Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feast of Santo Nino

Today the seminary Filipino community and many guests celebrated the Feast of Santo Nino.  The celebration began with Mass in the Abbey Church with Mount Angel Seminary alumnus Father Angelo Te as the celebrant.

According to the program distributed at the celebration, the Santo Nino is the oldest religious relic in the Philippines.  Devotion to the Holy Child is widespread in the Philippines, and the original Santo Nino is kept on the left side on the altar inside the Basilica Del Santo Nino.

The liturgy was followed by a procession from the Abbey Church to the Damian Center where lunch was served and the celebration continued.

The photos below share some of the celebration.  If others would like to have their photos posted on the seminary's journalism blog, email them to Sister Hilda at

A couple of the seminary's Filipino students pause with the Santo Nino before Mass begins.

Members of the Filipino community gather in the choir loft as they prepare to sing for the liturgy.

Members of the local Filipino community sang in the choir for Mass.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Theology on the Hill: Theology and Poetry with Dr. Seymour House

Tonight Dr. Seymour House, a Professor of Literature and Church History at Mount Angel Seminary, was the featured speaker for Theology on the Hill.  He spoke with off-hill guests, seminarians, and other faculty about theology and poetry.

Dr. House opened his talk with a brief discussion of the connections between theology and poetry.  Whether we are working with theology or poetry, he explained, language is inherently deficient for the experience we are describing.

Both theology and poetry, he continued, leave the reader or listener ignorant of the full truth of what is conveyed.  The full truth cannot be contained by the words.

Dr. Seymour House in his office at Mount Angel Seminary

For the rest of the talk, Dr. House shared and discussed with those gathered four poems: "Pied Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Traveling Through the Dark" by William Stafford, "Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop, and "Skunk Hour" by Robert Lowell.

The next Theology on the Hill will be Friday, April 20, 2012, in the Store at the Press.  Brother Jonah Wright, OSB, will discuss political theology.  All are welcome!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Passing of Mario Pastega

Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary mourns the passing of a good and faithful friend, Mario Pastega (1916-2012).  He was the benefactor of our annual Annunciation dinner and awards.

Mario passed away on Friday, January 20, 2012.  Let us remember him and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.

Mario's funeral will be this Friday, January 27, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary Church in Corvallis.  The rosary will be Thursday, January 26, at 7 p.m.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Upcoming Theology on the Hill

This Friday, January 27th, Mount Angel Seminary will sponsor the next installment of Theology on the Hill.  Dr. Seymour House, a professor of Literature and Church History at the seminary, will present on theology and poetry.

Theology on the Hill begins at 6:15 with pizza and beer in the Store at the Press, followed by Dr. House's presentation and discussion with the audience.

For more information, contact Brother Jonah Wright at or visit the Facebook page: Theology on the Hill.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Master of Arts Thesis - Federico Dundas

Yesterday Federico Dundas presented his Master of Arts thesis, "The New Law in Servais Pinckaers' Theology."  His presentation was attended by Federico's fellow members of The Saint John's Society, seminary faculty, and undergraduate and theology students.

Federico explained that the work of Pinckaers explicitly reconnected moral theology to the Gospels.  Pinckaers' main point is that as Christians we receive the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit enables us to live a moral life.

Federico Dundas before his presentation.
According to Federico, the New Law in his title refers to "the gift of the Holy Spirit by which we become able to live Jesus' teachings."  Pinckaers places this gift of the Holy Spirit at the center of moral theology.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Journalism Practicum 2012

The above page for the journalism practicum has been updated for the journalism practicum for this semester, Spring 2012.  Our practicum students provide stories for this blog, the website for Mount Angel Seminary, and other seminary publications.

If you are interested in joining the practicum and helping to share the good news about Mount Angel Seminary, please contact Sister Hilda.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

All Saints Day at Mount Angel Seminary

The festivities during the last semester included the activities of All Saints Day. Our journalist Emmanuelle del Castillo submitted this story:

The Saints Come Marching In
by Emmanuelle del Castillo

On the night of November 1st, you would wonder why the seminarians are dressing up even though Halloween was just the day before.  Before you start calling Monsignor Paperini, the President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary, you should know that November 1st is the Solemnity of All Saints Day.  This night was the All Saints Day social where the seminarians dressed up as saints.  All Saints Day is a solemnity that is celebrated in the Catholic Church.

The first event for the All Saints Day social was a quiz made by Sister Gertrude Feick, a professor at Mount Angel Seminary.  The contents were to test the seminarians and the off-hill guests on how much they know about the saints of the Catholic Church.  The questions varied from the women doctors of the church to the saints the bells of Mount Angel Abbey's bell tower are named after.

The second part of the All Saints Day social was the costume contest.  The judges of the contest were Sister Gertrude, Father Paschal Cheline, and Father Terry Tompkins, all professors from the seminary.

