News Brief by Phillip J. Shifflet
On Tuesday, March 24th, students, faculty, staff, and guests of Mount Angel Seminary gathered in the Aquinas Dining Hall to celebrate its annual Annunciation Dinner, to share fellowship and to honor particular members of the community for their contributions and achievement. The awards and their winners are listed below.
The Saint Benedict Award for outstanding progress in both graduate and undergraduate Human Formation, was presented to Deacon Pio Afu (Theology 4) of the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, a graduate student in the theologate, and undergraduate, Jesus Sanchez (College 4) of Mount Angel Abbey. The award is given to those seminarians who best exemplify the highest formational ideals of the seminary, who model the Benedictine charism, who live the values of the Kingdom and actively proclaim the Good News, who love the Church, and who manifest servant-leadership in the seminary community.
Conor Baer (College 1) from the Archdiocese of Seattle, was presented the Saint Michael the Archangel Award for his special contributions to the seminary and its programs. This award is given to a student who has contributed significantly to the life of the seminary by establishing something new and beneficial or, through exceptional fidelity, commitment, creativity, and good will, has furthered something already established.
The St. Anselm Award, was presented jointly to Phillip Shifflet (College 4) of the Diocese of Orange and Paul Grandi (College 4) of the Diocese of Tucson, in recognition of the undergraduate seminarian whose love of learning, excellent academic record, appreciation of philosophy and the liberal arts, rigorous self-discipline, active classroom participation, and outstanding leadership ability have gained them the respect of the faculty and the admiration of his peers.
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for outstanding academic achievement from a graduate student was presented to Deacon Teodosio Brea (Theology 4) of the Saint John Society. This award is given in recognition of those students whose love of learning, excellent academic records, outstanding ability to articulate Catholic theology or appreciation of philosophy and the liberal arts, active classroom participation, and strong leadership ability have won the respect of the faculty and the admiration of students.
The Saint Bonaventure Award for outstanding contribution from a faculty member was presented to Kathy Akiyama, an Associate Professor of English Communications at the Seminary. Kathy received the award in recognition of her ability to teach effectively and her generosity with time and talent by which she has inspired students and won the praise of colleagues.
Deacon Bernardo Lara (Theology 4) of the Diocese of San Diego received the Saint Paul Award for outstanding progress in developing preaching skills. The award is based on the ability to proclaim the Word of God, call to conversion those who hear the Word and a demonstrated comfortable presence at the ambo.
Mount Angel Seminary began forming men for the priesthood in 1889 and is now the oldest and largest seminary in the western United States, and the only seminary in the West that offers both a college and a graduate school of theology. Since its inception 126 years ago, MAS has educated and formed thousands of priests, and many qualified religious and lay men and women as well, for service to the people of God in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities across the country and around the world.