7/10/2012 2:28:00 PM Mount Angel Abbey ordains three monks
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Benedictine Father Jacob Stronach, Archbishop John Vlazny, Benedictine Brother James Bartos, Benedictine Abbot Gregory Duerr and Benedictine Father Jonah Wright.
On Friday, June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Archbishop John G. Vlazny ordained Benedictine Brother James Bartos, as a permanent deacon and Brothers Jonah Wright and Jacob Stronach, to the priesthood.
Born in Corvallis, Brother James spent his childhood in Pendleton and La Grande, before the family settled in McMinnville. In 1956, he entered Mount Angel Seminary High School and subsequently entered the Monastery four years later. He made his first profession in 1962 and his solemn vows in 1967.
The high school was in need of a school nurse, so Brother James went to the University of Oregon Nursing School where he earned a degree to become a registered nurse in 1972. He then served as school nurse until the school closed in 1979. He has worked maintaining the Abbey telephone system, in shoe repair, as a locksmith and a tailor. In 1997, Brother James was assigned to the Our Lady of the Angels Priory in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he was appointed sub-prior. He returned to the Abbey for medical reasons in 2003. Since then, he has served as abbey and seminary locksmith, managing more than 600 keys and 300 locks.
Brother James has long desired ordination as a deacon. His diaconal ministry will include ministry during the community Mass and Liturgy of the Hours as well as serving in the chapel of the sick where he will continue to assist our infirmed priests in the celebration of daily Mass.
Brother Jacob Stronach was raised in Eastern Washington and later Eugene. After graduating from high school, he served in the Air Force at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane. He then held a variety of jobs before returning to school at Lane Community College and Oregon State University.
Born into a Pentecostal family, Brother Jacob lost touch with his faith until the mid-1990s when his parents died of cancer. Their deaths lead him on an intellectual and spiritual journey that eventually brought him to be received into the Catholic Church in 2000.
Brother Jacob professed temporary vows in 2004 and made solemn vows and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Mount Angel Seminary in 2007. During his theology studies, he has served his pastoral year at St. Mary Parish, Mount Angel, as well as Mount Angel Abbey’s daughter house, Our Lady of Angels Priory, Cuernavaca, Mexico. He served his pastoral year at Sacred Heart Parish in Silverton. Brother Jacob looks forward to serving as a formation director at the seminary and assist on the weekends in local parishes.
Br. Jonah Wright was born and raised in New Orleans, La. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Our Lady of the Holy Cross College in New Orleans. In late 1997, he entered the Society of Mary (the Marists) where he received formation education studying in Berkeley, Calif., Cambridge, Mass., and Washington, D.C. He chose not to profess perpetual vows with the Marists when his temporary vows expired. Instead, he spent 2004-2005 teaching religion at Archbishop Carroll High School and finishing an STB (Sacred Theology Bachelor’s) at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. In October 2005, he enrolled in the history of theology program at the international Benedictine college Sant’ Anselmo, in Rome, Italy. He received an STL (Sacred Theology License) in 2007 and traveled extensively throughout Italy.
Brother Jonah’s association with Sant’ Anselmo lead him to Mount Angel Abbey were he entered made temporary vows in 2008 and solemn vows in 2011. During his novitiate, Brother Jonah taught Systematic Theology at Mount Angel Seminary. He served his pastoral year at St. Agatha Church, Portland. Following his ordination to the priesthood, Brother Jonah will begin pursuing doctoral studies in theology at Oxford University.