Mount St. Mary’s Seminary traveled in full force to Washington, DC on January 22th to participate in the 42th annual March for Life. The seminarians joined hundreds of thousands who gathered as perhaps the largest crowd in four decades to affirm the value of life in the womb against the currents of the pervasive culture of death. In keeping with the custom of Mount St. Mary’s, a number of seminarians traveled to the nation’s capitol on Wednesday night to join in the 36rd annual National Prayer Vigil for Life which began with a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Boston, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The next morning, the seminary gathered for a Youth Rally and Mass with 15,000 youth and young adults at the Verizon Center, with the Mass celebrated by Washington DC’s archbishop, Donald Cardinal Wuerl. After the Mass, the seminarians made their way to the National Mall to partake in the main event. Along with the scores of other marchers, the massive group made their way up Constitution Avenue past the National Capitol before turning south on 1st Street where the March concluded in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building.
On Mary’s Mountain
The seminary held the annual Oktoberfest party on the last Friday of October. A variety of traditional German foods such as schnitzel, sauerkraut, and pretzel rolls were consumed throughout the night by the seminarians and guests attending the celebration. Along with the tasty food, a number of refreshing autumn beers were also available for sampling. Tony Visintainer (S’ 17, Savannah), as the official seminary Burgermeister (mayor of Oktoberfest), directed the events of the evening, which included the first annual yodeling contest, won this year by Deacon P.J. Voegelli (S’ 15, Wichita). The seminarians always enjoy spending time with the families of the lay faculty who attend the festivities, and every year a number of the children come to Oktoberfest dressed in their Halloween costumes. And in another nod to the Halloween theme, the annual pumpkin carving contest was won by our very own Susie Nield.
The seminary hosted the ninth annual Family Weekend on October 24-26. The activity-filled weekend offered the visiting family members a unique view into the life of a seminarian. Beginning on Friday evening, the seminarians and visitors celebrated Vespers together in Immaculate Conception Chapel followed by a social in the seminary’s rec-room. Following the Saturday morning Mass, family members either attended presentations from faculty members describing the process of priestly formation, or a morning of recollection concentrating on the theme of supporting seminarian family members, presented by members of the Seminarian Deacon class. Saturday evening concluded with Solemn Vespers and a formal dinner in the Cardinal Keeler Seminary Dining Room. On Sunday morning, a particular highlight of the weekend, three seminarians – Lee Brokaw (S’ 17, Peoria), Edmund Herzog (S’ 17, Wichita), and Luke Agnew (S’ 20, Paterson) – detailed their particular vocational journey towards the seminary.