Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, February 11, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : News : Local
4/25/2014 1:50:00 PM
Combat service, charismatic spirituality influenced him
Smith family photo
A 24-year-old Peter Smith shows his business degree.
Smith family photo
A 24-year-old Peter Smith shows his business degree.
Catholic Sentinel photo
Fr. Peter Smith is blessed by preists at his 2000 ordination.
Catholic Sentinel photo
Fr. Peter Smith is blessed by preists at his 2000 ordination.
+ view more photos
Archbishop Alexander Sample and Bishop Peter Smith meet at pastoral center.
Famous author-politician from bishop’s hometown
Alan Paton, author of the 1948 social protest novel Cry, the Beloved Country, was born in Pietermaritzburg, Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith’s hometown.
Paton, author and politician, was a famous humanitarian, a reformer of the juvenile justice system and a fierce opponent of apartheid.

Bishop Smith’s mother established the Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which she ran for several years after it opened in 1989.

Paton’s work, as well as the papers and archives of many other individuals who were involved with the fight against apartheid, are collected at the center as a record of the struggle in the region.

After his death in 1988, Paton’s wife Anne donated the contents of his study to the university, where anyone can search through his books, journals, awards and memorabilia.

The protagonist of “Cry, the Beloved Country” is black priest, Rev. Stephen Kumalo, who lives in poverty in the countryside near Ixopo in the KwaZulu-Natal province. He receives a letter summoning him to Johannesburg to see to his sick sister, Gertrude, who had gone there to work. He also had not heard from his son, Absalom. He searches for them with the help of a Johannesburg priest, Msimangu, and discovers with horror that his sister has turned to prostitution and his son has committed murder. His life becomes tragically entwined with that of a neighboring white farmer, James Jarvis. 

This simple tale, which Paton wrote over three months while traveling in Europe and the United States, has been read by millions all over the world.

Ordination to the Episcopate
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith

2 p.m., April 29
St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith was born Feb. 8, 1958 in an agricultural and manufacturing city of about half a million people inland from Durban, South Africa's largest seaport on the Indian Ocean.

The oldest of six children in an upper middle-class family, he grew up in the City of Pietermaritzburg. His father was an attorney and his mother an archivist.  

"Peter knows a lot about a lot of things," says his younger sister, Kathy Thornburg. "This was evident very early. He won the general knowledge prize at our primary school."

Thornburg, who lives in the San Francisco area, always knew her brother was a strategic thinker able to see the big picture.

"He used to spend hours and hours setting up and playing games around strategy and tactics," she says. "In fact, sometimes these would go on for days."

Thornburg says her big brother showed he is very fair at a young age. Once the brothers got mischievous and blew up a neighbor’s mailbox with a three-inch firecracker.

"They felt so bad the next day that they collected all their coin savings in a bag, and dropped it off with an anonymous apology note at the neighbor’s house," Thornburg says. "The neighbor did not find out who was responsible until decades later."

After high school, where he was top student, he served in the South African Army, where he spent time in the bush along Namibia’s northern border with Angola.

“There's nothing like the possibility of sudden death to help one focus on what's really important, " said the former infantryman who, at age 18, saw the opportunities of life before him and death an infinity away. “The experience really helped my self confidence, and it helped me grow."

The brutal reality of combat occurred quickly for the priest when two of his friends were killed and several others wounded. One of the KIAs was a mate who joined young Smith at Mass on Sundays when the unit was back at base camp. The two usually read the First and Second readings.

After required military service, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree of commerce in business administration and marketing in 1981 from the University of Natal and a law degree from the University of Natal Law School in 1983.

After law school, he left South Africa to go to South Bend, Ind., where he visited one of the lay communities that had developed from the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the People of Praise.

After a year, he went on retreat with men from the Brotherhood of the People of Praise, one part of the larger group, and then moved in with them. He served in South Bend and Minneapolis. He has lived with members of the private association of the faithful for more than 30 years.

He currently lives in community with three members of the Brotherhood of the People of Praise in North Portland and helps out at parishes on weekends.

"I am fortunate that I live with two other priests and a brother from my community," said Bishop Smith. "We pray together, have meals together, and share life in community. It’s a great blessing and support. Having a solid prayer life, individually and communally, and having good supportive relationships have strengthened my priestly life and ministry."

Bishop Smith dedicated himself to celibacy as a brother in his community for 13 years before he became a priest. He sacrificed family life to enhance his ministry to the People of God as a choice on its own, not just because it was a requirement for priests.

"There is a freedom. It's not better, just different," he says of celibacy. "If you embrace it as a gift in its own right and not just something you do so you can do something else, it is life-giving."  

The Brotherhood moved to Portland from Indiana after several members expressed an openness to the priesthood. Then-Portland Archbishop Francis George started the process to have the Brotherhood recognized canonically, and several of the group entered the seminary at Mount Angel.

At Mount Angel, Peter Smith earned a master’s degree in theology in 2000 and a Master of Divinity degree in 2001.

The South Africa-born prospective auxiliary bishop was ordained a priest on June 9, 2001 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland by Archbishop John Vlazny.

The new priest's father, Patrick Smith, said that day that he kept thinking back to when his first-born son was a baby, and the couple offered him up to the Lord for his use. “That the Lord could hear that from a little puny dot on the earth – it’s awesome,” the father told the Catholic Sentinel.

After newly-ordained Father Smith served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego (2001-'04), he studied at Catholic University (2004-'06), earning a degree in Canon Law. He served as pastor at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Portland from 2006 until he was asked in May 2013 by Archbishop Alexander Sample to be his number two at the archdiocesan pastoral center on East Burnside Avenue.

Bishop Smith served on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Priestly Life and Ministry committee from 2003-'08. In the Archdiocese of Portland, he has served in the Archdiocesan Tribunal as Defender of the Bond, Judge and Adjutant Judicial Vicar. He has served on the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, Priest Personnel Board, Archdiocesan Permanent Diaconate Board, Archdiocesan Finance Committee, Building Commission and the Ministry Review Board. He has also served as the archdiocesan liaison to the Charismatic Renewal and as a board member of Central Catholic High School. He is the Vicar General of the Archdiocese and serves as Moderator of the Curia.

His interests are church history and military history.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved