This morning Mount Angel Seminary opened the 2012-2013 academic year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit and the annual Inaugural Lecture.
The Mass of the Holy Spirit was held in the Abbey Church and was attended by the students, faculty, and staff of the seminary, as well as a number of friends and supporters of the seminary. The presider and homilist was Fr. Joseph Betschart, the president-rector of Mount Angel Seminary. He urged all of the students to seek God through their studies in the coming year.
The Inaugural Lecture was given by Dr. Owen F. Cummings, the Regents Chair of Theology at Mount Angel Seminary. His topic was "Vatican II at Fifty" because this fall marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in 1962.
In his lecture, Dr. Cummings explained that Blessed John XXIII called and opened the council with a spirit of optimism. He explained the council was preceded by decades of new movements and study in theology, liturgy, Scripture, and ecumenism.
Dr. Cummings suggested that when we read the documents of the Second Vatican Council, we begin with those on revelation and the liturgy, "Dei Verbum" and "Sacrosanctum Concilium." Doing so reflects the communion ecclesiology that is the core of the academic curriculum of Mount Angel Seminary.
Finally, Dr. Cummings addressed how we can live the council today. Each of us, he explained, can commit ourselves to reading the four constitutions of the Second Vatican Council and to a personal performance of communion ecclesiology in each of our lives and circumstances.