Monday, March 31, 2014

Seminarian Offers the Bokwa Burn

News Brief by Jesus Gonzalez

Staying fit can be a challenge, yet here on the hilltop we have different opportunities be active. One of them is the high-intensity cardio called Bokwa done every Wednesday at 4 at the racquet ball court. 

Fredy Bonilla from the Archdiocese of Portland is certified in teaching these classes. He said, “I had to dance from 6 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon for my certificate.” Bonilla continued and explained this was a personal goal to get certified to teach this.

As I entered into class all I was expecting was a cardio class maybe like aerobics. Bonilla explained that this class would take everything from aerobics to martial arts moves to dance moves mixed together to make an intense class. The simple moves are based on letters and numbers; the counting steps are no more than five. Of course no cardio class would be complete without fast-paced dance music. This class will have you sweating and gets you moving.

Bonilla said “I [as the instructor] make sure I go to the pace of my students, and don’t move on until the whole class is ready.”

Seminarians Offer Service to Honor Peace and Justice Day

News Brief by Jesus Gonzalez

On January 24th around 60 seminarians participated in a day of peace and justice, a day aimed at reflection and pilgrimage into the surrounding community. The Marion Polk Food Share, a program for the surrounding area to provide food to hungry families, provided four groups of seminarians with landscaping and other service work.

Most groups worked in community gardens or other gardens. Some gardens were for school kids to learn how to maintain or even have a garden of their own. Another different kind of garden was the victory garden that has a special area to read books and relax. 

Most seminarians agreed being at the food bank seemed like a relief from all the gardening, yet there was still much work to be done. Packing beans in bags or sorting out meats was easier in comparison to weeding and gardening. It was agreed among the seminarians that whatever the job was, there was a smile on everyone’s face and a great attitude. 

We all started this journey at 9 in the morning and came back to the hilltop around 5 in the afternoon. Tired, dirty and humbled by this experience, we celebrated Mass.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Volleyball Season Kicks Off with Two Matches

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

This weekend the MAS Guardians volleyball team started the season with a winning match against the Willamette Valley Boys on Friday followed by another winning match against the Vikings, a local team from Woodburn, on Saturday.

In the first game against the Willamette Valley Boys, the Guardians achieved an early lead and won 25-18.  In the next and much closer game, the Willamette Valley Boys won with a final score of 21-25.  The Guardians won the third and fourth games and thus the match with scores of 25-16 and 25-17.

The first game against the Vikings ended in favor of the Guardians, 25-14, and was followed by a close game with a final score of 25-23.  The Guardians lost game three 11-25, and won game four 25-21.

Some final comments on Saturday's match from volleyball coach Frank Villanueva:

Video by Jose Morales

Watch the MAS Journalism blog for a photo essay covering these two games, as well as the seminary's volleyball tournament earlier this month.

Monday, March 24, 2014

MAS Journalism Announces Its New Header

by Daniel Miller

The most recognizable brands in the world transmit a message and tell a story through logos, words, and carefully crafted choices. Such is our aim with the fresh look of Mount Angel Seminary Journalism. We are proud to share this evolving part of our journalism program’s story with you, our readers.

As a Roman Catholic institution, Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is vital, and from the Blessed Sacrament flows the mission and work of the people. The Eucharistic host is depicted at the center of our new logo with ripples emanating outward. Just as Catholics receive Jesus in the Mass and go forth, so do the journalists in this program gain strength from their faith in Christ to spread the Good News. The outreach of MAS Journalism extends to the hilltop community and into the world through you, our readers, including a host of benefactors, alumni, neighbors, family, and friends.

The logo also evokes the monstrance that holds the Blessed Sacrament during Eucharistic adoration to reflect the commitment of students and faculty to ever fix our gaze on the Lord. The Holy Spirit inspires every interview, every word, every post, every photo, every day.

In short, this blog is a product of students being schooled in the liberal arts, being formed in the Roman Catholic tradition, and being asked to share what makes this community and experience unique. Thank you for sharing in our mission to spread the Good News about Mount Angel Seminary.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

125th Anniversary Video Highlights

by Brother Lorenzo Conocido, OSB

Enjoy these highlights of last week's celebration!

