On Saturday, October 11, in the Abbey Church at Mount Angel Seminary, the Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, ordained six men to the diaconate. Most Reverend Peter Brown, CSsR, Bishop of Samoa-Pago Pago, was also present for the celebration as were Very Reverend Stephen Watson, OCD, Provincial for the Carmelites and Right Reverend Gregory Duerr, OSB, Abbot of Mount Angel Abbey.
Ordained deacons were Brother John Paul Le, OSB, of Mount Angel Abbey; Brother Peter Mary Vecellio, OCD, and Brother Charles Nawodylo, OCD, of the Discalced Carmelite Province of St. Joseph; Pio Afu of the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago; and Jose “Victor” Gutierrez de Anda and Michael Ritter of the Diocese of Sacramento.
Archbishop Sample preached on the text from the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Can you drink the chalice I am going to drink?” During last year’s diaconate ordination, he reflected on the promise of celibacy; this year, he reflected on the promise of obedience. He described obedience as both submitting our will to an authority and giving ourselves to another. “We trust that somehow God’s will is made known to us through our superiors,” he said. “Even if we don’t understand it, even if we don’t like it, and even when our superiors make a mistake.” The Archbishop reminded us that obedience gives us total freedom to serve God and his people.
|Archbishop Sample preaches on the priestly promise of obedience.|
In addition to their studies and other duties at the seminary, the newly-ordained deacons also serve in local parishes on the weekends where they will serve at Mass and preach. They may also be asked to assist with baptisms, marriages, funerals, and other pastoral services.
Br. John Paul and Br. Charles will spend their weekends serving at St. Mary in Mount Angel; Br. Peter Mary has been assigned to St. Therese in Portland; Deacon Pio will spend his weekends at Resurrection in Tualatin; Deacon Victor will serve at Queen of Peace in Salem; and Deacon Michael, who graduated from MAS last May, will return to the Diocese of Sacramento for his pastoral work.
|Archbishop Sample lays hands on Brother John Paul Le, OSB, |
of Mount Angel Abbey
Mount Angel Seminary, established by pioneer monks, began forming men for the priesthood in 1889. MAS is the oldest and largest seminary in the Western United States, and the only seminary in the West that offers both a college and a graduate school of theology.
This year, MAS celebrates its 125th anniversary. Since its inception, it has formed thousands of priests with sound philosophical and theological studies for service to the people of God in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities across the country and around the world.