by Carl Sisolak
On Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, seven Seattle seminarians, Michael Sztajno, Chad Hill, Greg Snyder, Matthew Lontz, Carl Sisolak, Ahn Tran and Carlos Orozco, travelled to Seattle, Wash. for Mass at St. James Cathedral and for a luncheon across the street at the Isaac Orr Center to benefit Mount Angel Seminary. President-Rector Monsignor Joseph Betschart, Father Terry Tompkins and Father Stephen Clovis also attended.
Attendees were warmly welcomed by Jeff Yandle, President of the board of the Abbey Foundation of Oregon and the event chairperson and Father David Mulholland, Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Seattle and a Mount Angel Seminary alumnus, who offered some opening comments and a prayer before everyone proceeded to dig into a delicious meal.
During lunch Monsignor Betschart delivered the keynote address to the attending benefactors. He related to those present what it means to be a spiritual father, how much being a spiritual father is needed in our present times and how he realized the important impact we have in the lives of those we serve. He also spoke about how Mount Angel is one of a handful of seminaries that offers studies from College through Theology. He also mentioned our new Masters of Philosophy program.
Jodi Kilcup, the Director of Development at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary , encouraged benefactors to support the Mount Angel seminarians by saying “It’s not about me! It’s about the Mount Angel community.”
Stephen Zimmer, a board member of the Abbey Foundation of Oregon, gave four reasons for being there at the luncheon. They were: to spread the word about Mount Angel, to invite people to come visit Mount Angel, to continue to support the Archdiocese of Seattle by helping to provide for priests, and to provide direct support for Mount Angel so it can continue its ministry. Jeff Yandle also spoke a few words about the important work being done at Mount Angel and the value of having a seminary so close by.
Father Bryan Dolejsi, the vocations director for the Archdiocese of Seattle, spoke about the four pillars of formation at Mount Angel Seminary, which are academic, human, spiritual and pastoral. He said he is impressed with the work done at Mount Angel for Seattle seminarians, noting that Seattle is right behind Portland in having the second highest number of seminarians attending Mount Angel.
Father Martin Grassel, OSB, the procurator for Mount Angel Abbey, closed the luncheon with his thanks and a prayer offered on behalf of Abbot Gregory Duerr and the Benedictine monks.