Friday, October 9, 2015

Fr. Gerardo Alberto, M.Sp.S. - Spiritual Director for the Directors of Souls

by Luis Trujillo

Imagine having the vocation of being the shepherd of souls for those who will one day be the shepherds of many others.

Fr. Gerardo Alberto, M.Sp.S., does exactly that. In the quiet hallway of the Anselm building, Fr. Gerardo listens patiently to the seminarians who come to him, trusting him in love that he will give them spiritual material for growth. Close to 150 souls are being formed here at Mount Angel Seminary in the four pillars of formation: spiritual, human, academic and pastoral. Getting to know each seminarian, Fr. Gerardo helps them set out into the deep with Christ himself, so that one day they may in turn do the same in a parish.

Father Gerardo Alberto, M.Sp.S

Spiritual direction, Fr. Gerardo said, is “so very important, it is one of the pillars of formation. Within the meetings I have with the seminarians, we find ways to make the four pillars of formation work in their life, so that we can share in the priesthood of Jesus more fully.”

Fr. Gerardo listens to close to 15 seminarians a week and has about 35 who sign up for his direction year after year. He has been a spiritual director at Mount Angel Seminary since 2011. Father Gerardo is also the superior for the order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit who have a House of Studies in Mount Angel. Fr. Gerardo is a busy man; besides being a spiritual director and superior, Fr. Gerardo celebrates Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and assists the Hispanic ministry there.

“He gives the example of life and that of a religious. You will find he is very approachable and trustworthy,” said one of his brothers, Jorge Haro, who has known him for about seven years and who, since 2011, has been under his brother’s formation.

Brother Jorge Haro, who belongs to the community of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, affirms that Fr. Gerardo is one of the most popular priests for spiritual direction on the hilltop because of his closeness to people.  Brother Jorge said, “Our whole spirituality asks for that.”

Different seminarians will praise the wisdom that Fr. Gerardo offers in their meetings with him. It is all due to the fact that it helps them grow. Francisco Garcia, seminarian for the Diocese of Monterrey, has a lot to add: “His [Fr. Gerardo’s] spirituality is strong. I have felt it though the different sessions.”

During spiritual direction, the seminarian is welcome to talk about anything in internal forum.  The sacrament of reconciliation and moral and spiritual support are always found with a director who, like our parents, makes an impact for the rest of our lives.

Father Gerardo with his brother Missionary priests Peter Arteaga (left) and Juan Antonio (right) during the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Abbey Church.

The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit have become a familiar face, and their hospitality is a home away from home to many seminarians, thanks to the openness and welcoming character of Fr. Gerardo. It is not uncommon to find seminarians praying with the Missionaries and sharing meals in their House of Studies.

The welcoming environment of the House of Studies invites the seminarians to have a familiarity with Fr. Gerardo, a place of refuge or solitude of prayer, or to sit down to homemade meals. As seminarian Francisco Garcia said, “People outside seminary think that life within the walls is very easy, but the reality is it is not as easy as people think. With your own spiritual director, you feel supported by someone to guide you and listen.”

Fr. Gerardo recalls his own vocation story and remembers lovingly the people who helped him make the decisions to consecrate his life.  Fr. Gerardo recalls, “I had a great zeal to go and work as a missionary.” He recalls his interest in who the man exposing the Blessed Sacrament was while he accompanied his grandmother to perpetual adoration as a youth.

Later, he would join the diocesan seminary, but war in El Salvador broke out and he was sent to the United States to live with relatives.  He said, “I felt betrayed by God because of the far away call and possibility to become a priest.” He described that years passed.  He went to confession and, at the words of a Franciscan priest, was questioned when he would answer the Lord about his plan for life. Fr. Gerardo had to leave his fiancé first to return to that desire he always had in his heart.

“Their happiness and the habit attracted me greatly,” he said, when asked why he was attracted to the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.

With enthusiasm, Fr. Gerardo explained the joy he feels on his way up the hill, excited that the Holy Spirit is the one true director and that, maybe, out of his life experience, he can help guide and care for seminarians, hoping always to teach them how to bring together the human and spiritual as two aspects and to solidly discern God's call in their lives.

