Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Auxilliary Bishop Smith Invokes the Holy Spirit at the Opening Mass for Mount Angel Seminary

by Brother Lorenzo Concocido, OSB

Mount Angel Seminary opened the school year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit on August 25, 2014, in the Abbey Church. Bishop Peter Smith, the auxilliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, was the main presider of the Mass.

During his homily, Bishop Smith, who is also a seminary alumnus and adjunct professor, expressed his excitement and gratitude to be invited to offer the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the 126th school year of the seminary.

“Your life in Mount Angel Seminary is what you make of it,” the bishop said.
The importance of invoking the Holy Spirit was the main core of his homily. He pointed out four main reasons why one should invoke the Holy Spirit: 1) to enter a relationship with God through prayer, 2) to discern one’s vocation and God’s will, 3) for personal formation, and 4) to learn the virtue of humility.

“Embracing these is a path to being a good shepherd,” he added. He told the seminarians that preparation is the key. He said that the life of a priest in the parish is stressful and temptations attack the priest in his weak points of his life.

“Take the opportunity to get the support you need to deal with these issues now,” was the bishop’s advice to the seminarians. He also added, “Make good use of these opportunities that are available to you here.”

Bishop Smith incenses the altar during the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Abbey Church on Monday.   Photo credit: Ace Tui

The conclusion of the Mass of the Holy Spirit

He concluded his homily by asking the Holy Spirit to guide the community for the coming school year.  At the end of the Mass, Bishop Smith expressed his gratitude to Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary for being invited as the main presider and for doing his first Pontifical Mass at the Abbey.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit is held on the first day of the school year at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary where seminarians, faculty, staff and the monastic community invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the entire school year.

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