Friday, November 30, 2012

Facilitate Don't Dominate

In her course Introduction to Pastoral Ministry this semester, Ms. Linda Showman assigned a book entitled Principled Ministry.  Each student in the class is giving a presentation on one of the principles, and Billy Zondler, a seminarian studying for the the Diocese of San Diego, submitted this poem for his presentation.

Facilitate Don't Dominate
by Billy Zondler

We should aim to facilitate

Cuz if we dominate

And fail to collaborate

We fail to let others participate

In the love we're all called to reciprocate

It's the Love Our Lord articulated

If we are what is elevated

It's the Body of Christ that gets amputated

And discipleship becomes debilitated

Let us strive to motivate

And together we will cultivate

The Love of Christ is what we imitate

So that the World will fall prostrate

Before Our God whose love rehabilitates.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Synod of the New Evangelization - Part VII

In this final installment of the diary entries from Father Jeremy during his time with the Synod of the New Evangelization, he describes the events of the last day of the Synod.  Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI of his diary have also been published on the MAS journalism blog.

October 28, 2012:

My last entry was a few days ago just as the rain was to break loose.  Archbishop Krutz and I hitched a ride in Cardinal Dolan's car as the rain was pounding down.  The Cardinal told us that he was leaving the Synod early in order to get back to New York ahead of the hurricane.

Entering the Synod Hall I was able to meet the newly named cardinal of Manila, Archbishop Tagle.  He is very nice, and he shared with me how completely surprised he was at being named a cardinal.  I asked him when he had known, and he said, astonished, "Only the day before."  He spoke very warmly of Benedictines and said, "I'm sure we'll see each other again."

That evening at the Synod the Holy Father was present, and they began the reading of the final version of the propositions. This continued on Saturday morning, and after that was the voting.  We "experts" had no more to do, but it was good to be present in the Hall to see how all this worked.  In the end there were 58 separate propositions.

As a literary form they were very much the product of bits and pieces of many small groups reworking things, so they don't sound especially smooth, but the main idea of a point to emphasize is certainly made in each one of these.  These will be the basis of the eventual Apostolic Exhortation that the Pope will write, but that will take more than a year.

The voting takes place electronically with each Synod Father in his seat.  The tally is taken pretty quickly and immediately announced.  However, for the record, they are also to vote in writing in a booklet provided to each for this purpose.  These are collected one by one as each bishop's name is called out in seniority and he answers "Adsum."  This took quite awhile. The Holy Father was present again in the first half of Saturday morning.

The Synod ended today with the celebration of Mass in St. Peter's.  Once again, the bishop members of the Synod and the priest advisors were concelebrants.  Whereas the opening Mass was in the piazza, this Mass was in the basilica.  I had a splendid placement, three rows back in the semi-circle that surrounded the high altar.  The Mass was prayerful and joyful, a real sense of thanking God for the gift of the Synod.

Vesting and unvesting was an occasion to see many of the new friends made during the Synod.  Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow sought me out in the mob to say how sorry he was that our formulation on the liturgy had not made it through the rounds of cutting and pasting propositions.  We consoled each other with the thought that probably the ideas would eventually come forward in the final exhortation.

Bishop Kussala from South Sudan asked if I would help him in writing a pastoral letter to his diocese on the Eucharist.  I left the scene with Archbishop Fisichella, walking toward his house with an agreement to meet one on one in the next week to share impressions of the Synod and ideas about further steps to take now.

The interview I gave for Vatican Radio was posted on their website today.  I listened and was not embarrassed.  Whew! You never know how you are going to sound.

I finish the Synod feeling exhausted and somehow dazed by the richness of the experience.  I know slowly but surely I will be able to digest and absorb all that happened.  Too tired to say anything in an eloquent way; I just want to utter my thanks to God for the opportunity to be part of this and to praise him for his beautiful bride, the Church.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Synod of the New Evangelization - Part VI

Father Jeremy Driscoll has submitted his final diary entries from his participation in The Synod of the New Evangelization.  Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V can also be found on the MAS journalism blog.