Fr. Gerardo stated strongly that his only desire is to see the seminarians grown in openness to spirituality to transform their lives and to respond better to their vocation.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Discovering New Horizons: A Hilltop Profile of a New Seminarian

by Br. William Petry, M.Sp.S

Abundio Colazo Lopez, a seminarian of the Diocese of Tucson in his second year of college, has encountered in Mount Angel Seminary a new community and an opportunity to share his talents and a challenge to grow.

About Abundio: His Family

Coming from a family of five and only 23 years old, Abundio is the oldest of his siblings followed by a brother and three sisters. He has twin sisters who are currently in high school, and his youngest sibling is only 11 years old. He and his family are from Ciudad Guzman, Jalisco Mexico.  At only 12 years old, he came to the United States to live with his aunt and begin middle school.

He shared that it was a difficult shift, being relocated from Ciudad Guzman to Mesa, AZ. "I came over here,” Abundio recalled, “and I didn't know any English at all . . . It was that time of transition and a little bit of culture shock." He was reunited to his immediate family about a year after his arrival to the United States.

Discerning His Vocation

At 19 Abundio started attending the youth group at St. James Parish in Coolidge, AZ. However, due to his immigration status he had to return to Mexico for a year. He finally received the notification that his residency was approved in September of 2012, only two weeks before his 21st birthday. Twenty-one years was the cut-off age for his process to receive permanent residency.

Abundio said, "I was like, well, God I will accept your will, but He wanted me back and now I’m back."  He saw this as God’s hand working in his life, leading him step by step closer to the mission he was called to do.

Returning to St. James Parish in Arizona, Abundio did not waste time. He began coordinating the Spanish youth group called “grupo pan de vida.” In addition to this he joined the Spanish choir and was asked to join the pastoral council of the parish. Meanwhile he began studying at Central Arizona Community College, choosing radiology as his major while juggling a part-time job.

On January 6, 2013, Fr. Virgilio Tabo Jr., or Fr. “Jojo” as Abundio affectionately calls him, from Abundio’s parish visited his family’s home to bless it.  As Fr. Jojo was entering each room, something special occurred when he arrived to Abundio’s room. Abundio shared that Fr. Jojo “stared at my wall and all of my holy cards and then looking into my eyes said, ‘Abundio have you ever thought of being a priest?’ and I replied: ‘Actually I have!’” This moment was the catalyst for his journey of seriously considering the priesthood.

Fr. Jojo referred Abundio to Fr. Ricky Ordóñez, the vocational director of the Diocese of Tucson at that time. Fr. Ricky invited Abundio to visit Mount Angel Seminary in February of that same year. After arriving at Mount Angel Seminary, Abundio said, “I felt like I belonged.” The warm community and sacred prayer time made him feel more and more comfortable about consolidating his decision to enter the seminary.

Abundio Colazo Lopez with Mount Angel Abbey in the background.

At the same time Abundio’s family was assimilating his new decision. His father had always imagined Abundio finishing his major in college and eventually marrying. His mother, he shared, was more supportive of the idea though she was uncomfortable with the idea of her firstborn leaving the house. Now that Abundio is in the seminary, his parents are both supportive of his decision.

“It’s Real Now”: Life as a Seminarian

Over a month has passed since Abundio moved into Mount Angel Seminary. Regarding his initial feelings as he began orientation, he shared that all he could think of was, "It's real now.” Everything that he had experienced before, his discernment, the years of preparation, were for the moments that he is now living. Since school began, he has not wasted time. He has begun to employ his talents on the hilltop. He belongs to the Spanish schola and also the seminary soccer team.

Abundio’s qualities are not unnoticed. Isaac Allwin, also a seminarian from the Diocese of Tucson in his second year of college, shares that Abundio is a very dedicated and responsible seminarian. He stated that he is a very good listener and is not quick to interject his own comments or opinions. Isaac said, “He is a really good seminarian as a whole, and I mean that.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Silva's Vocational Journey: Finding God's Will Through Life's Difficulties

story by Br. Jorge Haro, M.Sp.S
photo by Jose Morales

Joan Sebastian Silva is a second-year theologian from the Diocese of Yakima in Washington state. This year will be his first semester as a student of Mount Angel Seminary. It was after three years and a terrible accident that he came to recognize his original calling to the priesthood, a calling that urged him to leave his country, to learn a new language, and to change his entire life.

