Monday, November 28, 2011

Jesus Caritas at Mount Angel Seminary

Emmanuelle del Castillo, one of our journalism students, reports on the Jesus Caritas groups.  This Thursday, December 1st, is the feast day of Charles de Foucauld, the man who inspires the Jesus Caritas groups. 

Jesus Caritas: A Deeper Look
by Emmanuelle del Castillo 

Once a month, seminarians get into their Jesus Caritas groups and set aside academics for this time.  Groups consist of a diocese or a group of seminarians from different dioceses.  Jesus Caritas nights start with having dinner with the group members, followed by evening prayer, lectio divina, a review of life afterwards, and finally night prayer.

Jesus Caritas is actually a Latin motto, which is translated as Jesus loves, from Blessed Charles de Foucauld.  Father Keolker, a spiritual director at Mount Angel Seminary, said, "It [Jesus Caritas] is a wonderful way that many priests have found to be able to share with a deep and profound level their love for the Gospel."

An important aspect of Jesus Caritas is that whatever is shared among the group members stays within the group members.  Many seminarians would compare it to the seal of confession, as priests would not dare to share one's confession with another person.  Matthew Olsen of the Diocese of Fresno said, "Sure, you can have a bunch of your friends and share your troubles, but with that 'seal' you are assured that nothing of your words would be known except by those in your group."  With that seal, personal information will not be released to the outside. 

Lectio divina is a spiritual reflection on Scripture.  The seminarians reflect on the Gospel of the upcoming Sunday.  According to Father Keolker, Charles de Foucauld used to say, "Cry the Gospel with your life!"  With lectio divina, participants focus on the Scriptures, especially the Gospels.  Aristotle Quan of the Diocese of Orange said, "It is good to see different viewpoints of the Gospels."

The review of life is one of the activities of a Jesus Caritas group and the main reason for the vow of secrecy.  Emmanuel Sanchez, who is also from the Diocese of Orange, said, "We usually keep our problems in our head . . . by saying your problems out loud, we acknowledge that we have a problem or two, we are open to each other's suggestions."

First impressions of Jesus Caritas were unenthusiastic for some seminarians.  As the academic year progressed, the seminarians interviewed for this article learned of a need for it.  Matthew Olsen said that he "never had something like this" at his last seminary.  Father Keolker and seminarians interviewed for this article highly recommended that each diocese have Jesus Caritas meetings.

Jesus Cartias is part of the spiritual pillar of Mount Angel Seminary's priestly formation.  The other three pillars are the intellectual, human, and pastoral pillars.

Adoration on the Beach

Gary Bass, a college-three seminarian studying for the Diocese of Monterey, has submitted this photo of the adoration on the beach that was part of the the College Beach Weekend in September.  Thank you, Gary!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SACA Food Drive

Ivan Garcia, a first-year college student, covered the SACA food drive last month for the journalism blog and has submitted this piece below.  Thank you, Ivan!

SACA Food Drive: A Pastoral Ministry Assignment for College One Seminarians

On October 15, 2011, the Mount Angel Seminary College One seminarians took on a mission to help the SACA (Silverton Area Community Aid) Food Drive in Silverton, Oregon.

SACA provides food to those in need and offers financial assistance for housing, utilities, and prescription medications.  They also provide gas vouchers for medical appointments and job interviews and other social services.  They offer information and referrals to other services.

Their mission is to make a positive difference in our community by providing food, financial assistance, and information to people in need in a respectful environment. 

For many of us it was not just a food drive but a mission to help those in need.  When we arrived at the site, we arrived with a surprise of what we would expect of the mission.  Many people were already there with papers and ideas on how we were going to do the food drive.

The MAS seminarians and members of the local community organizing the food drive.
 Some of us were on the bottom floor stocking shelves, and the rest were in the gym packing boxes with food and taping them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All the President's Men

This week the journalism course is offering a viewing of All the President's Men.  This 1976 film, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, portrays the story of the two Washington Post reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon.  

For more information about the history behind and the making of the film, visit this page from the website of the Washington Post.  All members of the seminary community are welcome to join us Thursday evening. 

