Sunday, August 28, 2011

Journalism 2011-2012

As we begin a new school year at Mount Angel Seminary, you are invited to take part in our journalism program.  We have a variety of ways in which students, faculty, and staff can contribute material and share their work with the hilltop community and the wider public.

Students may take the journalism course in the fall and the journalism practicum in the spring.  Visit the pages above for more information.  Students interested in the journalism course this semester may contact Sister Hilda or come to the first class meeting on Wednesday, August 31st at 3 p.m. in Anselm 128.

Students, faculty, staff, and others associated with the seminary can participate in interviews and stories when they are approached by our journalism students.  They can also submit story ideas to our students or Sister Hilda.

Students, faculty, and staff may submit photos from any seminary event for posting on the journalism blog.  Send your pictures to Sister Hilda at

Faculty may submit the written work of their students for posting on the seminary website.  These submissions can also be sent to Sister Hilda.

All are welcome to subscribe to the journalism blog via email: see the above link on the right!

Below are some photos of the icon of The Annunciation in St. Joseph Chapel, the chapel for the seminary community.  As we begin our new endeavors for the year, may we hear God's call and fulfill His will for us.

The Angel Gabriel and the Mother of God

Details of the icon of The Annunciation

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Student Orientation

This week at Mount Angel Seminary is full of activities for new student orientation.  New men from the United States and other countries are moving into their rooms and meeting all of the people who are a part of their human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation.

Felipe Jimenez, a third-year college student at Mount Angel Seminary, spoke briefly with Sister Hilda about his responsibilities as a member of the orientation team.  He also has some advice for the new seminarians.

Remember that if you are unable to view the video in your email subscription, click on the title of the post to go directly to the journalism blog and the video.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday Evening Conferences

One of the reporting assignments for our journalism students this semester will be the conferences given by various members of the faculty and off-hill guests on Monday evenings.  The conferences are one of the many opportunities available to the seminarians for formation and input.

Father Paschal Cheline, Vice-Rector of the Undergraduate School and Director of Spiritual Formation, took a few moments to speak with Sister Hilda about these conferences.  She stopped by his office as he was making preparations for the seminarians who would arrive soon for the start of the school year.

Shooting a short interview such as this one is also a possibility for our students this semester.  Your interview can be posted on our blog, so contact Sister Hilda if you are interested in joining the class or contributing an interview.  With such a diversity of people, events, and interests here on the hilltop, the possibilities are endless! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Journalism in Russia

Susan Richards, an English journalist and author of Lost and Found in Russia: Lives in a Post-Soviet Landscape, spent sixteen years traveling throughout Russia after the collapse of communism.

Her travels were dangerous, and her writing, once it was published, could bring danger to the people who had shared their lives with her.  Richards explains in the conclusion of her book:

The world recession, triggered in the West, was going to hit long-suffering Russians.  And the harder it hit them, the more Moscow's war party were likely to beat the nationalist drum and seek out confrontation with the West as a distraction.  "We can't afford to look ahead," Tatiana was saying over breakfast.  "All we can do is live in a continual present, manage each day as it comes."

This was the political backdrop against which my book was going to come out.  My intimate account of the last sixteen years of their lives was going to appear in English in the West.  How would that play out for them, living here?  There were times, much earlier on when I believed that it might offer them protection.  Not anymore.  Ghosts from Russia's Soviet past were giving me a hard time (319).

While our work with journalism at Mount Angel Seminary does not carry the kinds of risks Richards describes, her work can remind us that we are always working within the larger context of a particular organization, country, and point in history.  We not only record that history; we are also taking part in it through our work.  We can also remember to pray for those whose journalism and dedication to its ideals takes them into dangerous places around the world.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Etude and Gay Talese

I followed up on Bruce's suggestion in his comment on the last post and visited the University of Oregon's Etude.  The Summer 2011 issue has a great reflection by Lauren Kessler on the the master of literary journalism Gay Talese.  His writing proved to her that journalism, at its core, is about people, stories, and the beauty of language. 

Monday, August 15, 2011


Yesterday's Oregonian featured a book review of Storycraft by Jack Hart.  Hart served as a writing coach at the Oregonian for about twenty years, and his work helped make it possible for The Oregonian to win a Pulitzer for a story about how potatoes in the Northwest end up as french fries in a MacDonald's in Indonesia.

Hart maintains that despite the drastic changes taking place in the news industry, good storytelling is important for all types of media.  His book is available through Mount Angel's local public library and through Powell's Books in Portland.