A Life-Changing Experience

The Diocese of Yakima has a large immigrant Hispanic population. For this reason, Bishop Joseph Tyson has admitted seminarians from Latin American countries.  Silva is one of them. “I was encouraged by a priest . . . to come and visit Yakima,” Silva said. “He just called me one day saying that he had bought my ticket.”  On their way from the Seattle airport to Yakima, Silva and the priest got into a very serious car accident. Silva suffered several fractures in his face.

After many surgeries and a long period of recovery, Silva’s spiritual life started to change. Silva stated: “Something happened in that accident.  I felt the love of God again. I felt his tenderness and compassion. After I recovered from the accident, I had a sense of being called to the Diocese of Yakima.” Silva started to discern his call. With time, he decided to move to live in the United States, enrolled in an ESL program, and joined the Diocese of Yakima.

Joan Sebastian Silva

Luis Trujillo, another seminarian from the Diocese of Yakima and good friend of Silva, said: “This is a man listening to the Lord’s will as a missionary. He is willing to come and do two more years of studies on top of the [normal] nine or eight, leave home, and learn a new language."

Silva said he was able to recognize with this accident that his talents must be put to work at the service of others and of the Church.

Passionate Guitarist

Mount Angel Seminary is a mosaic of seminarians from different dioceses, religious communities, and culture backgrounds. This year, one of the biggest components of Mount Angel Seminary’s mosaic is the Hispanic community, shaped by second-generation Hispanic seminarians and by those who were born in countries of Latin America and Mexico. They bring with them not only the richness of their cultures but also their talents. 

When Silva came to the United States, Trujillo said, “I was asked to pick him up from the airport. My phone was dying, and the only thing I knew was that he was carrying a guitar. None of the seminarians of the diocese, at that time, played the guitar.”

Every Wednesday, Mass is said in Spanish at Mount Angel Seminary, and the sound of the organ is exchanged for the sound of guitars, drums, and piano. “The idea is to expose every seminarian to the Spanish Mass that one day they will be, probably, celebrating,” Oscar Anaya, the director of the Hispanic choir, explained. This year, the Hispanic choir is formed by twenty-six members that gather twice at week to prepare for the Spanish Mass. “We normally play songs that express our joy and culture, but in a way that allows everyone to pray and be calm,” Anaya explained.

As part of the Hispanic choir, Silva's his skills and charisma have made an impact.  "Every time he plays, you can feel his emotions. I have been inspired by him,” Anaya said. 

Silva’s passion for music comes from his childhood: “My father has a good musical ear; he taught me all the basic things to play the guitar.”  With time, he developed a well-trained talent for music.

Childhood: A First Call to Be a Priest

Silva was born in Colima, Mexico; he is the third of four children. His grandmothers played an important role in his early relationship with God. When Silva was a teenager, he entered the minor seminary; he graduated and continued with his philosophical and theological studies.

After he finished his first year of theology, things started to change: “I started to feel a sense of emptiness.”  After writing to his seminary rector asking for a year to discern, he left the seminary.  Silva explained: “I lose [sic] my life, and my vocation. I confronted more difficulties during the days that I passed out of the seminary. I lose [sic] my way.”

It took him three years, a long period of discernment, and the car accident experience to go back to his original calling.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Everything was Grace: The Papal Visit

Reflection and photos by Zani Pacanza, Archdiocese of Portland

Editor's note: Seminarian Phillip Shifflet is also offering reflections and photos on his blog about the papal visit.

Everything was grace. From the first moment we stepped inside the Immaculate Conception Basilica of Washington D.C., to meeting priests, bishops, cardinals, seminarians and religious from all over the country, to finally seeing His Holiness Pope Francis and attending the canonization Mass of Junipero Serra, everything was a grace-filled moment from God.

Zani Pacanza outside the Basilica decorated
with the banners for the canonization Mass.

Mount Angel seminarians Ethan Alano, Randy Hoang,
Dustin Busse, and Zani Pacanza

Sept. 23, 2015: We started the day by praying and thanking our Lord for bringing us here and allowing us to experience the Pope's first visit to the United States. The night before, we stayed at the Theological College right across the Basilica, the venue of the canonization Mass, so we had a good panoramic view of everything that was happening, from the rehearsals to the preparations.

