Story by Philip J. Shifflet
Over the past two weeks, several fourth-year college seminarians presented their Capstones projects in the Mount Angel Abbey Library Auditorium.
On Tuesday, Apr. 7 at 12:15 pm, Jesus Sanchez (an affiliate of Mount Angel Abbey, who will enter the monastery as a postulant this summer) presented on the relationship between Hopkins’ notion of inscape and Heidegger’s notion of truth. His thesis is: "Developing the convergence between the works of Gerard Manley Hopkins with the thought of Martin Heidegger, particularly the relationships between inscape-instress and Ereignis-dwelling, will bring out from Hopkins poetry what Heidegger calls man's belonging to language."
On Tuesday, Apr. 13 at 10 am, Stephen Cieslak (Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon) presented on the philosophical and scientific benefits of the family. His thesis is: “The cultivation of the values of the human person within the context of the family may help increase the natural support system and probability of success in the individual. Furthermore, centering this family on God and de-centering the self through a familial self-giving love are ways to counter the culture of depression.”
At 12:10 pm on the same day, Dario Rinaldi (Diocese of Honolulu), an Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey, presented on the spiritual benefits of silence in the monastic tradition. His thesis is: “The spiritual life should include a regular period of meditative silence of a monastic sense in the Benedictine tradition so that, in an environment devoid of distraction, one’s spirituality may mature.”
On Thursday, Apr. 14 at 10 am, John Hesla (Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon) presented on St. Augustine’s notion of grace in the works of C.S. Lewis and Flannery O’Connor. His thesis is: “Augustine’s understanding of humanity’s fallen state and the necessity for God’s grace illuminates C.S. Lewis’s and Flannery O’Connor’s works and creates a bridge between theology and literature.”
At 12:10 pm on the same day, Zachary Ferell (Diocese of Tucson) presented on the symbolism contained within Green’s The Power and the Glory. His thesis is: “Graham Greene’s novel The Power and the Glory contains complex symbolism that ought to be interpreted with a Catholic historical approach starting with Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it provides literary and cultural insight and appreciation for the author as he demonstrates the struggles of a Catholic priest in Mexico after the Mexican Revolution of 1910.”
Select Capstone projects will be available through the Mount Angel Abbey Library by summer.