This year I'll be starting my second year at Mt. Angel Abbey and Seminary and I am looking forward to a year of academic, vocational, and spiritual rewards.
My father and I began the trip back up to Portland from Sacramento this past Monday at 5 am. The trip was great and there were no problems. The time that we did not spend conversing, we spent listening to Dark Side of the Moon and other great road music.
When I arrived at the seminary I happened to meet one of the three new priests on staff this year. Fr. Pitstick of the Diocese of Spokane gave my father and I a warm welcome. We then moved my stuff from this summer back into my old room and I was greeted by various old classmates as well as some new ones. I also discovered that Fr. Terry Tompkins of the Diocese of Oakland was joining us on staff this year. Fr. Terry spent the fall semester of my first year here at Mt. Angel on sabbatical.
There has been an interesting development this year as well. There are no Pre - Theology Students in the college building, Anselm Hall. Last year the hall was intermixed with Pre - Theology students and collegians. This year they have moved the Pre - Theology 2 students to Aquinas Hall and the new Pre - Theology students are below Anselm in the Subiaco building. ( If one can call Subiaco a building, but I'm not living there so I can't complain. )
Last year during my own orientation, there was quite a bit of conferences that we had to attend as new seminarians and students. I quickly made a point to avoid attending some of those conferences with the new students but I helped out by taking pictures for the A/V Department.
Traditionally at the end of the orientation week, the orientation team takes the new seminarians to Silver Creek Falls, which is a state park near Silverton. There is always a lot to do including a barbecue, various hikes, and games. As well as a water balloon fight that happens at the end of the event. Last year, I started my year off incorrectly by nailing Fr. Richard Papperini, the President-Rector of Mt. Angel Seminary, with a water balloon. He is on sabbatical this semester so there was no other seminarians doomed to make my mistake. *laughs*
Today I took out two of my diocesan brothers to a local restaurant called Markum Inn for some burgers and dessert. Tonight is a Pizza social.
This year's group of new seminarians is a pretty quiet and calm group compared to the group that entered last year so we'll definitely have to see how the interaction goes. The old students begin arriving today, tomorrow and Monday.
School starts on Wednesday, I believe. This coming up weekend is the College Beach Weekend. The following weekend is Oktoberfest down in the town of Mt. Angel.
Please keep me in your prayers and you are in mine.