We continue with Father Jeremy's entry for October 26, 2012:

There is a lovely courtesy in the practice of the Synod that each day in he Hall at the opening session the birthday of people is announced, not just the Synod Fathers but us experts as well.  I thought mine (October 24) would probably not be announced since there was no plenary session scheduled for that day, only work in small groups, but in fact they announced it the day before.

People clapped, and I had the pleasure of seeing the Holy Father also clapping and smiling, though I doubt he could spot me in the Synod Hall.  In any case, both that day and the day of my birthday I had the good wishes of many, many bishops, and on my birthday itself Cardinal Gracias began our small group session with congratulations and the whole group sang Happy Birthday to me.

We had a full day of work in the small group: three and a half hours in the morning and two and a half in the afternoon.  We were formulating amendments to the texts of propositions already formulated by ourselves and the other eleven language groups.  I was able to argue for a clear expression on the liturgy and the liturgical year and also a mention of the important witness of monasteries in the New Evangelization.  Again, the discussion and range of concerns was both interesting and edifying.

For birthday fun I actually had two parties.  I don't know I've ever had that before.  My friends and neighbors on the Aventin offered a pranzo with a few people I could invite.  I decided to invite three African bishops with whom I was newly friends: Bishop Kussala from South Sudan, Bishop Libena from Tanzania, and Bishop Badejo from Nigeria.  I also invited from Sant' Anselmo my dear friend P. Olivier Marie Saar from Senegal.  I was calling it my pan-African party.  At the last minute Bishop Badejo was called away to an emergency.  I was sorry not to have his lively company, but we had a very joyful meal anyway.

In the evening Cardinal Levada had me to dinner in a splendid fish restaurant, together with Gabriel Ferruci, Monsignor Steve Lopes, and Father Steve, one of the priests from the Diocese of Orange. We had excellent food and company and cake with a highway flare on it and the whole restaurant staff was singing with the lights turned out in the room we were in. Gabriel ordered a fancy champagne at the end.

The next day we had no Synod meetings.  The secretaries of each small group had to meet that day to collate all the suggested amendments.  The rest of us had the day off.

Today and tomorrow are the last two days of the Synod.  This morning we heard the second draft of the Nuntius (the Synod Message), and it was certainly improved.  Different bishops read parts aloud in different languages, deepening once again the deep world-wide experience that we are all having of the Church.

After that and the lively and talkative coffee break, we heard from mostly lay people from around the world, sharing their experiences of work already underway and well developed in the New Evangelization.  On Wednesday the Holy Father named six new cardinals, four of whom are present at the Synod.  During the break I was able to congratulate two of them, one from Nigeria and the other from India, both very nice.

I came for lunch to the North American College and ran into Archbishop Wilton Gregory from Atlanta.  He is not here for the Synod but for other meetings, but we had a happy reunion and sat together at table with Bishop Kicanas from Tucson and two Portland seminarians, Tim and Greg.  We had a great lunch together.

I am writing this entry in Archbishop Kurtz's (Louisville) sitting room at the NAC, which he has been generously sharing with me.  We begin our meetings this afternoon an hour later.  I can tell from the sky that one of those big Roman rainstorms is brewing.  It will probably break loose about the time we set out to walk back to the Vatican.  Well, if the end is wet, that is fair.  For the three weeks of the Synod the weather has been magic October: sunny and not hot.  That is Rome at its best.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Himig - MAS Filipino Community

On Saturday, November 10th, the seminarians of the Filipino community of Mount Angel Seminary offered a concert entitled Himig (Hymn) at St. Anthony Parish in Forest Grove, Oregon.  A benefactor of the Filipino Community, Rolly Perez, created this video of the concert.

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Interview with Paul Grandi

Paul Grandi: A New Student at MAS
Story and Photo by Peter Lawongkerd

Paul Grandi is one of the new students at Mount Angel Seminary this year; he is currently studying for the Diocese of Tucson.  In this interview, he shared his own experience of how God called him to the seminary, his transition from the University of Arizona to Mount Angel Seminary, and what he loves the most about the seminarian life.  He also shared his experience of working in the writing center.

