Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mardi Gras Celebration

On Tuesday, the seminary students, faculty, and staff celebrated Mardi Gras before entering into a day of quiet and reflection for Ash Wednesday.  The celebration included a car float contest, field games, and a trivia contest in the evening.

The photos below share some of the entries in the car float contest.

 This entry featured an abundance of flowers and a decorated statue of the Virgin Mary.

 Ivan Garcia greets the crowd as he rides on the back of his entry.
  One group of seminarians enlisted the help of the local police department for their entry.

 Abbot Peter Eberle also took part in this entry. 

 Luis Madgrial (right) played the part of an injured bystander in the skit.

 The seminary faculty and staff combined academic regalia, cooking equipment, and Mardi Gras masks and beads for a unique entry.

 A sign on the back of their pickup shared the theme of the entry by the seminary faculty and staff.

Ricardo Ruesga and Ivan Garcia celebrate their cash prize.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Capstone Projects: David Soares

The time for completing the college capstone projects at Mount Angel Seminary has begun.  In the coming weeks, each fourth-year college student will give an oral presentation to the seminary community based on his capstone paper.

David Soares offered the first capstone project this morning in the auditorium of the Mount Angel Abbey Library.  He entitled his capstone project "To Jesus through Mary: Uniting the Free Will of a Human Being with the Will of God through Mary."  Fr. Thien Dang served as the director for David's project, and Mrs. Elizabeth Farley served as his reader.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Seminary Retreat

This Year's Annual Retreat
by Emmanuelle del Castillo

From the afternoon of Monday, January 9, 2012, until two o’clock on the following Friday afternoon, Mount Angel seminarians attended their annual silent retreat. This year’s retreat master was Archbishop Niederauer from the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Most of the conferences were held by Archbishop Niederauer and were topics related to the formation of a seminarian into a priest. One point  the archbishop made and that David Soares, seminarian of the Diocese of Honolulu, found very interesting is that “Jesus said no during his ministry at certain times; [he] only said yes if it’s the will of God.” Another point that Clyde Rex Jesalva of the Archdiocese of Portland found interesting is that “the priest has needs."
During this period, seminarians are expected to be silent throughout the week except during prayers and mass. The silence includes even non-verbal communications like social networks and emails. During the times between prayer, mass, and conferences, seminarians are encouraged to concentrate on their spiritual formation. The seminarians that were quoted earlier did some reading about the spiritual life and lectio divina.

All evenings of the retreat started with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. After the exposition on Monday, all seminarians participated in a scriptural rosary . On the evening of Tuesday, the college seminarians have the chance to speak with Archbishop Niederauer about the spiritual life and the life of a diocesan priest. On Wednesday evening, the theology seminarians had a turn to speak with the archbishop while the college seminarians had a conference with Father Paschal Cheline, a spiritual director and professor at Mount Angel Seminary. On Thursday evening, all the seminarians participated in a penance service. Friday was the final morning of the retreat.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Greek Music and Greek History

Making the Past Come Alive

Story by Bryce Lungren
Photos by Bryce Lungren and Linda Showman

On the afternoon of Friday, January 27, 2012, world-renowned performers Gayle and Philip Neuman entertained both seminarians and faculty at the Mount Angel Abbey Library auditorium.  The duo, who call themselves Ensemble de Organographia, played and sang their rendition of several music pieces of the ancient Greeks for an audience of over 40 people for about an hour.

Philip Neuman during the performance.
Gayle Neuman plays a two-person piece with Philip.
According to the Early Christian Music Guild of Oregon, the Neumans specialize in music of the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and 19th century historical cultures.  The EMGO states that Ensemble de Organographia performs their music on authentic ancient instruments or faithful reproductions.

Ms. Linda Showman's History of Music class and Dr. Stewart King's Humanities class made up the majority of those in attendance.  The music played at the event was originally composed from 500 B.C. to 300 A.D.

Ms. Showman, who has been arranging the Neumans' concert at MAS since 2008, looks forward each year to their performance.  She believes that it benefits her students "to experience live music of the highest caliber."  Ms. Showman also said that this is an "opportunity for music of the distant past to come alive."

The Neumans prepare their instruments for the performance at Mount Angel Seminary.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

West Cost Walk for Life

Over the weekend of January 20-22, a large group of seminarians from Mount Angel Seminary travelled to San Francisco for a pro-life demonstration.  Frank Villanueva, a participant in the demonstration, wrote this story.

Joining the Walk for Life
Story and Photos by Frank Villanueva

With their sleeping bags in one hand and their rosaries in the other, on Friday, January 20, 2012, the seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary embarked on an 11-hour pilgrimage from St. Benedict, OR, to San Francisco, CA, to participate in the annual West Coast Walk for Life march.

The young men, accompanied by Fr. Ralph Recker, a formation director at Mount Angel Seminary, began loading the bus at 5:00 am with luggage, cases of water, lunches for the road and playing cards for the long journey.  A prayer for safe travel and a welcome address by the Peace and Social Justice Chair, Ryan Francisco, set the tone for the enthusiastic prayer warriors.  While singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round” and “Shout to the Lord” the guys talked, laughed and put together “march” cheers to chant while taking the two and a half mile walk.  Along the way they stopped at various roadside stops to stretch their legs and take some photos of one another and of the beauty of nature.

The seminarians arrived at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA, around 7:00 p.m.  They were greeted by fellow seminarians, went to Mass, and were treated to a dinner prepared for them by the Sisters of St. Patrick's Seminary.

When morning broke on Saturday, January 21, the seminarians ate a light breakfast and set off to the Cathedral of St. Mary where they were met by more than 2500 parishioners and supporters of the pro-life movement.  When mass ended the seminarians met back at the bus and drove to the starting location for the walk.

The seminarians met up with former classmate JR Jaldron, now studying at St. Patrick's Seminary, and some friends while preparing for the walk.

Two Hawaiian seminarians from Mount Angel Seminary, Frank Villanueva (left) and Romple Emwalu (right) were greets with a surprise visit from fellow diocesan brother EJ Resinto, a current student at St. Patrick's Seminary.
After receiving some words of encouragement and testimonies from various speakers, the march was on its way.  Leading the way were the youth and young adult groups followed by the seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary and St. Patrick’s Seminary. 
Joseph Norton III, a college-one seminarian, looks toward the protesters on the side while Michael Dion,
Grant Boggs, and Geoff Daigh pray the rosary.
The pro-life supporters were met with some challenges while taking the 2.5 mile march.  Pro-choice supporters lined the sidewalks screaming chants of “freedom of choice.”  However, the pro-life supporters marched on singing songs of praise to God and giving spontaneous cheers while both Catholics and non-Catholics prayed vigilantly to the Blessed Mother.
Tears of sadness came from the faces of both men and women throughout the walk, and the march ended tears of joy and shouts of praise to God.