diocese and will soon have their profile up on Consider Priesthood so you can get to know them!

Monday started with the Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by the Most Rev. Liam Carey, Bishop of the Diocese of Baker. Following that was the inaugural address given by Abbot Peter Eberle, Vice Rector of the Theologate. He looked at the fictional stories of three priests and compared them to the model priest proposed by Pope St. John Paul II in his encyclical on the formation of priests “Pastores dabo vobis” to highlight the importance of formation both in the seminary and after.

In the afternoon we had a BBQ hosted by the monks of Mt Angel which was preceded by Vespers. This years menu had a Hawaiian theme. There are 47 new seminarians at Mt Angel this year which brings enrollment to about 150. It’s an impressive sound both in the chapel and the dining room!  The evening was very pleasant as we enjoyed the warm and sunny Oregon weather and each others company. It was also a rare free Monday evening. Every Monday is typically dedicated to a conference  related to one of the four areas of formation in the seminary.

Tuesday was the start of classes, which for us deacons was a challenging one whole class! Returning for this last year is definitely an interesting experience. There is the excitement of being ordained and the joys of ordained ministry but there is a sense that this is the dusk of a beautiful stage of life. We all look forward to the priesthood eagerly but like all transitions leaving the old, familiar behind has a twinge of sadness. While most of our fellow seminarians are busy studying philosophy and theology those of us in the fourth year of theology focus on more practical things in pastoral ministry. Next semester we will start learning how to celebrate the Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Do keep us in your prayers!

Turning our attention back to the Diocese there was a change in the diocese of Sacramento. Fr Francisco Hernandez Gomez who served as our vocations director was asked to resume parish ministry by the Bishop. Fr Jovito Rata took the helm of the Vocations Office in his place.  God bless them both in their service!

I hope to post pictures of the opening events, the summer and our new men very soon. Thank you for your readership. God Bless!