Paul Grandi

Paul was born and grew up in Tucson.  He was a student at the University of Arizona before he transferred to Mount Angel Seminary.  After he studied at the University of Arizona for one year, he started thinking of becoming a priest.  He went to a retreat that lasted the entire day; it was provided by the Diocese of Tucson.  The purpose of the retreat was to promote the vocations of the priesthood and religious life to the teenagers.

After that retreat, he went back home with a strong knowledge of knowing that he wants to become a priest.  He said, "I felt God's call on my heart.  As time went on it became clear that this is what God was calling me to do."  Last summer he decided to join the Diocese of Tucson, and they sent him to study at Mount Angel Seminary.

In terms of transitioning from the previous university to Mount Angel Seminary, it was not easy for him because he had to adapt to a new environment, a new culture, and a new schedule.  He said, "The seminary has a lot more structure and it was very different from what I was used to."

It is more difficult for him to adapt to the community on the hilltop, especially being down in Subiaco.  There are two main residential buildings at the seminary; Anselm is for college students, and Aquinas is for theologians.  Subiaco is a small building that accepts students that overflow from Anselm.

It was easy for Paul to get to know everybody in Subiaco very quickly because there are only seven students living in Subiaco, but it is more difficult for him to adapt to the whole community on the hilltop.  He said, "It is a lot harder for me to get to know my other brothers who live at Anselm and Aquinas because I'm not around there all the time."

He finds it difficult to move to a new environment and to begin from zero again.  This is the most challenging part for him.

He explained the differences between the University of Arizona and Mount Angel Seminary.  He said that a big aspect is discernment.  In the secular university, a lot more people don't know what they want.  He said, "They don't know what they are striving for nearly as clearly as we do here at the seminary."  He explained that a lot of the students at the university do not have the big picture in mind, and a lot of people think about how they can earn more money rather than bring joy into their lives or other people's lives.

At the seminary, everyone knows or at least has as aspect of what they are called to be.  They know that they are going to bring joy into their lives and to other people's lives through ministry and through the Eucharist.

What Paul loves the most about being at the seminary is that he has the opportunity to participate in the Eucharist every single day before he goes to class or starts doing something else.  He said, "Going to Mass every morning is a real blessing for me because it makes every day center around the Eucharist."

He explained that everything he does that day flows from the experience of the Mass.  By beginning his day with Mass, it means he receives grace and that grace from the Eucharist goes into the rest of his day.  It is reminding him that Christ is there in the Eucharist every single morning and reminding him of why he is at the seminary.  He also said that he comes to realize how much the Eucharist affects his life from receiving it every day.

This year Paul also has the opportunity to work in the Writing Center.  He said that he has always enjoyed writing essays.  He said, "I enjoy helping people become better writers because I think it is such a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively, especially in the written word."  So working in the Writing Center is a satisfying job for him to be able to help people develop their writing skills.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Conference on the Year of Faith

Father Marc Lenneman on the Year of Faith
Story by Raul Barriga

You may be aware of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI during which he exhorts Catholics to deepen their love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  On the night of Monday, October 22, Father Marc Lenneman, the vocation director for the Diocese of Helena, gave a conference for religious and diocesan seminarians in which he discussed the need for a personal formation before sharing the faith with others.

You may agree that as seminarians being formed for the priesthood in the beginning of this Year of Faith, we are living in an exciting time for the universal church.  Surely Father Marc felt so, as he shared with us.  Yet as seminarians, it can be tough at times to keep a focus on the big picture of our formation in the seminary.

This is why Father Marc stressed the need to maintain focus on the goal of a vocation.  He said, "The idea is to keep the main thing, the main thing."  According to Father Marc, this main thing or goal of a vocation is holiness.

