This past weekend, the Mount once again began the academic school year by entering into a three day retreat involving the devotion of 40 Hours of Eucharistic Adoration. Fr. Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., a monk of St. Vincent’s Archabbey (Latrobe, PA), was the retreat master and provided a number of invaluable insights from his many years as a seminary instructor and rector. The retreat began on Friday afternoon with the communal celebration of Vespers after which the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for the remainder of the retreat. A handful of conferences were held each day, while the rest of the weekend was spent in silence with God, allowing the seminarians to truly enter into a deep communication with the Eucharistic Lord before beginning the hectic trials of daily life in the seminary. The retreat concluded with Mass at 11 AM Sunday morning in Immaculate Conception Chapel, at the end of which the entire community participated in a solemn Eucharistic procession to St. Bernard’s Chapel in the seminary building. Once arriving in St. Bernard’s, Fr. Acklin led the community in Eucharistic Benediction and a recitation of the Litany of the Holy Eucharist before reposing the Blessed Sacrament and concluding the retreat.
On Mary’s Mountain
Mount St. Mary’s, the nation’s second oldest seminary, convened its 204th academic year with an afternoon Mass on Sunday the 19th of August. For the first time, the local ordinary, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore (S’ 77), celebrated the opening Mass at his alma mater. This past spring, Archbishop Lori became the first “Mountie” to assume leadership of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and his visit last Sunday marked his first public visit to the seminary as Archbishop. This year the Mount opens the year with 174 seminarians. Forty-eight of the men are new to formation, six men are returning after taking time out of the seminary, and 120 men have arrived back at their mountain home after being away for the summer. Forty-five of the men in the house are enrolled in the pre-theology program, an intensive two year course of philosophy studies prior to entering theology. The remaining students are spread throughout the four years of theology studies.
In an effort to develop a greater spirit of fraternity at Mount St. Mary’s, Student Government Association (SGA) President, Deacon Thomas Haan (S’13, Lafayette-in-Indiana) instituted the first ever “Battle of the Classes” last Tuesday, on the final day before the first official day of classes. The Battle of the Classes consisted of various competitions in which each of the six classes at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary competed against each other to determine who is truly the superior class at the seminary. The events included age-old American favorites such as dodge-ball, horseshoes, cornhole, beach volleyball, trivial pursuit, and tug of war. At the conclusion of the day’s activities, the class of 1st Theology was crowned the champions of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. 4th Theology came in second place, while 2nd Theology finished third. The prize awarded to the champions: Of course, free drinks at the seminary pub, Mother Seton’s Place.