Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nominations for the MAS Journalism Awards

Nominations for the 2014 MAS Journalism Awards are still open and may be submitted until the end of the day on Tuesday, April 15th.  See all the details below. 

Thank you, all of the readers and subscribers of MAS Journalism, for supporting our work.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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All students who have been part of our two journalism classes, Journalism and the Journalism Practicum, for the 2013-2014 school year are eligible for the MAS Journalism Awards.  These students are: Brother Lorenzo Conciodo, Romple Emwalu, Jonathan Eubanks, Nicolas Facile, Jesus Gonzalez, Brother Marinus Kim, Daniel Miller, Jose Morales, and Frank Villanueva.

To make your nominations, visit the MAS Journalism blog, make your selections, and send your nominations to Sister Hilda:  You may make one nomination per category, and nominations must be received by April 15, 2014.   Click on a student’s name under Labels to see all of his work.

The Award Categories:

Best Single Piece of Writing: Choose one story or interview with a clear lead and compelling details that shares the good news about Mount Angel Seminary.

Best Single Photograph: Choose one photograph with good composition and a great subject that shares the good news about Mount Angel Seminary.

Best Blog Post: Choose one blog post that is any combination of text and photos that best shares the good news about Mount Angel Seminary.  At least one of the elements of the post must be provided by one of the above eligible students.

Work must be published on the MAS Journalism blog between August 25, 2013, and April 7, 2014.

Award winners will be announced on Monday, April 28th, at 12:15 in Anselm 114.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Victory for the Guardians Against the Pumas

The MAS Guardians volleyball team, coached by Frank Villanueva, won against the Pumas in a match that went to 5 games Saturday night.

The first game, with a final score of 25-22, contained a fine serve and pass by new Guardians player Walter Martinez and teamwork between Stephen Cieslak and Pio Afu as they blocked at the net.  In the second game, despite a loss of 21-25, Cieslak and Huong Dinh also achieved good blocking.

Stephen Cieslak at the net in the first match.  Photo credit: Carl Sisolak

The Guardians gained momentum in the third game with longer rallies and a final score of 25-23. This game included a rally with two saves by Daniel Miller, one of which he accomplished while still on the floor from the first.

New Guardian Felipe Villalobos made a serve and attempted a save with a dive to the floor in game four, which was won by the Pumas.  With the fifth game, final score 15-8, the Guardians won the night.

Felipe Villalobos serving in game 4.
Video credit: Garrett McGowan

The Mount Angel Guardians Volleyball Team
Photo Credit: Ivan Garcia

Salem Men's Volleyball Team Defeats MAS Guardians

Friday night the MAS Guardians faced the Salem Men's Volleyball Team in a match that went to five games and ended in a loss for the Guardians.

The Guardians achieved a close score in each game, starting with the first game of 22-25.  Guardian Stephen Cieslak suffered an injury in the first game but was able to return to play for the rest of the evening.

The second game with a score of 25-23 included ace serves by Pio Afu and Alexander De Paulis.

During the third game the Guardians achieved a greater lead on the Salem Men at 10-3, and the final score needed to go over 25 before the Guardians lost 25-27.  This game included excellent blocks by Daniel Miller and by Andres Guerra, a new player for the Guardians.

Andres Guerra (18) goes up for a block.  Photo credit: Carl Sisolak

Huong Dinh of the Guardians had an ace serve in the fourth game that ended 25-23.

The crowd of seminary students and faculty, supporters of the Salem Men, and visitors to the hilltop grew louder and louder as the score for the final game went from 14-14 to 15-15 to 15-16 and finally ended in a win for the Salem Men, 15-17.

Watch the MAS Journalism blog more news of the Guardians volleyball season.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Postcard from the Hilltop Photo Challenge Entries and Voting

The photos for our photo challenge are now available, and online voting will be available from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 11th.  If you have questions, contact Sister Hilda.

The winners will be announced on April 28, 2014, and the winning photos will be posted on the MAS Journalism blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MAS Guardians Volleyball Loses to All Relative

On Wednesday night and in a match that went to five games, the MAS Guardians volleyball team lost to a local team, All Relative.

The Guardians and All Relative stayed within 3 points of each other for all of the first game, ending with a final score of 23-25.  The Guardians were supported by several powerful serves by Huong Dinh.

In the second game, the Guardians took a greater lead right away.  They earned point 21 through an outstanding block by Stephen Cieslak.

In closest game of the night, the score for the third game went from 24-24 to 25-25 to 26-26 until All Relative won 26-27.  The third game also had one of the longest rallies of the night in which a new Guardians player, Justin Ryan, made several key passes.