Who: The MAS journalism course
What: A showing of All the President's Men
When: This Thursday, November 17, at 7 p.m.
Where: Anselm 125
Why: To learn more about journalism through this classic American film

If you have any questions, please contact Sister Hilda or one of the journalism students.

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Hope for Journalism

Below you will find further reflections on The Elements of Journalism, this time from Bryce Lungren.  He considers the meaning of journalism and how his reading has shaped his reporting.  Bryce Lungren:

Over the last decade, my trust in secular news outlets has all but dried up.  Whether it was on TV, in the paper, or on the radio, I always took news I heard with a grain of salt.  I thought that all reporters had some kind of agenda they were pushing.  I had begun to lose hope that accurate honest journalism was still possible in this seemingly unethical modern world.  After reading the first half of The Elements of Journalism (TEJ) by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, however, I am starting to see the dawn of a new, more truthful day in the field of journalism.  This book has inspired me to know the foundational ethical principles for accurate, honest reporting, and to put them into practice by engaging the culture through journalism.

"What is the purpose of journalism?" is really not a question I had ever thought of before.  Today, the news is quite easy to come by.  With the internet it is rather instantaneous.  Journalism must have a more important role in society that just keeping people up to date.  TEJ reports that the "primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing" (Kovach 12).  I found this very enlightening.  Journalism's intent should not be to try and shape the opinion of the public; it should provide accurate facts of a situation and allow people to judge for themselves.  In doing so, journalists help form a self-governed society.

Bryce Lungren
I think there was a part of me that wanted to use the media to retaliate to the kind of indoctrinating reporting I have experienced in the past.  With an opinion forming tactic of my own, but one that was right of course, I had a kind of eye-for-an-eye mentality.  With this new insight into the purpose of journalism, however, I see that a reporter should let the truth speak for itself.  It has been freeing for me to know that journalism is not about how I view the situation; it is about letting the situation present itself in the light of the actual facts.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reflecting on Journalism

The main text for our journalism class is The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should ExpectOur journalism students write two papers in response to this book, and a short excerpt from a response by Michael Khong is below.  He writes:

Michael Khong
 Another important obligation [for journalists] is loyalty to the readers.  The journalist should always remember that people deserve high quality news.  They have to gather all the facts necessary to arrive to what really happened in regard to what the journalist is reporting on.  Even though they get paid from their employers, they work for their readers.  They need to place their audience above everything else, and this includes the interests of the company they are working for, themselves, their profession, and their families too (Kovach 53).  If the journalists are loyal to the readers, nothing can stop them from delivering the news to the people.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A New Seminarian in Theology

Each of our journalism students is required to write a profile of a seminary faculty member, seminary staff member, or a fellow student.  Ace Tupasi selected Tetzel Umingli for his profile below.

God Called Tetzel and He Answered
by Ace Tupasi

Tetzel Umingli is one of the new students of Mount Angel Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.  He is currently in first-year theology.  He was born on January 12, 1988, in Lagawe, Ifugao, of the Philippines.

Tetzel was in the third grade when he said to his parents that he wanted to become a priest.  Moreover, he kept this desire to become a priest.  In 2005 he entered the seminary in the Philippines with the desire to spread the Word of God as a priest someday.

In the seminary, Tetzel said, they were told that "seminary formation is very long because their motives might not be pure, and that through the processes of seminary formation, their motives would be purified."  Tetzel said his first attraction to the priesthood was "through the priests he knew" when he was little.  They were very kind people, and he wanted to be like them.

As his days in the seminary passed, he did not want to be only like those priests anymore, but he wanted to be like Christ himself.  As a would-be priest, he wants to be an alter-Christus to the people he will be serving someday.

Tetzel said, "the heart of priestly life is Christ himself."  The life of a priest should ultimately be patterned on the life of Christ.  A priest should lead people back to Christ and to the Church.  The sacraments that priests administer are centered on Christ.  Through the priest, the rays of Christ's grace should permeate the people he serves.  This is the kind of priest he wants to become - a priest who is effective in inspiring people to return back to God.