Saturday, March 21, 2015

MAS Guardians Volleyball Takes a Loss

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

In its first match of the season, the MAS Guardians volleyball team faced Los Pumas, a local team from Salem, Oregon.

The Guardians lost to Los Pumas in 3 games, 18-25, 6-25, and 20-25.  In the spirit of good sportsmanship, the Guardians and Los Pumas played an additional game to round out the evening.

The volleyball team and their fans were supported by a 3-man pep band consisting of a trumpet, saxophone, and keyboard.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MAS Seminarian Remembers Father Paschal Cheline with a Poem

This week Phillip Shifflet, a college seminarian studying for the Diocese of Orange, wrote a poem in memory of Father Paschal Cheline, OSB.  Father Paschal, a monk of Mount Angel Abbey and a member of the faculty of Mount Angel Seminary, died Friday, March 13, 2015.

MAS alumnus Dean Marshall also wrote a reflection honoring Father Paschal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MAS Alumnus Writes Reflection Honoring Father Paschal Cheline

As many friends and students join the monastic community of Mount Angel Abbey to mourn the passing and to celebrate the life of Father Paschal Cheline, OSB, MAS alumnus Dean Marshall has written a reflection, "On the Passing of a Friend and Mentor", honoring Father Paschal.

Marshall shares the gifts of literature and faith that Father Paschal offered him.  May he intercede for us and rest in peace!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lay Student Expands His Life Experience with Study at Mount Angel

Story and photo by Carl Sisolak

35-year-old Brian Morin, a lay student at Mount Angel Seminary, said “I feel very connected to the seminarians here and feel very welcomed by the peaceful community” of Mount Angel.  “It is like Cheers where everybody knows your name.”

Brian Morin in one of the classrooms of Annunciation.

Officer and Teacher

For Morin a love for knowledge and learning is par for the course. Morin grew up in the New England town of Vernon, CT. After high school at East Catholic in Manchester, Morin signed up for ROTC training. He attended The College of Holy Cross in Worchester, MA, and received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2002. He was commissioned into the Navy as an officer, and for 10 ½ years served around the country and around the world on active duty.

Morin worked for a time at the University of Maine teaching Naval Sciences.  He met his future wife, Shavonne, in the school’s Newman Center.  Shavonne was a student in the University of Maine’s master of forestry program. In February 2013, Morin transitioned to the US Naval Reserves at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In the summer of 2010, Morin and Shavonne moved to Everett, WA, and then to Albany, OR, in 2014.

On realizing that he was nearing the end of the requirements needed for his master's in library and information science, Morin said, “I always wanted to get a master's in theology.” He said, “I hope to be a theological librarian at the university level or in a seminary library or even a position in a historical archives."  While studying at Mount Angel, Morin has been given the opportunity to work as an intern in the Mount Angel Abbey Library.

Mount Angel Lay Student

Morin said, “I stumbled across Mount Angel’s website" and learned about the graduate school.  Morin said he also learned about Mount Angel from seeing the seminarian vocation poster for the Archdiocese of Portland at his church, St Mary’s in Albany.

Morin said he brings to his church ministry what he learns at Mount Angel. He was asked by his pastor to lead a discussion group on Fr. Robert Barron’s video series Catholicism. He also leads another group that discusses the works of G.K. Chesterton. He said he chose G.K. Chesterton for his works that balance faith and reason.  He said, “I would like to use what I learn at Mount Angel to teach RCIA at my parish as well.”

This is the second semester of his first year here. He then will have two more years of study to complete his master's degree. He said, “I haven’t yet decided on a thesis topic yet, but it could be in the areas of either Celtic or Benedictine spirituality.”  Morin said his favorite classes include church history and patristic studies.

Hopefully in reading about Brian Morin, the rest of the Mount Angel community will now get to know Morin’s name.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

College I Seminarians Volunteer at St. André Bessette

Story by Matthew Knight

PORTLAND, Ore.— On Thursday, Feb. 19, a group of Mount Angel first-year college seminarians attended a retreat at St. André Bessette Parish to raise awareness of homelessness in downtown Portland.

Run by the Congregation of Holy Cross, the core of St. André Bessette’s outreach ministry is a program called “morning hospitality,” which is offered six days a week and open to all in the community. Community members experiencing homelessness, poverty, mental illness, substance addiction, and other serious issues are welcomed by the parish for two hours of food, coffee, and fellowship. The parish also offers an art ministry, allowing guests to express themselves by drawing or painting in a safe environment.

Seminarians assisted with serving breakfast and coffee, as well as socializing with the guests. Some helped direct the free clothes closet or worked in the art room. Morning hospitality began and ended with prayer and a round-table reflection, including the Gospel reading of the day.

“It’s amazing how many homeless people are very similar to the people one would meet in his or her day to day life,” said Isaac Allwin of the Diocese of Tucson.

“I really enjoyed being with the poor and homeless,” Conor Baer, Archdiocese of Seattle, agreed. “I sat with a man named Brad, who is a musician. He had a really cool story and I think we both felt we had gained a friend.”

Mass was celebrated at the parish by Fr. John Patrick Riley, C.S.C. Afterwards, the seminarians were given the opportunity to visit two other partner organizations working in the downtown metro area. Bud Clark Commons, the “front door” of Portland’s Transition Project, acts as a day center, providing showers, clothing, laundry, mail and message services, a computer lab, hair salon, and housing assistance.

Macdonald Center aims to break social isolation by reaching out to the “invisible poor,” those who may live in single-occupancy units rather than on the streets. They provide clean, safe, and affordable alternative housing. In addition to home visitation, they provide opportunities for community socialization, hosting birthday parties and memorial services, as well as offering spiritual care, support groups, and retreats. All three organizations, despite having different immediate goals, are working together to bring hope to the homeless in the heart of Portland.

The retreat was a uniformly positive experience, seminarians said.

“It was an opportunity to experience Jesus in those who are in great need,” reflected Br. William Petry, M.S.p.S. “It was a chance to actually see, touch, hear, smell and speak to Christ in the poor. It was the grace to break through the mere understanding of God’s presence in those in need, to the encounter of God in them.”