Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Frosty Photos

Tamara Swanson-Orr, the business manager and immigration officer for Mount Angel Seminary, submitted this beautiful photo of the recent frost in Silverton, a small town four miles from the seminary.

Watch the journalism blog for more frosty photos and vote in the photo contest sponsored by the seminary bookstore!

The oak grove of Mark Twain Middle School in Silverton, Oregon

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vote Now in the Photo Contest!

Voting is now open for the People's Choice Frozen Hilltop Photo Contest!  Follow this link and cast your vote, and also enjoy the beautiful video Brother Lorenzo Conocido composed from the photos submitted to the contest.

Photos by Greg Snyder

Friday, January 25, 2013

People's Choice Frozen Hilltop Photo Contest

During the days of fog and ice many of you took photos of the beautiful rime (frozen fog) that transformed our Hilltop.  The Bookstore is sponsoring a photo contest to showcase your work with a prize of a $20.00 gift certificate to the Bookstore!

Open to all staff, faculty, students, and employees of Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary!

To send entries, please visit the Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary homepage at

Online voting starts on Wednesday, January 30th at 10 a.m. and ends on Friday, February 1st at 10 a.m.  To vote, click on the link at

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Blood Drive

On Wednesday, January 23, a Red Cross Blood Drive was held at Mount Angel Abbey.  Many seminarians, seminary faculty, other Abbey employees, and monks donated blood.  According to Winnie Bolton, one of the main organizers of the blood drive, the next blood drive at the Abbey will occur in the fall.

Winnie Bolton greeting and checking in the blood donors.

Emilio Gonzalez, a seminarian from the Diocese of Fresno, celebrates donating blood for the first time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Beautiful Frost

A week of low temperatures and freezing fog created an unusual and beautiful frost at Mount Angel Seminary and in the surrounding area.  The frost started to melt as the sun emerged yesterday afternoon, but many seminarians and other members of the hilltop community captured pictures of the frost.

The journalism blog welcomes more photos of the frost from our hilltop photographers!

The trees in the middle of the hilltop between the Abbey Church and the seminary buildings

The tree in front of the Abbey Church

A detail of the trees near Aquinas Hall

Trees near Annunciation, one of the seminary buildings

Detail of a holy bush near the post office

The back of the Damian Center

Photos by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Journalism Practicum Underway

The journalism practicum students for Spring 2013 held their initial meeting to begin planning their work for the semester.  If you have story ideas or would like our students to cover a particular event, contact one of the students or Sister Hilda.

Sister Hilda and the MAS journalism students for Spring 2013
 Photo by Carl Sisolak

Gonzalo Siller - Reporter

Raul Barriga - Reporter

Ivan Garcia - Photographer

Daniel Miller - Reporter

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Final Reflections on Journalism

As the fall semester came to a close, our journalism students Peter Lawongkerd and Raul Barriga reflected on their journalism work in the light of our reading of The Elements of Journalism.  Below is Raul Barriga's reflection:

The elements of journalism that we have discussed thus far have given me a greater awareness of the different ways a journalist can carry out his or her own work.  Some of the ways I wish to share are 1) the opportunity that allows you to find out information on someone or something, 2) the availability of reporting an article at a wide range, and 3) the ideals that a journalist can work with.

Raul Barriga

As a journalist, you have the opportunity to go out and interview to make known information that would possibly be otherwise unknown.  Being a journalist can be a sense of empowerment because you can be seen as someone that is giving a voice to the voiceless.  It is not that those you interview do not have a voice to speak for themselves.  It is rather that, as journalist, you are able to make the information you gather available at a much wider range, as opposed to the range of someone who may not have the means to do so.

I can see the benefit in this opportunity as a journalist with the experience I had on the article about the chain and mace.  People who read this article may not have known much about the two objects and may have only seen them at the Mount Angel Seminary graduation ceremony in the Abbey Church.  The possibility that a journalist has in getting to know new information about things or about others and then making it known may draw all of us closer to the things or the people that surround us in our every day lives.  This leads me to my next point.

With the book on the elements of journalism, I learned about "the beats" and the "map."  With a map about this seminary, you are able to see if you are focusing evenly on a variety of subjects.  We used the seminary as an example for a map during class.  In class, we checked what kinds of particular fields of interest we have focused more on with our articles.  We also noted those areas in the seminary where we need to cover more.

This provides an opportunity to get to know more about a janitor, for example, or even the seminary basketball team and giving a voice to "the voiceless."  Though we could not work on the whole seminary map because of time constraints, there was, nevertheless, potential in the use of the map: teachers, students, workers, and other who are part of this seminary community could be more recognized.

The documentary we watched [Page One: Inside the New York Times], in addition to the books for the class, put journalism on a higher scale than where it used to be in my life.  One example that I feel I can continue using from journalism is the discipline of verification when I write: attributing things to my source, discontinuing generalizations, and verifying the facts.  In conclusion, all the elements that the book mentions that are ideals a journalist should strive to live by give me confidence that I will objectively be able to take part in the use of the media.