The contestants were judged on creativity, how recognizable they were as the saint or blessed they were portraying, and by a third factor that was a secret among the judges.  The first and second place winners were judged by the three judges, while third place was chosen as a crowd favorite.

The night ended with first place going to Dan Steele as Saint Francis of Assisi.  The second place winner was David Soares dressing up as Saint John Vianney, and the crowd favorite went to Patrick Klekas as Father Damein of Moloka'i.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Conferences on the Virtues

In addition to the conferences on different cultures represented at the seminary, the seminarians are also attending conferences on different virtues this school year.  Bryce Lungren submitted this story on the virtue of justice.

The Importance of Justice in Priestly Formation
by Bryce Lungren

On the evening of Monday, November 7, 2011, Mount Angel Seminary moral theologian Abbot Peter Eberle, OSB, gave a conference on justice to the MAS student body, which included both diocesan and religious seminarians.  The conference was the second talk given on certain virtues that are critical to priestly formation.

The first of these Monday evening conferences was delivered by Monsignor Richard Paperini on the virtue of prudence.  Two more talks will be given next semester by MAS formation directors.  Fr. Terry Tompkins will speak on the virtue of humility and Fr. Rory Pitstick will address the virtue of patience.

Abbot Peter, who is also the Director of Human Formation at MAS, said he thought “these conferences are timely and a good way to get at living a moral and authentic priestly life.”

In the cafeteria before the conference on justice began, seminarian Dan Steele said he looked forward to Abbot Peter's talk because Abbot Peter always "brings new light to things in homilies that I didn't think you could get more out of it."

In St. Joseph's Chapel, where the conference was held, Abbot Peter divided his talk into three main parts.  The first he labeled the "mega" questions concerning justice.  These are the Church teachings on peace and social justice.  He concluded that "the Church starts from human dignity as the beginning for giving each person his due."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Conference on Filipino Culture

Stories covering the seminary's Monday night conferences continue with this story by Ace Tupasi.  He covered another cultural conference, this time on the culture of the Philippines.

Filipino Culture
by Ace Tupasi

Fr. Ysrael Bien, one of the Filipino priests here in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, served as the guest speaker for the rector's conference at Mount Angel Seminary on September 28, 2011.  He is currently the associate pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Beaverton, Oregon.  He was invited to speak about Filipino culture.

In his talk he said that in order to understand the Filipino culture, one has to know the history of the Philippines as a country.  The first inhabitants of the Philippines were Malays originating from Borneo and other nearby Southeast Asian territories.  In 1521 Spaniards came and colonized the country for 333 years.  After that, Americans came and colonized the country for more than forty years.  As a result, these two countries have the most cultural influence on the Filipino people.

Fr. Ysrael posited that Catholicism was the biggest contribution of the Spanish colonizers to the Philippines.  Santacruzan (a procession), pasyon (chanting of the passion and death of Christ), and Misa de Gallo  (a series of nine dawn masses before Christmas) together with novenas and other religious devotions are just some of the religious practices brought by the Spaniards to the Philippines.  At present, 85% of Filipinos are Catholics.  As a result, the Philippines is well-known as the only Catholic country in Asia.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vietnamese Culture Conference

Toward the end of the fall semester, Michael Khong covered one of the seminary's Monday night conferences.  This conference and Michael's story provide us with another opportunity to learn more about one of the many cultures represented by the students and faculty of Mount Angel Seminary.

Vietnamese Culture Conference
by Michael Khong

On November 28, 2011, all seminarians, religious, and some faculty gathered in St. Joseph Chapel for a cultural conference - the first conference about Vietnamese culture on the hilltop.  There are twelve Vietnamese seminarians at Mount Angel Seminary.

At the beginning of the conference, Monsignor Richard Paperini introduced Fr. Bao Thai, a diocesan priest of the Diocese of Orange and alumnus of Mount Angel Seminary.  He was the guest speaker for the conference.  Fr. Bao Thai graduated with a B.A. of Philosophy from Mount Angel Seminary in 1998.  He attended St. John Seminary for theology in California from 1998 to 2003.  He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Orange in 2003.  Currently, he is serving as an associate pastor at the Holy Family Cathedral in Orange County.

According to Fr. Bao Thai, the population of Vietnam is 87 million people with 54 ethnic groups and seven major languages.  The main ethnic group in Vietnam is the Kinh group, and the main language used in Vietnam is called Tieng Viet.

Fr. Bao Thai also pointed out that over 4 million Vietnamese live around the globe, and 1.7 million Vietnamese people live in the United States.  Fr. Bao Thai continued, "According to the 2010 census, 1.5 million Vietnamese people live in California and 600,000 people live in Orange County where the largest Vietnamese community has been established since 1975."  Fr. Bao Thai added, "300,000 Vietnamese people are Catholics in Orange County."