Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MAS Celebrates Mardi Gras

Community Day on Mardi Gras
Story by Raul Barriga; Photos by Br. Lorenzo Conocido

On Tuesday, February 12, Mount Angel Seminary celebrated Mardi Gras with a community day.  Seminarians, faculty and staff, as well as guests came to see what would take place in the activities.  This year included a car float contest, a relay course, a tug-a-war, crate stacking, dodge ball, and a trivia bowl.

Every year, seminarians organize this event with various activities.  The different academic levels at the seminary were divided into the following teams: college one and two, college three and four, pre-theology one and two, theology one and two, and theology three and four.  The point of the activities is not only to share in community and have fun, but also to win for the day so as to receive additional proceeds from the seminary to spend on the class outing that takes place at the end of the academic year for each class level.  The team with the most points at the end of the day wins!

In the morning was a car float contest next to the Damian Center.  The competition was for first, second, and third place.  This year, the judges for the float contest were President-Rector Monsignor Joseph Betschart, Deacon Bert Mello of the Diocese of Fresno, and Brother Robert Maekawa, OSB, of Mount Angel Abbey.  The total number of floats this year was four.

The first-place entry was from a mixed group of faculty, staff, and guests.  The people in this float included Sr. Hilda Kleiman, OSB, and Sr. Judith Bloxham, OSB, both from Queen of Angels Monastery, Fr. Terry Tompkins, Dr. Katy Leamy, Br. Gregory Benavidez, OSB, Cindy May and her daughter Carlene Fair, Nikki Martin, Dr. Shawn Keough, Myrna Keough, Susan Gibby, Marina Keys, Tamara Swanson-Orr, and Graciela Cortes.  This group called their float "The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful."  Each of the group members was dressed in cowboy gear.  They even included a real pony that walked in front of their vehicle, which was a lawn mower that hauled a small wagon.

They walked to a soundtrack called "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," which came from a Clint Eastwood movie with the same name.  They even had a cardboard cutout of Clint Eastwood, which was riding in the small wagon.

Some faculty and staff members from the winning entry: Father Liem Nguyen, Father Rory Pitstick, Sister Hilda Kleiman, Susan Gibby, and Nikki Martin, the main organizer of the entry by the seminary faculty and staff.

The second place winners named their float "They Have No More Wine."  The group included Sister Gertude Feick, OSB, of Queen of Angels Monastery, Dr. Shawn Keough, Myrna Keough, and about a dozen seminarians.  They did a skit of Jesus turning the water into wine (John 2:3-9).  Sister Gertrude took the role of Mary, and Br. Nicholaus Wilson took the role of Jesus.

Some of the seminarians from the entry entitled "They Have No Wine": Brother Nicholaus Wilson, Alexander Estrella, and Edgar Sanchez

Richard Lefaivre of the Archdiocese of Portland was one of the seminarians present at the event.  He said, "I think that the floats stepped it up this time with a real animal.  They even had someone with a pooper scooper following."

Following lunch at noon, people gathered in the Damian center for a competition that included a relay course, a tug-of-war, crate stacking, and dodge ball.  In crate stacking, someone wears a rock climbing harness around their waist and is hooked onto a rope to the ceiling so as to hold the person's weight when he or she falls from the stack of milk crates after stacking as many as possible.  The team with the most stacked crates won.

Peter Julia from the Archdiocese of Portland organized this activity.  He said, "Crate stacking in not something that most people are familiar with.  Even in the rock climbing world where I previously worked most people have never heard of it.  That's the reason I thought it would be fun."

Each team wore a color to represent them: white, red, blue, black, or green.  The end of the activities in the Damian Center left college one and two in the lead with first place, followed by college three and four with second place. 

James Murphy is assisted by Brother Matthias Lambrecht and Michael Sztajno during the crate stacking while Peter Julia attends to the safety harness.
Joseph Norton III adjusts his grip as he starts rising above the head of his assistant.

In the evening was the final competition of a trivia bowl.  Sister Gertrude Feick hosted the activity.  Antonio Lopez of the Diocese of Yakima said that "Sister Gertrude asked questions ranging from Church history, Scripture, the saints, and theology.  In general they were ecclesiastical questions."  The final result of the trivia bowl left college one and two in first place for the day.

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