EUGENE — The third annual Mount Angel Seminary Benefit Dinner in Eugene drew almost 200 guests March 4. Seminary supporters gathered for a social hour with seminarians, monks and faculty before taking seats for a dinner served by Marist High School student volunteers.

The seminarian entertainment included musical offerings from a group called the Irish Band – which actually is not all Irish —  there are players of many cultures involved, including Samoans. Seminarian Pio Afu from the Diocese of Samoa Pago. 

Pago composed a song of thanks sung by all the seminarians.

Santiago Iriarte, a seminarian from the Diocese of Fresno, told the guests about his long road to the priesthood.

The dinner committee, led by David Baird, event chair, secured 21 sponsored tables, a new record. In addition to the record-breaking crowd, the dinner raised more than $34,000 for the education of seminarians.

The dinner was led by a planning committee that included Baird, Gloria Amort, Kathy Bosteder, Faye Capps, Tess Cersovski, Kay Gillette, Dom Monahan, Joseph Ottmann, Father Richard Rossman and Oguilvia Skelton.

Eugene’s dinner is one of two dinners in Oregon that raise funds for the seminary. The next Portland dinner is set for Nov. 7. Plans are already underway for the fourth annual Eugene seminary benefit dinner in March 2013.