SAINT BENEDICT — Bells rang out for the 125th commencement at Mount Angel Seminary as a procession proceeded into the abbey church. Cardinal William Levada offered the commencement address, telling graduates, "the journey of faith lasts a lifetime. This is the journey worth shouting from the rooftops."
In his reflections on faith, he said, "Faith is both God’s gift, and our response."
"You should never presume the knowledge of the faith in those for whom you are responsible,” the cardinal said, "rather you should always seek ways to propose it with fresh insight.
"Today at Mount Angel we can only give thanks to God for these graduates, and encourage them in their task of proposing the faith to all those in their pastoral care."
"We are immensely proud of all our 184 seminarians and students who have heard the Lord calling them by name, and followed him as disciples," said Msgr. Joseph Betschart, the seminary’s president-rector. "But in a particular way today, we are proud of, and grateful for, our graduating class."
To the graduates, he said, "I offer our profound thanks for your willingness to give yourself to the Lord and follow him. Wherever your journey may lead you, you will always remain in our hearts. We will always be one in Jesus Christ, our Lord."
"We leave here hopeful, excited, still eager, still smiling, and united together in Jesus Christ," said Rev. Mr. Lauro Minimo, who delivered the senior farewell on behalf of the graduates. "As we go our separate ways, let us be a bridge to Christ. Let us set the world on fire with God’s love."
Benedictine Abbot Gregory Duerr, who also serves as seminary chancellor, bestowed the final blessing upon the graduates.
Mount Angel Seminary is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. The school traces its roots to the pioneer monks who founded Mount Angel Abbey in 1882, and established the seminary in 1889.
It is the oldest and largest seminary in the Western United States, and the only seminary in the West that offers college, pre-theology and graduate theology programs.
Since its founding, the seminary has formed thousands of priests – and many religious and lay men and women, too – to serve the people of God in nearly 100 dioceses and religious communities throughout the United States and around the world.
Here are this year’s graduates:
Bachelor of Arts graduates: Raul Barriga, Gary Lamar Bass, Jonathan Rosauro Cheever, Miguel Corral, Nathan James Dail, Emmanuelle Tapucol Del Castillo, Robert Romple Emwalu, Peter Akapoj Lawongkerd, Jose De Jesus Mariscal Guzman, Andres Mendoza Gonzalez, Fiacre Anick Nduwayo, Michael Duc Nguyen and Anh Bao Tran.
Master of Divinity graduates: Jose Isaac Alejandro de la Cruz, Francisco Bringuela, Jr., Br. Teresio Caldwell, OSB, John Andrew Crutchfield, Alexander Gregory De Paulis, Minh Quang Do, Lauro Camero Minimo, Jr., Dominic Bernard Pierson, Michael Devin Ritter, Marinello Ruel Saguin, Brian Robert Sattler, Br. Andrew Schwenke, OSB, Robert Daniel Sullivan, Martin Tavares Hernandez, Br. Leonel Varela, OCD and David Paul Wilkins.
Graduates receiving a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology: Alexander Gregory De Paulis, Marinello Ruel Saguin and Brian Robert Sattler.
Master of Arts graduates: Scott Christian Baier, Oscar Jaime Castellanos, Ryan Ross Ervin, George Kevin Kiely, Bernardo Lara, Br. Manuel Rosiles, MSpS, Marinello Ruel Saguin and Br. Leonel Varela, OCD.