At 12:30 p.m. we were escorted by security officials from the college to the basilica. We were ecstatic when we got seats at the front area by the center aisle. We were told that Pope Francis will be passing by our side, and we couldn't wait. We had a couple of hours before the start of the Mass, so we went around and enjoyed the grandeur of the Immaculate Conception Basilica. This church was definitely amazing! At the crypt was almost a hundred images of our Blessed Mother from all over the world: Europe, Latin America, USA, Africa, and Asia! We were just in awe.

We also made friends with a lot of priests, seminarians, and religious from all over the country. Some of them drove from nearby states, and some, just like us, flew from far-away cities just to be one with His Holiness.

At 4:00 p.m., everyone was silent. Then, the two main doors opened, and the Vatican entourage entered. Everyone stood immediately and erupted in cheers. At the end of the entourage, finally, Pope Francis walked in, waving at the people. The whole venue let out a rousing applause, shouting "Viva il Papa!" repeatedly. So there we were, seeing him parade from the vestibule, walking closer and closer to us. Finally, he was right in front of us, smiling, waving, then smiling some more. I couldn't describe how I was feeling at that very moment. I was in a daze. Everything was surreal! The Pope was right in front of us, I could almost touch his face!

Pope Francis and members of the faithful standing
opposite of the Mount Angel seminarians.

He continued walking up to the altar of the basilica, then stopped in front and prayed for us. Then he gave us his blessing, then prayed some more, and then processed to start the canonization Mass for Junipero Serra, the great missionary priest of California. As the Mass started, everyone was praying reverently and singing with the choir joyfully.

In a brief moment of silence during the Mass, I closed my eyes and uttered a fervent prayer of thanks. First, a huge thank you to Mount Angel Seminary for bringing us here. We felt very humbled to represent our beloved institution in this historic and momentous occasion.  We also felt, of course, deep gratitude to our Lord for allowing us to celebrate with his people, his community of faithful, his Holy Mother Church.

Everything was grace. Truly, the fire of the Holy Spirit was with everyone during the event and throughout the day! When we come back to Oregon on Friday, we hope to be able to spread out the grace we have received to the entire hilltop community,and wherever else we may go.  Like the Papal visit's theme, indeed, our call as Christians is to "share the joy of the Gospel because love is our message!"

MAS Soccer Looks Forward to a New Season

by Garrett McGowan

It is the start of a new school year, and that means the start of a new soccer season.  Last year Andres Guerra of the Diocese of Orange led the Mount Angel Guardians as their head coach and captain. Now in his third year of college, he is back to lead the team once again.

There is no experience required; all Guerra asks is that the members be committed to God and the church, and then to the team.  "Sports play a vital role in spiritual life,” Guerra stated. He looks for hard working players who have an eagerness to learn and to do well in all that they do.  He sees this in a way that many other sports coaches may not: as part of a ministry.  Guerra wants to see his players make a shift from the field into their spiritual lives with soccer.

The Guardians have a limit of twenty-two players. This limit has never been reached before; however, this year the team is expecting to reach that limit. More seminarians are coming out to the field to try out and be part of the team.  Professors and formation directors are welcome to come out also and be part of the team. Dr. Andrew Cummings has been playing soccer for the Guardians longer than anyone else on the team. Michael Hoolihan is the assistant coach, and Phillip Shiffliet is the team’s manager; both are diocesan brothers to Coach Guerra and fellow player Felipe Villalobos.

Andres Guerra (red shirt) leads the Guardians through drills and exercises.

Brotherhood is what being on a team is all about. It’s something bigger than yourself that you can give yourself to. Andres said that is one of the main reasons people become involved in sports.  Over time a team can become more like a family.  Guerra said that in coaching the players, they also have something that they can give him in return. The team is able to help him see his flaws more clearly. When the team tells him that he is doing something wrong it gives him a chance to step back and think about what he did. Andres said that moments like this show him that being a leader is hard no matter how long you have been doing it. He takes it as a lesson in leadership skills.

The Guardians gather at the end of practice for a final cheer and prayer.