Lumen Gentium, a Second Vatican Council document about the Church, describes the universal call to holiness in chapter five.  Further, the Year of Faith itself is a 50th anniversary celebration of the opening of Vatican II in 1962.  Thus, it is fitting for seminarians, and indeed all the people of God, to reflect upon this notion of holiness brought about by a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ.

When asked about the main thing he would like his audience to remember from his talk, Father Marc said that it is very important to "have intimacy with the heart of Christ."

Father Marc came to Mount Angel Seminary to be present for the installation of our new President-Rector, Father Joseph Betschart, as well as to take part in the Episcopal Council meeting, a gathering of many of the bishops and vocation directors who send their seminarians to Mount Angel Seminary.

Conferences are regularly scheduled for the first, second, and fourth Monday nights of each month.  The President-Rector gives the conference on the first Monday of the month.  These conferences are held for the benefit of seminarians in their formation in accordance with the four pillars (human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral) that derive from The Program for Priestly Formation written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ordination of Father Raymond Bueno, OCD

Nancy Larson, a parishioner of St. Paul Catholic Church in Silverton, Oregon, attended the ordination of Father Raymond Bueno, OCD, last month and shares these photos with the readers of our journalism  blog.  Father Raymond graduated from Mount Angel Seminary last May.

Father Raymond was ordained on October 12, 2012, at St. Therese Catholic Church in Alhambra, CA.

Father Raymond with the Knights of Columbus

Father Raymond was ordained by the Most Rev. Alexander Salazar, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The Consecration

Father Raymond during his Mass of Thanksgiving with the community of the Carmel of St. Teresa in Alhambra.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Mace and Chain of Office

A Look at the Academic Mace and the Chain of Office
Story by Raul Barriga; Photos by Raul Barriga and Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

In last year's graduation ceremony at Mount Angel Seminary, you may have noticed the academic mace in the procession into the Abbey Church.  The faculty marshall, Father Paul Peri, carried the mace, and the now former President-Rector Monsignor Richard Paperini and the Chancellor, Abbot Gregory Duerr, wore the chains of office.  The mace and chains are symbols of authority, according to Cindy May, the administrative assistant for the School of Theology.

Father Paul Peri with the academic mace

May created the mace that is used at this seminary.  It is full of detail and symbolism.  If you have a closer look at the mace, you can see 1) at the top the medallion of the seminary on one side and the icon of Christ the Teacher on the opposite side, and 2) four groves going down the length of the mace that represent the four pillars of formation (human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral).

The icon at the top of the mace

The dedication plague on the stand for the mace

The four pillars of formation are the main areas in which the seminarians work to be formed for the priesthood.  These four pillars from from The Program of Priestly Formation, a document by the U.S. bishops.

May explained that she thought of designing the mace several years ago during a discussion about getting the mace and chains for the president-rector and the abbot.  She explained that she became aware there was no money in the budget for the mace.  Looking in a catalogue for a mace and noticing the expensive cost for buying one, May explained that she thought "I can make one for under two hundred dollars, I'm sure."

She even implemented a decoupage skill she knew so as to place the icon of Christ the Teacher on top of the mace.  With decoupage, a prayer card of the icon was cut around the edges and pasted on top of the mace.  May worked on the mace on evenings after work and on the weekends.

The medallion for Mount Angel Seminary

The chain of office

Details of the names for the current president-rector and some of the past president-rectors

The chain of office has some detail as well.  The one used by the president-rector says "president" and the one used by the abbot says "chancellor."  According to governance of Mount Angel Seminary, "the role of the Chancellor is to ensure that the Seminary operates in accord with the mind of the Church.  He appoints the President-Rector and is chairman of the Board of Directors and the Board of Members."  On the chains themselves are the names of all the past president-rectors and the names of all the former chancellors.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

College Beach Weekend 2012

The College Beach Weekend
Story by Peter Lawongkerd; photos by Carlos Orozco; photo editing by Peter Lawongkerd and Raul Barriga

Mount Angel Seminary provides an annual trip to the beach for college students once a year.  This year the college beach weekend was Friday, September 7, to Sunday, September 9 at Camp Meriwether.  The weekend was arranged by Father. Ralph Recker, Thien Dinh, Frank Villanueva, Miguel Corral, John Hesla, Zachary Ferell, and Jonathan Cheever.  The purpose of the event is to build a good relationship among the seminarians and with God.