The fourth game ended 23-23, and the fifth at 11-15.

The Guardians fans, in addition to the Vatican flag that they bring to every sporting event, added a snare drum to their cheers and shouts.

Two Capstones Presented to Mount Angel Seminary Community

This morning two college-four students offered the oral portion of their capstone projects to members of the seminary faculty and their fellow students.

Gary Bass, a seminarian for the Diocese of Monterey, presented a project entitled "See through the Eyes of Gerard Manley Hopkins."  He used several poems by Hopkins, including "God's Grandeur" and "As kingfishers catch fire."  Dr. Seymour House served as his director.  Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB, served as his reader, and Dr. Mark Van Ness served as the English standards reader.

Michael Nguyen, a seminarian for the Diocese of Orange, entitled his project "Human Sexuality: The Language of the Body and the Desire for God."  He incorporated the fields of biology, philosophy, and religion into his project.  Dr. Andrew Cummings served as his director.  Fr. Theodore Lange served as his reader, and Dr. Mark Van Ness served as the English standards reader.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mount Angel Seminary Celebrates 125 Years as a School of the Lord's Service

by Dean Marshall

Mount Angel, Ore. - Gathering in prayer and gratitude, staff, students, friends, monks, and benefactors celebrated the 125th anniversary of Mount Angel Seminary with a special Vespers service and dinner on March 21, 2014. Highlighting the accomplishments that began with humble roots laid down by the monks of Mount Angel Abbey, themselves coming from Engelberg Abbey in Switzerland just a few years before the seminary opened in 1889, guests not only looked at the successes and growth of the largest seminary in the western United States, but they also looked toward the future.

The evening began in prayer with a Vespers service commemorating the passing of St. Benedict, a patron of Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary, and for all those who have contributed to the success and growth of the seminary over its many years. Abbot Gregory Duerr, OSB, explained that the seminary has served as a place for men from dioceses throughout the world to “deeply encounter and learn of the Lord Jesus,” who calls these men to His priesthood. Over the past 125 years, Mount Angel Seminary has sent hundreds of men into the vineyard, preparing them to be priests for His Church.

From left to right: Bishop-Elect Peter Smith, Most Reverend Elden Curtiss,  Most Reverend Liam Cary, Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Abbot Gregory Duerr, Most Reverend John Vlazny, and Monsignor Joseph Betschart.   Photo credit: Ivan Garcia

After Vespers, the guests proceeded to the dining room in Aquinas Hall to look back on the history of the seminary and enjoy food and fellowship, beginning with a social hour and followed by a formal dinner. Light music played throughout the dinner, and during dessert, the student-led music group Voces Fidei performed for the gathered community. Monsignor Joseph Betschart, President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary, mentioned during his opening remarks that Mount Angel has formed and continues to form priests “who can boldly proclaim the Gospel in Word and Sacrament,” leading Christ’s faithful into the Kingdom of God. Msgr. Betschart related the pride with which the seminary forms priests “with the mind and heart of Jesus Christ,” and expressed his gratitude to all who help make that formation process possible.

While Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the evening, he was unable to attend due to medical issues. In a statement prepared for the anniversary, he expressed that “we rightly give thanks to God because what Archbishop Gross prayed for so long ago [at the founding of the seminary] has finally come to pass. He prayed that ‘Mount Angel may from its beautiful summit send forth angels in flesh and blood to promote…the glory of God on Earth.’” The entire community of Mount Angel Seminary expressed its gratitude for the Cardinal’s remarks and assured him of their prayers. Deacon Owen Cummings, the Academic Dean of the seminary, echoed the words of Cardinal George in giving his address: “From their time of formation at Mount Angel Seminary, graduates are…equipped with divine and human learning, to bear the name of Jesus Christ to the people of the United States and beyond.”
Other guests of honor included the Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland in Oregon; the Most Reverend John Vlazny, Archbishop Emeritus of Portland in Oregon; the Most Reverend Elden Curtiss, the first diocesan rector of Mount Angel Seminary and Archbishop Emeritus of Omaha, the Most Reverend Liam Cary, a Mount Angel alumnus and Bishop of Baker; and Bishop-elect Peter Smith, a faculty member and alumnus of Mount Angel Seminary and recently appointed auxiliary Bishop of Portland in Oregon.

Closing out the evening, Archbishop Sample offered some final remarks, expressing thanks to God for the history and continuing work of the seminary, although he also looked forward toward the years to come for the seminary. He called the entire community to “look to the future, to the great work God will continue to do.” Archbishop Sample encouraged everyone to work hard toward moving “[the seminary] forward to even greater heights.” He concluded by expressing his support for the ongoing mission of the seminary, as well as the leadership of Msgr. Betschart and the seminary administration.

