ST. BENEDICT — Under a clear blue sky, Abbot Gregory Duerr and the monks of Mount Angel Abbey welcomed nearly 500 guests to the seventh annual Festival of Arts and Wine last month. The hilltop event raised funds to benefit Mount Angel Abbey monastery, retreat house and library.
Eight Oregon wineries and two microbreweries served premium refreshments along with food provided by restaurants, caterers, Oregon artisanal food vendors and the abbey kitchen. Guests listened to music by Steve Karakas and his group, Beadhead, toured the abbey, viewed an exhibit of early abbey photos and bid on auction items.
Sue Hannibal was 2013 event chair.
Benedictine Father Odo Recker was emcee of the auction that featured a fishing trip to the Oregon coast, dinners prepared by the monks, special wine tastings at local wineries, one week at an Arizona resort, and a weekend visit to Friday Harbor for whale watching and dozens of silent auction baskets.
A popular feature each year is the “Wine Wall” hosted by Brother Claude Lane and Father Liem Nguyen. Guests purchased a ticket and chose from a grab bag of premium Oregon wines – the value of the wine is always greater than the price of the ticket and there are hidden treasures valued at more than $100.
A new addition was the paddle raise to provide new and improved landscaping surrounding the church. Father Martin Grassel, abbey procurator, hosted the opportunity in his garden hat carrying his planting tools. The design and planting choices were displayed by 7 Dee’s to help guests envision the results. They responded with gifts and pledges that fully funded the project.
Fourteen artists displayed watercolors, handmade wood pieces, fused glass, collage, fabric art, jewelry and photographs. The abbey takes pride in the opportunity to offer guests the chance to view and help support Oregon artists.
A new feature at the event was the monastic booth that featured a creative display of the monks’ favorite books. Guests “liked” their favorite books and were entered in a drawing for a copy of Fr. Jeremy Driscoll’s A Monk’s Alphabet.
“Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord” was the event theme. The monks were in charge of praying for a warm, sunny day and their prayers were answered, highlighted with views of the ripening fields of grains and orchards that surround the abbey.
The event is sponsored by The Abbey Foundation of Oregon and began as a way to welcome new friends to see the hilltop community.
Next year’s Festival of Arts and Wine is scheduled for Saturday, June 28.