Father Ralph Recker and Thien Dinh

Throughout the weekend, sixty-plus seminarians were able to gather themselves by getting involved in different kinds of activities such as card games, board games, a talent show, a trip to Tillamook, hiking, a bonfire, and many more activities.  The seminary also provided a lot of food, such as snacks and drinks.

On Friday evening we had Thai green curry and Pad Thai noodle for dinner sponsored by Peter Lawongkerd, and on Saturday we had Tostadas de Lomo for dinner sponsored by Fredy Preciado and other members of the Hispanic community.

Frank Villanueva getting ready for the talent show.

On Friday night we had a talent show organized by Patrick Klekas.  Some of the seminarians were singing; others recited poems and danced.  Oscar Anaya, a students from the Diocese of Fresno, said, "For me the talent show was a really fun part of my college beach weekend experience.  I was able to feel the brotherhood bond with all the shows that were presented.  Everybody enjoyed it because laughter was heard from all the seminarians."

On Saturday morning Father Ralph Recker and other seminarians when to the hike on the beach.  In the afternoon they returned and made a trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, a very famous industrial factory that produces cheese and ice cream.

Randy Hoang samples the cheese at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Luis Nunez, Andy Mendoza, Oscar Anaya, Jorge Cruz, and Carlos Orozco

Fourth year college students Martin Moreno, Joshua Keeney, Art Sanchez, and Ryan Francisco

On Saturday evening we had adoration on the beach.  Father Theodore Lange, one of the formation directors for the seminary, led the procession down to the beach, which was followed by silence with the Blessed Sacrament.  When the moment of silence came, it was the most peaceful moment one could have, and that impressed all the seminarians and priests.  The sound of the waves allowed the seminarians and priests to acknowledge the beauty of nature and realize how immense God is.  One of the the new seminarians, Jose Morale, a student from the Diocese of Oakland, said, "I had never had such an emotional and natural experience with God.  This was truly a gift; I felt the spirit of God coming when the waves would hit the shore."

The procession to the beach for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the beach

Father Terry Tompkins keeps watch over the bonfire.

The edge of the bonfire

On Sunday morning, Fr. Terry Tompkins, one of the formation directors, presided at Sunday Mass outside in the forest.  This brought a sense of God's creation due to the fall breeze during the time of consecration.  Jose Morales said, "It was really a blessing to have felt the presence of God."

After Sunday Mass, we had lunch together, and that was followed by cleaning up the kitchen and the hall we used for all of the activities during the weekend.  Then we headed back to the seminary.  Michael Nguyen, a student for the Diocese of Orange, said, "What I enjoyed the most on this weekend was the bonfire because to me it was representing that each one of [us] building a good relationship among ourselves, and everything we did together on the weekend, we offer those things to God."

Editor's Note: The writer and photographer for this story were also participants in the college beach weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The SACA Food Drive

Each year the college-one seminarians participate in the SACA Food Drive in Silverton, Oregon.  This year Chase Shepard filed this report on the drive:

October 20, 2012: It was today that I and the rest of my college-one brethren had our first pastoral ministry.  When we arrived, we first helped the other volunteers who were working there to set up the place for the food drive.

Omar Mejia de la Cruz joins in the work of the SACA Food Drive.

We were then broken up into small teams, and each team was assigned a specific job.  These jobs included bringing the bags of food from the car to inside the building that we were using, organizing the food from the bags into individual categories and then boxing them up, sealing the boxes, and then labeling them and putting them onto the available hand carts.  Then there was transporting the boxes down to the first floor so that they could be weighed and have both the weight of the box and its category recorded.

The last job was to transport the boxes to the storage area and to store them in the appropriate areas according to the category of food that was in each box.  Before we left, we helped the other volunteers clean the floors and pack the tables.