The evening ended as it began: in prayer. After the tables were cleared, the entire community joined together in singing “Ave Regina Caelorum,” one of several Marian hymns that may be sung at the close of the day. Through the hymn, the gathered monks, faculty, staff, students, and friends of Mount Angel Seminary asked for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary on their behalf, and on behalf of all those connected to Mount Angel. While the night was over, the gathered community was filled with joy and looked forward to the next 125 years of Mount Angel Seminary continuing as a “School of the Lord’s Service.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

Joint-Pain All Stars Defeat MAS Guardians

The Mount Angel Guardians lost to the Joint-Pain All Stars of Salem in a match that went to five games the evening of Friday, April 4th.  The Guardians won the first two games 25-14 and 25-23.  The third and fourth games both ended 17-25, and the Joint-Pain All Stars wrapped up the night by winning the fifth game 8-15.

The MAS Guardians celebrate a score at the end of the second game.
Photo Credit: Carl Sisolak

Watch the MAS Journalism blog for more coverage of the Guardians volleyball season.

Sister Judith Bloxham Renders Vital Assistance to the Seminary Formation Program

by Romple Emwalu

Mount Angel Seminary is a good place of work for Sister Judith Bloxham because she enjoys meeting with students, priests from different dioceses, Benedictine monks and other religious who are sharing the same faith and striving for the same goal. Sister Judith is from the Order of Saint Benedict and is the Associate Director of Human Formation at Mount Angel Seminary.  

She is very blessed by having the privilege to work close to Queen of Angels Monastery in downtown Mount Angel, which is the religious community where she lives. “I am in a community where we pray together and we work together in so many different ways,” says Sister Judith. 

Sister Judith and Father Liem Nguyen, OSB, have been working with the human formation team that was established several years earlier by Father Terry Fitzgerald from Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a rector of Mount Angel Seminary. “It was an exciting moment to be on the formation team and to work together; Abbot Nathan Zodrow was the director of formation at that time,” says Sister Judith.  The formation team continues to work together and develop the formation program.  

Sister Judith is now more involved with the organizational process in terms of working with the dioceses. She sets up the program in the summer and the agenda for the regional meetings for the whole year. In the admissions process she receives the seminarians’ materials; she reads all of them and then she writes a brief biography for each one so the formation team will have a clearer a picture of who the seminarian is. 

As part of her job, she also sets up the evaluation schedule for the dioceses and assists Abbot Peter Eberle, OSB, the Vice-Rector of Graduate School and Director of Human Formation, in editing seminarians’ evaluations. “It is a wonderful experience and a great inspiration to me personally being an Associate Director for Human Formation,” says Sister Judith. She loves to work with the formation team as well as the seminarians. She is inspired by the seminarians’ stories. “Reading the seminarians’ stories is more like doing my lectio divina,” says Sister Judith. Caring for seminarians is one of the important aspects that motivates her in her spiritual life.

She grew up in California where she was educated and learned from the sisters of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. Sister Judith wanted to be a sister, and she joined the religious life when she was 18 years old. She has been connected with Mount Angel Seminary since she came to Oregon to earn a Master of Arts degree in the 1970s. “This move was clearly a work of the Holy Spirit,” says Sister Judith. 

Sister Judith was not supposed to come to Mount Angel; she was enrolled at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. However, she broke her arm, and she needed to come later. Sister Judith and her superior decided that she would come to Mount Angel. They then found out that Mount Angel Seminary offered a summer Master’s program in the 1970s, which confirmed her decision to come and try it. She began working with Mount Angel Seminary in 1994.  Sister Judith says, “Benedictines are stable; they stay in one place, so it is wonderful for me to be working here.”

Before transferring to Queen of Angels Monastery, Sister Judith prayed for her own personal discernment. After Sister Judith transferred to Queen of Angels Monastery, she was assigned to work as a supervisor for the seminary in 1979 at Saint Mary Parish in downtown Mount Angel as part of her summer assignment. One of the first seminarians Sister Judith supervised was the late Father Jerome Young, OSB. 

Sister Judith sees formation work in two ways. In her experience she sees that by being on the formation team, she’s learning a lot and is growing much deeper in her faith by interacting with seminarians, vocation directors and bishops from different dioceses. She sees that she is not only helping the seminarians, but seminarians help the team as well by sharing their vocation stories. 

Sister Judith sees that seminarians also contribute to the seminary; they give the formation team ideas and ways to be able to develop the program significantly. “We all here to help form the seminarians to grow deeper in their faith and also to be able to share that wonderful experience about the life of Jesus they are learning in the seminary,” says Sister Judith.  Sister Judith looks forward to continuing to work with the students and the formation team.

