Catholic Sentinel photos by Kim Nguyen
Barbara Berenson, John Creegon, Diane Heade, Bishop Kenneth Steiner,  Julie Steiner and Abbot Gregory Duerr at the 2011 Seminary Tea.
Catholic Sentinel photos by Kim Nguyen
Barbara Berenson, John Creegon, Diane Heade, Bishop Kenneth Steiner, Julie Steiner and Abbot Gregory Duerr at the 2011 Seminary Tea.

Ladies and gentleman in finery nibbling tiny tea sandwiches – it’s a spring tradition for Robert Burtchaell.

This year was the 62nd time the man has participated in the tradition of splendor and springtime at the Archbishop’s Seminary Tea. Burtchaell’s mother was the second woman to serve as committee chairwoman in 1961, following the original founder’s tenure. Gladys Dunne established the tradition in 1935, with the first tea held that year aboard the General Lee state steamship.

Burtchaell wasn’t the only person at the tea with longstanding familial connections to the event, which raises funds to pay for the education of seminarians at Mount Angel Abbey.  

The hosts of the 76th tea, Spencer and Mary Dick, lives in a house built by the grandparents of one of the seminary tea committee members. Nancy McDougall Leone's grandfather, Natt McDougall, built the home in 1927. The Jacobberger-Smith Architectural firm designed the residence; the same company that designed St. Mary's Cathedral and many other local Catholic institutions. A bas relief of the McDougall family crest is still in place above the living room fireplace.

The Dicks are the fifth owners of the home.
The McDougall family has a long history of support of the Archbishop's Seminary Tea, and other Catholic organizations. Nancy McDougall was invited to join the committee by her cousin, Marjorie Herron, who has been a member for many years.

Attendees mingled with Archbishop John Vlazny and Bishop Kenneth Steiner.  
Also in attendance were Dennis Keenan, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Jesuit Father Rick Ganz, vice president of community relations at Marylhurst University.

Past hostesses who attended the tea and poured were: Linda Maletis, who hosted the 2009 tea, and Ann Humberston, who hosted the 2006 tea.
Catholic high schools were well represented by student volunteers and administrators.

Throughout the 75 consecutive years of hosting the tea, the Seminary Tea Committee has raised more than $880,000 for scholarship support for seminarians at Mount Angel Abbey who are studying to serve in Portland parishes.

A Mass to celebrate the success of the tea will take place on Wednesday, May 25, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Archbishop Vlazny will be the celebrant. During the reception following Mass, Mary Clark and Mari Connolly will present a check representing contributions to the Seminary Education Fund received at the tea.