Oscar Anaya Cuevas also preparing the boxes to be filled with food donations.

Upon arriving back at the seminary, we immediately went down into the Anselm Commons and began our theological reflection.  For the theological reflection, I asked the others to discuss how the experience at the food bank had affected them.  These were some of their responses:

Nicholas Paige-Schneider: It was nice to work with the brothers from the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.  [It] helped the College One community to bond and grow more as a community.

Randy Hoang: It was nice to work with the brothers from the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, and it was a fun experience.

Omar Mejia de la Cruz: It was a humbling experience, and it was nice that there were so many people willing to give up their Saturday morning in order to help out the poor and the homeless.

Essese Tui: It was a nice, humbling, hard, and fun experience.

Emilio Gonzalez: It was nice that the community was able and willing to support and help the poor and the homeless and also that it sort of brought a sense that all of the people in society are part of one body.

Jorge Cruz Paez: It was a good experience that helped [me] practice patience, and it helped to improve the College One's community's sense of teamwork and perseverance.

Jose Morales: It was a fun but hard experience.

Duy Vo: It was a ministry, and it was nice to know that so many other people were also willing to help give a lending hand to the homeless of the area.

Oscar Anaya Cuevas: It was a great experience.  It was also great to help so many people that are in need of help, and it helped the College One community to grow more as a community.

Chase Shepard: It was a great experience.  It also let the College One community not only grow but also strengthen our bonds as a community.  It also helped me improve my leadership skills.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Installation of Fr. Joseph Betschart - Part II

A portion of the journalism class this semester is dedicated to photography: taking pictures in variety of circumstances, editing and cropping the photos, and writing captions.  The photos below have been collective project of the journalism class after we received the photos from Carlos Orozco and Ivan Garcia.

Reader may find more about the installation here on the journalism blog.

Images from the Installation of Fr. Joseph Betschart

Photos by Carlos Orozco, Ivan Garcia, and Sr. Hilda Kleiman; photo editing by Raul Barriga, Peter Lawongkerd, and Sr. Hilda Kleiman

Archbishop Vlazny gives the sign of peace to Father Joseph Betschart; Brother John Paul Le, Brother Jesus Maria Leija, and Father Paschal Cheline applaud in the background.

Abbot Gregory Duerr presents an icon of Christ the Eternal High Priest to Fr. Joseph Betschart with the assistance of Father Paul Thomas and Martin Moreno.  The icon was written through the hand Brother Andre Love.

Seminarians participate in the celebration of the Mass from the second floor of the Abbey Church.

Trumpeters Jeffrey Moore (left) and Geoffrey Daigh (right) play during the Mass in conjunction with the seminary choir.

After the Installation Mass . . .

a standing dinner was served in the Damian Center.  Arturo Sanchez served wine . . . 

. . . and the guest enjoyed many deserts.

Seminarian Miguel Corral and Father Joseph Betschart at the reception after the Installation Mass.

Cindy May, a member of the seminary staff, and seminarian Jorge Cruz Paez.

Seminarian Martin Tavares Hernandez and Abbot Gregory Duerr.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Annual Shakespeare Trip

Spending Time with the Bard in Ashland, Oregon
by Dean Marshall

On the last weekend in September, the Shakespeare class, several college literature majors, and a few stowaways (myself included) ventured down to Ashland, Oregon, for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip.

Officially, we were able to see two plays, Shakespeare's Henry V on Friday night, and then Animal Crackers of Marx Brothers fame.  Both performances were wonderful!  Seeing Shakespeare's plays as they should be, on stage and in person, is a real treat.  While Animal Crackers was obviously not written by the Bard, it was a rousing performance nonetheless, one that will not be soon forgotten!

On the stage of the Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland

Some of us were also able to see other plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, and the entire group received a special privilege this year: a backstage tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  The tour was a wonderful experience that really opened our eyes to the realities of stage performing, especially all of the hard work from the actors and technical crew; it was fascinating!