Bringing Peace to Relationships with Dr. Tabor

by Jose Morales

This spring semester Dr. Ursula Tabor is offering the class Spirituality of Peacemaking. Throughout the semester she tells her students, “One has to live in peace with oneself and others…we need to think peace, speak peace and live peace.”

Dr. Tabor said, “The Spirituality of Peacemaking class is an elective class that I designed.  This class reflects my experience growing up as a young child during WWII in Germany.” In her course syllabus, she wrote that one of her goals in this course is “to search for and come to an understanding of the true meaning and spirit of non-violence and Christian peacemaking.”

Dr. Ursula Tabor in front of the Annunciation mosaic

She said that one message she wants her students to take away from the class is that “unless we learn to love ourselves as God loves us, we cannot truly love others, be compassionate, merciful, heal and bring peace to the world around us.”

Ace Tui from the Diocese of Honolulu said, “I chose this class because first the name itself stood out to me, 'peacemaking,' and in seeing this I decided that this can help me personally. [I'm] hoping that this class can give me some way of making peace within myself to be able to deal and work within the seminary community. For at times, it is hard to live in a community life.”

Tui continued, “Spirituality of Peacemaking is a good class because it shows me how to make peace in conflicts. We talk about real life experiences and share stories in class about how to make peace. We are a community from different diocese and cultures, and it is always fun to listen and learn from other people’s experience.”

Randy Hoang from the Archdiocese of Portland mentioned about the reading materials in the class: “Dr. Tabor has assigned two great books for the semester to read and reflect upon: they are I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish and The Road to Peace by Henri Nouwen.”

Hoang said he like these books because “I am able to read the books and understand the struggles people have outside of the United States, especially for those who are in warring countries. That amidst the wars and famine, these authors [were] so at peace with not only themselves but with the chaos surrounding them.”

Oscar Anaya said that in this class, he has been able to learn on how to react in a different way rather than with his frustrations. He said the textbooks used in class were very useful for him as well as the reflections they do in class. Even the role-plays have helped him see the situation from a different lens.

Anaya explained, "At times I would react with anger or get defensive when confronted by another person."

Anaya concluded by saying, “She gives us several options on how to come to a solution in times of violence, to realize how grateful we are to hear these experiences from someone who actually lived through a war."

Students in the class performed role plays to practice peacemaking skills.  The role plays consist of two parts. First, they consist of a scenario where someone is faced with a real problem with another person. Secondly, the role play offers a solution to the problem and it demonstrates to others how one would come about to a solution.  

Emilio Gonzalez from the Diocese of Fresno described one of the role-plays that was performed in class: “David Trujillo from Theology III along with other theologians [Edgar Sanchez, Ace Tupasi and Br. Charles Nawodylo, OCD] performed a role-play of a frustrated clerk at the DMV. The clerk was going through personal problems at home but then would take out his frustrations on the customers. The most amazing part of this role-play was that I was able to feel the frustrations of the clerk and the compassion of the other customer [Br. Charles].”  

Dr. Tabor mentioned that she really submerged herself in the topic of peacemaking because it was the topic for her thesis.

Dr. Tabor explained that with her living through WWII, every war has become her war and every act of terror became her experience as well. As she said, “Every death and all the suffering diminishes all of us.”  

She further explained that teaching the Spirituality of Peacemaking class is a “continuation of my ongoing personal development.” Dr. Tabor brings into this class not only her educational background but also her professional background. Peacemaking is something that Dr. Tabor not only teaches, but she promotes and practices.

Dr. Tabor shared that aside from her experience in WWII in Germany, she also has her life experience as a registered nurse. She explained that being a nurse you try to heal people physically as well as psychologically.

Dr. Tabor has a Doctorate in Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She also has two Masters degrees, one in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon and another in Theology from Mount Angel Seminary.

She wrote her thesis, “Theological Explorations of the Theodicy Question in View of World War II” at Mount Angel Seminary.  

Dr. Ursula Tabor started teaching at Mount Angel Seminary in the fall of 2004. She was the chairperson of Undergraduate Religious Studies. She taught Psychology of Human Development, Historical Introduction to Theology, Introduction to Christian Spirituality, Theological Anthropology and Spiritual Direction.

The Spirituality of Peacemaking class seeks to promote the Gospel of peace and social justice.  This class serves as a partner for parishes through seminarians, deacons and priests, to help them discover creative ways to engage in the struggle for justice. Aside from wars, Dr. Tabor said, “any kind of violence robs us of everything we are meant to be as human beings.”