The Guardians have yet to play their first game, but practice has started.  Practice is from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. According to Guerra, on average a college soccer team practices for two hours five times a week. Because the Guardians do not have much time, they only want those players with the highest level of commitment. Nothing can be said as of yet for their plan on how they will bring a winning season to Mount Angel.  Assistant Coach Hoolihan said, “There are lots of new players, so lots of new hopes for a new season.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Helena Seminarians Document Trip to See Pope Francis

Several seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary are joining with their diocesan brothers of the Diocese of Helena on their trip to the World Meeting of Families and to see Pope Francis.

They are keeping a blog, The Helena Boys, to share their adventures and insights with friends and supporters back home.  The seminarians include Aidan Toombs, Joe Paddock, and Dcn. Cody Williams, current students of Mount Angel Seminary, as well as Dcn. Bryce Lungren, an alum of Mount Angel Seminary and MAS Journalism.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Seminary Community Celebrates Fall Community Day

by Dean Marshall

Mount Angel, Ore. - In a spirit of brotherhood and friendly competition, Mount Angel Seminary celebrated its annual Community Day on September 7, 2015. The yearly event, which usually occurs on or near Labor Day, sees the student body participate in various games in a contest between teams in both physical and mental activities.

When the activities got underway, Monsignor Joseph Betschart, President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary, led the community with an opening prayer. The five competing teams, comprised of combined seminary classes, then demonstrated their rousing cheers, ranging from a Maori-inspired haka chant demonstrated by the Theology II/College III team to a beach-themed song and dance performed by the Theology III/College II team.

Throughout the afternoon, the teams participated in both indoor and outdoor events. Starting with a fast-paced game of dodge ball in the Damian Center gym, the seminarians then moved to the soccer field, continuing the games with a lively tug-of-war contest. The outdoor activities were rounded out with a multi-round game of Ultimate Frisbee, which saw everyone enjoying the Oregon sunshine while taking turns in the energizing and fraternity-building competition. Following Vespers, the seminarians enjoyed dinner together while taking part in a Family Feud-style question and answer game, with queries such as, “What are the 5 most likely saints’ names for a parish?” and “What are five phrases you would hear your philosophy professor say?” In the end, the Theology I/College IV team outperformed the other groups and won the day.

Many of the seminarians see Community Day as a time to bond with their brothers while taking a break from classes. Deacon Derek Twilliger (Diocese of San Diego) said that Community Day gives everyone time to “step away from our studies and obligations and come together as brothers to build community through friendly competition.” Dustin Busse (Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon), one of the organizers, said that events such as Community Day “foster friendships that last” for the seminarians, who are “in this journey together” as they prepare for the priesthood.

In addition to Mr. Busse mentioned above, this year’s Community Day was also organized by seminarian Val Park (Archdiocese of Seattle). They were assisted by seminarians Stephen Kenyon (Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon), Benjamin Bray (Archdiocese of Seattle), Isidore Slade (Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago), and David Panduro (Diocese of Sacramento).

Mount Angel Seminary is the largest seminary in the western United States. In its 127th year of operation, its roots trail back to 1889 when it was established by the recently-immigrated Swiss monks of Mount Angel Abbey at the behest of Archbishop William Gross, CSsR, of the Archdiocese of Oregon City, what would become the Archdiocese of Portland. Mount Angel Seminary serves both graduate and undergraduate students, and consists of seminarians from the United States, Canada, the Pacific Islands, and as far away as Hungary, as well as seminarians from various religious communities and many lay students.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

MAS Opens its 127th Academic Year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit and Inaugural Address

Story by Dean Marshall - Photos by Jose Morales

St. Benedict, Ore. – This past week, Mount Angel Seminary began its 127th academic year, continuing its mission of human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of men for the Roman Catholic priesthood. The year opened with the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit and Inaugural Address on Monday, August 24, 2015, with classes beginning the following day.

Mount Angel Seminary welcomed back faculty, students, and friends with the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated to institute the new academic year and to seek an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the work that will be completed over the coming months. The Most Reverend Liam Cary, Bishop of the Diocese of Baker, served as the main celebrant and also delivered the homily. Monsignor Joseph Betschart, President-Rector of the seminary, delivered opening remarks, and various priests from the abbey and seminary communities concelebrated. Phillip Shifflet, a seminarian for the Diocese of Orange in California, and Ethan Alano, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, served as cantors.