In thanksgiving to the Lord for one hundred and twenty-five years of blessings showered upon Mount Angel Seminary as a School of the Lord's Service, we raise our voices in Vesperal prayer on the Feast of the Passing of Our Most Holy Father Saint Benedict, March 21, 2014.

Our honored guests who joined the Monastic and Seminary Communities for Vespers and dinner included:

Bishop-elect Peter Leslie Smith, Auxilliary Bishop of Portland in Oregon

Bishop Liam Cary, Bishop of Baker

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtis, Archbishop Emeritus of Omaha

Archbishop John Vlazny, Archbishop Emeritus of Portland in Oregon

Archbishop Alexander King Sample, Archbishop of Portland in Oregon

The Seminary Board of Directors, Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Students

Organ music performed by Br. Teresio Caldwell, OSB, recorded in the Abbey Church

Editor's Note: More coverage of the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Mount Angel Seminary will appear on MAS Journalism soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vestments Illustrate Liturgical History

by Jonathan Eubanks

Located in the Abbey Museum are four liturgical vestments from the early days of the monastery: three chasubles, each in a different liturgical color, red, purple, and white, and one black vestment previously worn by a deacon for funeral masses.  

The purple vestment, most notably worn during Advent and Lent, has, according to the information given at the display, a needlepoint ophrey style cross. The material is like a heavy carpet. The pattern is that of several golden-brown flowers set on a light purple field with the letters IHS centered at the nave of the cross. Outside the cross is a filigree design, which uses an intricately flowing, floral and vine-like pattern to create a web that covers the entire chasuble. The filigree pattern is a lighter and much duller purple than the shiny, darker purple field that it is set upon.

The red, worn for feasts of martyrs and on Palm Sunday and Pentecost, has simple gold embroidery of several different stylized flowers. Each flower is individually shaped like a cross, and collectively they form the entire cross that encompasses the back of the vestment. The field of red is comprised of a similar filigree style as the purple piece; the background is a shinier, darker red than the dull, lighter red of the pattern.

The white vestment, worn during the Christmas and Easter seasons and specific holy days, has a solid white background. The cross has gold embroidery outlining the perimeter and the fleur de lis at each of the four points. Located throughout the spacious interior of the cross is stylized filigree, and at the nave of the cross is a sunburst that emanates from the letters IHS.

The black piece, worn by a deacon for funeral masses, has two golden lines set parallel to each other, running down vertically on the left and right side. There is a same gold line running perpendicular to the other two running horizontally at the top part of the vestment. This piece is the most intricate of them all. It has a metallic, golden tapestry of ornate shapes and depictions of birds set inside circles, all on a field of black.

The history behind these specific vestments, according to Brother Andre Love, OSB, is that they belonged to Fr. Abbot Thomas Meier, the second abbot of the monastery. After returning from Europe in 1928, he became abbot in the 1930s, and during his travels overseas he saw that the Europeans were using the gothic style vestments and decided to make it the style worn during the celebration of community mass in the abbey. However, Abbot Meier still allowed the fiddlebacks to be worn in private mass.

The fiddleback style was not introduced to the church until very recently, sometime in the last two or three hundred years. In fact, the fiddleback is the final stage in the evolution of the gothic style, which has been around since the medieval period of the Church. The gothic style chasuble can be described as a long, draping oval-shaped poncho. It was because the artistry and stylized embroidery on the evolving vestments, as Br. Andre described it, “became burdensome” on the priest’s arms, that the sleeves slowly started to disappear from the gothic style until finally the shape became that of a broad scapular.

The vestments have changed from the intricate designs of the fiddleback to the more simple gothic style. The fiddleback style of vestment today is only used in the celebration of the extraordinary form of the mass. 