Some may ask, "Why Shakespeare, why literature, at a seminary?"  The answer is simple: these are the things that make us human, that are part of our experience.  As St. Iraneaus once put it, "The glory of God is man fully alive!"  In other words, being a seminarian or priest means more than just studying and praying all day, although it is all directed towards His greater glory!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Showing of Page One: Inside the New York Times

On Thursday, November 15, at 6:45 p.m., the journalism class will be showing the 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times.   We will view the film in Anselm 125.  All are welcome to join us for this film that examines the massive changes experienced by the media industry as it follows the reporters and editors of the NTY media desk.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Sister Hilda.  The DVD is also available from the Mount Angel Abbey Library.

The description below is from the jacket of the DVD:

PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES deftly gains unprecedented access to The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk.  With the Internet surpassing print as the main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt, PAGE ONE chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil.  It gives us an up-close look at the vibrant cross-cubicle debates and collaborations, tenacious jockeying for on-the-record quotes, and skillful page-one pitching that produce the "daily miracle" of a great news organization.  What emerges is a nuanced portrait of journalists continuing to produce extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances.

At the heart of the film is the burning question on the minds of everyone who cares about a rigorous American press, Times lover or not: what will happen if the fast-moving future of media leaves behind the fact-based, original reporting that helps to define our society?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Upcoming Theology on the Hill

The next session of Theology on the Hill will take place on Friday, November 16th, and it should be of special interest to the readers of the MAS journalism blog.

The session is entitled "Discovering Journalism at Mount Angel Seminary," and the presenters will be Sister Hilda Kleiman, the editor of this blog, and the seminary's two journalism students this semester, Mr. Peter Lawongkerd and Mr. Raul Barriga.

Raul, Peter, and Sister Hilda will discuss the seminary's current journalism program, the joys and challenges of journalism, and how journalism may play a part within our ministries and Christian vocations.  During the discussion, people will have the opportunity to offer feedback on the work done by the seminary's journalism program thus far and to offer suggestions for future stories.

Raul Barriga
Peter Lawongkerd

Theology on the Hill takes place in the Store at the Press at Mount Angel Abbey.  Pizza and beer will be served at 6:15, and the discussion will begin at 6:45.  For more information, contact Brian Bergeron at

Friday, November 2, 2012

An Interview with Barb Anderson

The MAS Journalism blog continues publishing several stories that are also published in the Catholic Sentinel the week as part of its special section on Mount Angel Seminary.  This story was a collective project of this semester's journalism class.

Learning and the Love of God at Mount Angel Seminary
by Raul Barriga, Peter Lawongkerd, and Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

Barb Anderson, a lay student alumnus of Mount Angel Seminary, is grateful for her Master's in Theology from the seminary, and in a recent phone interview, she described the ways it has shaped her work as a pastoral associate for St. Mary's Catholic Church in Corvallis.

As a pastoral associate, she works with the RCIA and adult education, gives retreats, takes communion to the sick, makes pastoral visits, and works on a variety of additional projects with other members of the parish staff.  "I love being a pastoral associate," said Anderson, "because it is hard and I can share my love of God with others who are different every day."  She has worked in the parish since 1990 and as the pastoral associate since 1994.

When asked why she wanted to study theology, Anderson said, "I wanted to read much more, read original documents.  I wanted to know why we do what we do."  Mount Angel Seminary was the closest Catholic graduate school, and since she works with priests, she said she wanted to have some of the same teachers and formation as they did.

A current project that draws on her theological experience is a screening of Father Robert Barron's new series on Catholicism.  Anderson explained that her theological background enables her to answer people's questions that are raised by the series or to properly direct them so they can discover the answer on their own.

When asked if she had a favorite course at the seminary, Anderson said, "I loved all of them!"  Her thesis focused on the spirituality of the laity in the work of St. Francis de Sales and was directed by Sister Brigid Merriman, OSF.