Bishop Cary during Mass with priests from the abbey and seminary

In his homily, Bishop Cary encouraged the students to remember that the time they spend in seminary is one of preparation. Each person needs to “prepare for a life in the Spirit” and to cultivate and maintain a “Eucharistic heart.” He exhorted the seminarians to enter into “the silence of the Holy Spirit,” seeking to prepare their “hands, heart, and mind to give to the Spirit of the Lord.” Bishop Cary reminded those gathered to remember the “hope and promise of the Father,” as each person pursues his studies and journeys toward the priesthood.

Following the Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Right Reverend Peter Eberle, O.S.B., Vice-Rector for the Graduate School, Director of Human Formation, and Professor of Moral Theology, delivered the annual Inaugural Address, entitled, “Pastores Dederunt Nobis: Three Novelists, Three Priests, and an Icon.” Recalling the memory of Fr. Paschal Cheline, O.S.B., who would exhort men to read novels, Abbot Peter expressed the importance of novels in the task of human formation, citing that a seminarian or priest who reads novels better “understands the human journey,” a key aspect of pastoral work. Using Edwin O’Connor’s The Edge of Sadness, Jon Hassler’s North of Hope, and J.F. Powers’ Wheat That Springeth Green, Abbot Peter painted a picture of three priests and the difficulties and pitfalls that they encounter in ministry.

Abbot Peter giving the Inaugural Address

Detailing the three shepherds and comparing them to the portrait of an ideal priest illustrated through the teachings of Pope Saint John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, Abbot Peter demonstrated that the main characters in these works were “hardly heroes … living quite ordinary lives,” but who, nonetheless, could teach us about priestly formation. Through these novels, a seminarian could learn about the importance of “his own need of ongoing formation.” Detailing the redemption of the novels’ priests, Abbot Peter demonstrated “that redemption has to touch [all seminarians’ and priests’] own ordinary lives as well.” He stated, “Ongoing formation can facilitate in the priest’s own life the redemption that the three priests the novelists have given us experienced in theirs.” Abbot Peter closed by reminding everyone of the need for this formation and that in the end, “all is grace.”

Following the Mass of the Holy Spirit and Inaugural Address, the day continued with a presentation to the gathered seminarians by Monsignor Betschart and a barbecue with the monastic community, administration, faculty, and seminarians of Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary.

Mount Angel Seminary offers undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, with possible double majors in Literature or Religious Studies, with the goal of preparing men for graduate formation for the priesthood. At the graduate level, the seminary offers a Master of Divinity degree and Master of Arts degrees in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Theology, and Philosophy, as well as a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology degree offered in concert with the Pontifical Athenaeum of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, Italy. Mount Angel Seminary is the oldest and largest seminary in the West and serves seminarians, religious and lay students from around the United States, Canada, the Pacific Islands, and as far away as Hungary.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Introducing the Fall 2015 Journalists

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

This semester, five seminarians are taking part in the the journalism class that is part of MAS Journalism for the first time.  Brother William Petry, Brother Jorge Moreno,  and Luis Trullijo, will be writing profiles and news briefs that will be published by MAS Journalism.

Brother William Petry

Brother Jorge Haro

Luis Trujillo

These three students will also be pursuing the Unfamiliar Genre Project.  Through this work they will will explore and try their hand with a genre with which they have no previous experience.  MAS Journalism alumni Daniel Miller and Carl Sisolak have also completed the Unfamiliar Genre Project.

Garrett McGowan will be building on his previous work in journalism last year, which included news stories and a photo essay, to expand the coverage of MAS Journalism through a profile and several news briefs this semester.

Garrett McGowan

Phillip Shifflet and Dean Marshall will also be providing press releases for major seminary events throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

Readers with suggestions for news stories this semester may contact Sister Hilda Kleiman with their ideas.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mount Angel Alum Serves in Uganda

Alex Woelkers, who graduated last May from Mount Angel Seminary, is now serving as a missionary in the St. Muggaga Boys Home in Jinja, Uganda.

The home is run by the Brothers of St. Charles Luwanga, and it currently serves 36 boys from age 7 through high school.  Alex is writing a blog,, about his work at the home, which includes but is not limited to helping to fix broken arms, teaching prayers and reading, and helping to harvest and plant crops.

Alex welcomes prayers for the boys, and donations for the home are welcome as well.