Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Installation of Father Joseph Betschart

Editor's Note: Watch this blog for more photos of tonight's event.

Tonight the community of Mount Angel Seminary installed Father Joseph Betschart as the new President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary during a celebration of the Votive Mass of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest.  Archbishop John Vlazny served as the celebrant of the Mass, Abbot Gregory Duerr served as the homilist, and the celebration was attended by the monastic community, seminary faculty and staff, seminarians, seminary board members, and many friends of the seminary.

The theme of love and gratitude for the priesthood was present throughout the celebration.

In his homily, Abbot Gregory explored three blessings, beginning with Jesus Christ, our savior and priest over the house of God.  Second, he expressed gratitude for Archbishop Vlazny and his fifteen years of service as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.  Third, he explained he was grateful for Father Betschart and his willingness to serve the Church in his new position.

Father Betschart was preceded as President-Rector by Monsignor Richard Paperini.  Paperini retired as the President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary in June.

Father Betschart enjoys dinner in the Damian Center with members of the hilltop community.

After the homily, Father Betschart made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity.  He was presented with three symbols of his new office: a book of the Gospels, a stole, and an icon of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest.

As he presented the stole to Father Betschart, Abbot Gregory said, "Recieve this stole a symbol of the authority of your office and a sign that you have chosen to bear the yoke of Christ and to carry his cross in the spirit of willingness and love."  The icon was written through the hand of Br. Andre Love, a monk of Mount Angel Abbey.

Before the final blessing, Father Betschart addressed the assembly.  He said, "It is so good to be home here with you," and that he could not begin to express how much he loves serving as a priest of Jesus Christ.  After thanking everyone attending the installation, he said, "We all foster priestly vocations" and make "an invaluable contribution" to the mission of Mount Angel Seminary."

"This is your seminary," explained Father Betschart, "because these will be your priests."

Editor's Note: As of 7:30 a.m on October 25, 2012, the spelling of the name of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon has been corrected.

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