Since her graduation from Mount Angel Seminary, Anderson has continued to study theology on her own through preparation for her teaching in the RCIA, by reading current encyclicals, and through her research for retreats.  She recently did a school staff retreat, and in November she is offering a retreat on Hildegard of Bingen.  According to Anderson, her pastor, Father Steve Clovis, is very supportive of education and is encouraging her study of Spanish at the local community college as well.

Anderson explained that while she expected and received a rich intellectual experience, she also had a deeply spiritual experience as well.  Through the intermingling of study and prayer, Anderson said, she was being formed all day long.

Because she has experienced the love of God through her studies, said Anderson, it is easier to share that love with others.  Anderson concluded that "the whole emphasis of my time at Mount Angel was to discover the love of God in a deeper way."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sports at Mount Angel Seminary

Each November the Catholic Sentinel publishes a special section to coincide with Mount Angel Seminary's annual benefit dinner.  This year's special section features the work of a number of seminarians and faculty of Mount Angel Seminary.  The MAS journalism blog will be publishing these stories as well, beginning with the story below by Daniel Miller, a seminarian from the Diocese of Boise.

Celebrating Virtue and Victory
by Daniel Miller

A goal!  Cheers and high-fives follow with the usual congratulatory words, but this goal pleads to be commemorated.

A shout rises.  Everyone turns.  A fan, uninhibited, races down the sideline, yellow and white Vatican flag draped over his shoulders and rippling behind him amid his own roars of glee.  Players glance and grin.  That's more like it.  The celebration is on.

Mount Angel, three.  Reed College, zero.

For the soccer team and their supporters at Mount Angel Seminary, this home victory on October 7 highlighted the sports calendar.  The fan, Philip Shifflet, a seminarian from the Diocese of Orange, relished the victory as much as the players.

"Even the refs were smiling," Shifflet said.  "Even if I don't play soccer, the fact that I'm there and cheering them on, that somebody cares and is supporting them, that's one of the reasons I would go down to the soccer field."

The soccer team had not won in two years, said Joshua Keeney, a former coach, current player, and seminarian for the Diocese of Sacramento.  Competitive disadvantages for Mount Angel Seminary are apparent: a smaller pool of student athletes, limited facilities, and a demanding academic and spiritual schedule not present at other institutions.  Winning is rare for Mount Angel Seminary athletics, but formation in virtue is not.

"Sports offer opportunities to grow in community," volleyball coach and Diocese of Honolulu seminarian Frank Villanueva said.  "They are an avenue for men here to express themselves in healthy ways outside of the academic and spiritual aspects of the seminary.  Sports enhance those opportunities."

Winning makes for memories, as with Shifflet and the soccer team, but whether an outing ends in victory or defeat, lessons can be cultivated in patience, courage, compassion, forgiveness, and virtue, Dr. Andrew Cummings said.

Cummings is the athletic director and a player on the soccer team.  As such, he oversees the $4600 athletic budget, maintains facilities, and acts as an advocate for the student coaches in soccer, basketball, and volleyball, the newest team sport.

Sports among the Mount Angel Seminary hilltop community include lesser celebrated pastimes, too: table tennis on Friday afternoons draws a crowd.  Diocese of Helena seminarians Alex Woelkers and Jacob Floch are aiming to complete a marathon in November, and seven seminarians ran the Mount Angel Oktoberfest 5K and 10K races in September.  Other favorite seminarian activities include aikido, weight lifting, racquetball, cycling, tennis, pool, and the workout series P90X.

Hiking appeals to many.  Fr. Ralph Recker, OSB, leads weekend hikes to Saddle Mountain, Table Rock, and nearby peaks.  The reward for tired legs comes from vivid celebrations of the Mass overlooking the serene Cascade Mountain Range.

"One of my favorite sports moments is praying at the top of the summit," Recker said.  "Especially if you have someone who didn't think they'd make it initially.  There is a feeling of conquest."

The value of Mount Angel Seminary sports goes beyond athletes to fans and the greater hilltop fraternity, celebrating together conquests large and small, in virtue and in competition.