Now, I desire to take recourse to these books we used in class and continue getting to know my own role as a citizen in the midst of all the media.  As journalism is meant to empower the citizen by giving him or her the means to acquire an organized collection of information, so too do I now feel empowered having taken this class.  The presentation we [the journalism class] did for Theology on the Hill now feels like icing on the cake for this class because I was able to show others what I have learned from this class.  Thank you for this opportunity to reap the benefits of journalism.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Reflecting on Journalism

At the end of the journalism class this semester, our journalism students considered their experience as reporters and photographers in the light of our reading of The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel.  Peter Lawongkerd offers his reflection below:

The most interesting point from the second half of The Elements of Journalism that I found was from chapter ten: journalists have a responsibility to conscience.  One of the commitments for journalists is to keep exercising their personal conscience and to have their own ethical code because this will help journalists to step up and become the real journalist they ought to be.

Peter Lawongkerd

One of the most important responsibilities and commitments of a journalist is that the journalist needs to have a sense of ethics while they work as a journalist.  Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel say "Every journalist . . . must have a personal sense of ethics and responsibility - a moral compass."  They also explain that the journalists need to voice their personal conscience out loud and to show it in action.  This will help the journalist produce news that is fair and accurate.  The ethics will lead the journalist to have an independent mind and to focus on the right direction.

The challenges that a journalist might face when they try to abide by their conscience is that when they write an article, it is not easy for them to distinguish their own opinion from the fact.  The ethics are the heart and the key into elements of journalism.

Bryce Lungren, A Mount Angel Seminary alumnus and a student in the journalism class last year, said, "These ten essential elements are like the Ten Commandments for conducting honest, accurate, and successful journalism."  There are a number of journalists who died every year trying to find the truth and providing the right information to citizens, but they become the victim of society.  These journalists who die are genius journalists because they work up to the last minute of their life seeking to find the truth for the public.  The main idea here is that these journalists are listening to their conscience.

As a student in the journalism class, the most important thing for me is to apply what I have learned in class to my daily life.  If this is the case I need to have my personal ethical code as well.  My personal ethical code is patience, humility, and curiosity.

As a journalist I need to be patient.  Every time when I write the article, I need to make a revision; sometimes if necessary I need to rewrite it many times, and I have to be patient with that.  For example, when I wrote the story about the college beach weekend,  I had to make three revisions in order to clarify my main point.  I needed to ask Jose Morales, Oscar Anaya, and Michael Nguyen if it would be all right with them to interview them for an article.

This is really important because if a journalist does not have patience, he will never be able to achieve a good report or get to the point of the story he is trying to investigate.  This takes a lot of time, and time always needs patience.  Then humility and curiosity kick in; these are very crucial in any career such as a journalist or any other profession.

In order to have a good article, I need to work hard and sometimes I need to ask for help from other seminarians.  This is the part where I need to be humble.  Humility as a journalist is always good because it is easier to be granted an interview.  If humility is not shown people are not going to be willing to be interviewed.

Here is an example of humility: when I asked Jose Morales, Oscar Anaya, and Michael Nguyen for an interview, I had to show humility by saying thanks to them and appreciating their generosity.  When I want to interview someone, I apply the ten essential elements of journalism to being a good writer.  I can see the difference in my writing and interviews.  Here is an example of some of the ten elements: journalism's first obligation is to the truth, its first loyalty is to citizens, and its essence is a discipline of verification.

Also, one has to be curious, but in a way that will not offend others.  For example, I cannot be curious if I am violating someone's privacy because a journalist also has to keep in mind that respect for others is very important at all times, and they show this when they do not violate their privacy.  It is not easy to ask good questions or to gather valuable information; the questions asked are important, and this has taught me to not miss any details because they are crucial in an interview or investigation.

I have learned to apply every single step to being a good journalist.  Here is the good example of good questions when I interviewed Paul Grandi: Why are you interested in leaving your current school and entering the seminary?  Can you tell us a little bit more about your background?

In conclusion, a journalist is a person who follows his or her own instincts on how to do the right thing at all times.  The journalist needs to follow the heart and not the feelings.  If I follow my feeling, they won't always lead me to the right path and the right answer.  Yet if I follow my heart I know that I am doing the right thing because it could never cheat me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Soccer at Mount Angel Seminary

The 2012 Guardians Soccer Team

Photos by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB
Photo Editing and Captions by Raul Barriga

The 2012 Guardians soccer team at their last game of the season against Lewis & Clark College. 1st Row: Daniel Miller, Ruben Hernandez, Jesus Mariscal (Goalie), Justin Odikamnoro. 2nd Row: Joseph Walsh, Joseph Norton III, Ivan Hernandez, Jonathan Cheever (coach). 3rd Row: Raul Barriga, Dr. Andrew Cummings (Faculty Advisor for Athletics), Joshua Keeney (captain), Kurt Hadley. Not Pictured: Deacon Fredy Mancilla, Anthony Ahamefule, Anthony Lopez, Gabriel Feld, Francisco Malkun, Bernardo Lara (Goalie). Photo by Father Theodore Lange.