Br. Andre explained that after the Second Vatican Council the fiddlebacks were no longer the preferred style of chasuble worn in the United States. Since then several other liturgical items have been remodeled to fit the spirit of the council. For example, the altar is no longer a high altar where the priest faces away from the congregation and toward the literal or liturgical east but is now more centrally located in the sanctuary. Also, the tabernacle in most parishes is now located on either the left or right side of the sanctuary, whereas in the past it had been located directly behind the altar.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two Seminary Alumni on Retreat at the Hilltop

News Brief by Br. Lorenzo Conocido, OSB

Two visiting alumni who are back on the hilltop for a retreat in the Abbey, Fr. Bert Mello of Fresno, CA, and Fr. Joseph Fleming of Helena, MT, were graduates of the seminary class of 2014 and were ordained priests last summer in their own respective dioceses.

They concelebrated today at Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph with Fr. Odo Recker, OSB, as the main presider.  They plan to visit and offer Mass to parishes around the local area, especially in those parishes they served as deacons.

The two new alumni priests will be on the hilltop until Sunday and are staying with the monks in the monastery.

Fr. Fleming (left) and Fr. Mello (right) with Abbot Gregory Duerr

Fr. Mello and Fr. Fleming with Monsignor Joseph Betschart

Final Shelf Talkers Offer Spiritual Tools

Shelf Talkers by Jesus Gonzalez

Scriptural Rosary Booklet

Follow the Life and Passion of Jesus; meditate on the Word made flesh while reading the Scripture.  Vivid readings make this experience close to lectio divina.  This little book is for all ages and anyone who wants to pray and meditate.  A perfect beginning prayer book.

Pectoral Cross

Looking for a special Christmas piece of art as decoration? The 3rd in the series of Mount Angel Abbey Ornaments, this pectoral cross is a clear replica of what the Abbot wears.  A beautiful Engelberg cross could be the next conversation starter at the office.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coffee and Prayer with Our Next Shelf Talkers

Shelf Talkers by Brother Lorenzo Conocido, OSB

Double Mocha Valencia

Gloomy and cold?  Put some zest in your next coffee break! Take a tropical adventure with the Press' signature blend of double-shot espresso, velvety cocoa and frothy steamed milk with a bursting orange finish.  This is my sunshine in a cup! Enjoy it hot or cold.

The Catholic Prayer Bible - Lectio Divina Edition

If you are looking for a perfect Catholic Bible companion for lectio divina, this edition is definitely it!  It has guided lectio divina steps to help you spend prayerful time with God.  Chapters are divided into small sections so you can savor the texts and contemplate more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Harpist and Music Healer Evokes Music Students' Excitement

by Brother Marinus Kim, OSB

On Jan 22, 2014, all the students of the History of Music course visited a famous harpist, Therese Schroeder-Sheker who lives very near Mount Angel Seminary. We were all interested in this unfamiliar music instrument and player. As soon as we arrived her at her studio in downtown Mount Angel, she began to explain about the history of the instrument and each part of the harp. The main topic was the presentation of the harp and the development of music in the medieval period. 

According to Professor Schroeder-Sheker, harps were the premier solo instrument of the Middle Ages.  This modal instrument can play all ecclesiastic modes of music without use of mechanization. Modes are from darkest to brightest. Among harps, Early Romanesque harps were very important instruments in Europe because the Irish monks who started foundations of monasteries across Europe used it to support gathering the people and catching their interest.
With this context, she began to describe the kinds of harps. Among them, she emphasized the small Romanesque harp.  Due to the simple and small size, the monks could carry it easily whenever they went out. Thus, the melody and rhythm was very simple and easy listening. The newcomer who converted from the secular easily absorbed the Christian divine world. The monks especially used the hymns, Psalms and the Scripture stories with these simple rhythms. 

After these words, she gave to the class a bright and beautiful sound: “This is the example of Psaltery. The psaltery also came in many different sizes and shapes. This one is called chapels Psaltery.” The harp sounds rose up, with a high pitch, very clear and sweet, spreading out entirely in the studio. All the students held their breath to prevent creating noise. 

Then she played a long song. She said, “Ignatius of Loyola listened to this . . . sound while he experienced deep conversion at a Benedictine monastery.” 

After that, she added more information about some famous people who relate to the harps: St. Augustine made commentaries on the psalms; Hildegard of Bingen, a Benedictine sister, imagined Christ in the region of the heart while she wrote songs with harp; and Mechtild of Hackeborn, a Cistercian, meditated with the harp. 

