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.

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