Right before the home game against Oregon State, the coach, Jonathan Cheever, and the captain, Joshua Keeney, meet with the referees. Joshua was also the coach last year.

Before a very rainy home game against Western Oregon University, Daniel Miller meets with the referee and the captain of the other team for the coin toss.

Jonathan assigns positions during the warmup before the game against Oregon State.

One of the referees tests one of the balls as he chooses the game ball for the game against Oregon State.

Jonathan explains the positions to the rest of the Mount Angel Seminary soccer team players before the game against Oregon State.

Soccer team members Daniel Miller and Andrew Cummings are listening to Jonathan's instructions.

Francisco Malkun, Joseph Walsh, Daniel Miller, and Justin Odikamnoro listen to the strategy before the game against Western.

Ivan Garcia is putting pressure on the other team's offense.

Goalie Jesus Mariscal prepares to kick the ball down the field during the first half of the game against Oregon State.

Shortly before the halftime of the game against Oregon State, Raul Barriga arrives at the game from his work at St. Edward Catholic Church in Keizer.

The day of the home game against Western was very rainy and muddy.

Daniel and Jonathan congratulate#16  Joshua Keeney on his goal against Oregon State.

During the halftime of the game against Oregon State, the team gathers to review their game plan.

The blue armband identifies the captain of the team.

Prior to the second half of the game against Western, Andrew Cummings looks down the field as the whole team comes together for a cheer.

President-Rector Father Joseph Betschart and formation director Father Theodore Lange were present at the game against Oregon State.

Injured team members Antonio Lopez and Gabriel Feld arrive to watch the game against Western.

During the second half of the game against Oregon State, Joshua heads down the field with the ball as Andrew pushes up the field.

The moment before Joshua scores, all pressure is on him from the other team's defense.

Seminarian Philip Shifflet, a faithful fan of the seminary soccer team, celebrates a goal made by Joshua against Oregon State while he runs down the sideline of the field with the Vatican flag.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Regent's Dinner

The 2012 Regent's Dinner: A Moment for Diocesan Families - A Photo Essay by Peter Lawongkerd

Photos by Carlos Orozco
Photos Editing and Captions by Peter Lawongkerd

The member of each religious community and each diocese sat together at the Regent's Dinner. Each October, bishops and vacation directors will come to the hilltop for the annual episcopal council meeting. In the evening bishops and vocation directors sit together with the seminarians. 

Brother Marinus Kim of St. Paul's Abbey and Peter Lawongkerd and Jose Morales, both of the Diocese of Oakland.  Peter and Jose helped to serve the dinner.

Paul Grandi from the Diocese of Tucson and Jorge Cruz from the Diocese of Fresno also served during the dinner.

Francisco Malkun from the Diocese of Boise, Cesar Solorio from the Diocese of Fresno, and Deacon Freddy Mancilla from the Diocese of Orange during the social before dinner.

Abbot Gregory Duerr and Brother John Paul Le, both of Mount Angel Abbey, during the prayer  before dinner.

Christopher Arriaga and Oscar Anaya, both of the Diocese of Fresno, have some quality diocesan time together.

Father Joseph Betschart, (center) President-Rector of Mount Angel Seminary, joins his brothers from the Archdiocese of Portland.

The seminarians from the Diocese of Honolulu with their vocation director, Father Pascual Abaya (center), on his birthday.  His birthday was the same day as the Regent's Dinner.

Some of the delicious vegetables served during the dinner.

Jorge Cruz and Daniel Miller team up to hand out the deserts to all the bishops, priests, brothers, and seminarians.

Francisco Malkun hands out the pear pie with mint leaf to the Fresno table.

Jorge Cruz hands out the last two pieces of desert to his diocesan brothers from Fresno.

Serving some coffee after desert.

Teodosio Brea and Juan Soria, both of the Saint John Society.

Brother Peter Mary Vecellio, OCD, (right) from the Carmelities enjoys the company of his brothers. 

Cody Ross (left) and Joseph Norton (right) of the Diocese of Seattle thank Chase Shepherd of the Diocese of Yakima for the service provided throughout the night.

Joseph Paddock from the Diocese of Helena takes a quick break before cleaning the nearby table.

Father Joseph Betschart stands to thank all the bishops, vocation directors, and all of the volunteers who made the Regent's Dinner possible.

Peter Julia, John Hesla, Brent Crowe, Daniel Watts, Fiacre Nduwayo, and Randy Hoang take a group picture of the Archdiocese of Portland and also welcome Arturo Sanchez from the Diocese of Tucson (third from the left).

Dean Marshall from the Diocese of Sacramento and Zani Pacnza and Peter Julia from the Archdiocese of Portland pause for a picture at the end of the evening.

Christopher Arriaga from the Diocese of Fresno and Jose Morales from the Diocese of Oakland with Father Francisco Hernandez, the vocation director for the Diocese of Sacramento.

Christopher Arriaga and Carlos Orozco from the Diocese of Seattle pause for a picture before heading back to their rooms after the dinner.