Gary Bass, a student in the class, said later, “I thought she was very good. She is definitely a professional. I love how she introduced different types of harps and the styles that are used in a particular age. It was a great experience. We were out of the classroom to get lively knowledge in a small presentation.” 

Schroeder-Sheker debuted as a harpist in 1980 at Carnegie Hall and has maintained concurrent careers in classical music, palliative medicine and higher education. She has given concerts across three continents for 30 years, has chaired university, college, seminary and institute departments and programs, and publishes frequently. Now, she teaches in Music-Thanatology, a way of healing with music, with The Chalice of Repose Project.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shelf Talkers Offer Music and Medals

Shelf Talkers by Brother Marinus Kim, OSB

Feasts of Our Lady: Gregorian Chant

Try this heavenly sound to sooth your inner chaos.  Calm and relaxation will call your soul to hear God's word in the monks.  Search for God; they will try to make the most beautiful sound of their whole life.  Listen with joy!

Medals of Saint Benedict

Woe to evil!  The medal helps you turn to the Lord's light and away from your own darkness.  It happened to me.  I became a monk as a powerful warrior of God since I was carrying the medal in my pocket for the last thirteen years.  Carry it always.

Editor's Note: Previous posts featured shelf talkers by Romple Emwalu, Frank Villanueva, Jose Morales, Jonathan Eubanks, and Daniel Miller.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Shelf Talkers Encourage Deeper Prayer

Shelf Talkers by Romple Emwalu

What Happens at Mass by Father Jeremy Driscoll, OSB

I recommend that you read the book entitled What Happens at Mass, written by Father Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, a Benedictine monk of Mount Angel Abbey.  This book is simple and straight forward.  It is most useful for parish assignments and to help deepen your understanding of the Mass.

Wooden Rosaries

The wooden rosaries are long-lasting.  They share the same and simple way of telling the story of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.  They come in different styles and colors.  Some have an ornate crucifix and beautiful beads.  These rosaries are helpful for you during prayer and meditation.

Editor's Note: Previous posts featured shelf talkers by Frank Villanueva, Jose Morales, Jonathan Eubanks, and Daniel Miller.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shelf Talker Encourages Local Writers

Shelf Talker by Frank Villanueva

Paperblank Journals

Whether an amateur or professional writer, you've got to get this!  These journals, decorated with the works of great literary icons, inspire writers to take their creative thoughts to the next level.  Perfect gift!  I bought two!

Editor's Note: Previous posts have featured shelf talkers for the Abbey Bookstore by Jose Morales, Jonathan Eubanks, and Daniel Miller.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shelf Talkers Pair Spiritual Reading and Coffee

Shelf Talkers by Jose Morales

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis

The Imitation of Christ has taught me great values in my prayer life.  It helped me to grow in a closer relationship with God.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who want to grow in their spiritual life.  This book is easy to read and will enrich your spiritual life.

The Mexican Hot Mocha

I always order the Mexican Hot Mocha.  This is a hot drink, and it is a good way to battle cold weather here at Mount Angel.  I enjoy this drink because it is not too sweet for my taste buds.  It helps me get through the day without too much caffeine and sugar.

Editor's Note: Our previous shelf talkers featured Jonathan Eubanks and Daniel Miller.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shelf Talkers Share Devotional Reading

MAS Journalism continues publishing the shelf talkers written by our journalism students for The Press this semester.  Our first post shared shelf talkers by Daniel Miller.

Shelf Talkers by Jonathan Eubanks

Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn

"A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet" (Rev. 12:1).  Scott Hahn profoundly rediscovers the biblical foundations of Mary in this book.  Every page is an exciting journey through the intricacies of scripture.  This book is for all readers interested in the basis for our belief about Mary.

Divine Mercy in My Soul by Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

St. Faustina was an uneducated Polish nun who was called by Jesus to write a diary and to paint a picture that would change the lives of countless of the faithful.  Through her experiences she takes the reader on a gripping mystical journey.  I recommend this for everyone.