Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Samoan seminarians perform during a dinner to benefit Mount Angel Seminary.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Samoan seminarians perform during a dinner to benefit Mount Angel Seminary.
A dinner to benefit Mount Angel Seminary this month raised more than $618,000. That’s a record, organizers say. The dinner was held at the Oregon Convention Center. Almost 800 guests gathered for a social hour with seminarians before taking their places in the dining room.

Al and Sue Corrado served as honorary chairs. Katherine Larpenteur was chair of the sponsorship committee that secured 123 sponsored tables, a new record, too.

Chris Corrado, event chair, says the money raised is the most in the dinner’s seven years.

After an introductory video featuring seminarians, faculty, alumni and Archbishop John Vlazny, Diocese of Fresno College seminarian Alvaro Romero spoke to the guests of his call to the priesthood.

“My vocation becomes my happiness… because it’s not about me, but about something much greater,” he said. “It’s about what God has chosen for us, it’s about the Holy Spirit’s fire glowing in our hearts, it’s about Christ’s gift to humanity, this gift of priesthood.”

The evening’s musical entertainment began with the music of two seminary groups that don’t immediately seem similar: an Irish band and Samoan seminarians.
Although there is not an immediate link, it was soon apparent that these groups celebrate the making of music together.

The Irish sang “Marie’s Wedding” followed by a Samoan medley that brought the crowd to their feet. To close, the two groups performed together.

After the musical presentations, Diocese of Saskatoon seminarian Matt Ramsay called the entire student body to the stage. It was a display of 180 young men studying for the priesthood. Led by Sister Teresa Gould, they sang “Come Follow Me.”

With the seminarians standing behind him, event chair and Abbey Foundation member Corrado spoke of the need for excellent priests for our parishes and the work of the seminary in preparing the men to serve God and our parishes.

The evening closed with the audience and the seminarians joining in the singing of “Shepherd me, O God.”

The date for the eighth annual Seminary Benefit Dinner is Oct. 30, 2011.

For sponsorship and event information contact the development office: [email protected] or 800-845-8272 or 503-845-3066.