SAINT BENEDICT — Seminarians and students, faculty, staff, and other guests gathered with the monastic community in the church at Mount Angel Abbey Aug. 22 to celebrate the opening of the new academic year at Mount Angel Seminary with the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, leader of the Benedictine community and chancellor of Mount Angel Seminary, served as principal celebrant for the Mass, which included seminary priest faculty, monks and other visiting priests as concelebrants. Reflecting on Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit given to the church through his passion, death and resurrection, Abbot Jeremy preached that “when [Jesus] puts his Body and Blood into our bodies and blood, he puts Spirit into us so that we may go and announce the Gospel by our lives.”

Later that same morning, the seminary and monastic communities gathered in the abbey church to listen to Joseph Papa, associate professor of philosophy at Mount Angel Seminary, deliver the inaugural address titled, “Christian Humanism: An Oxymoron?” Drawing on the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Papa said that “everything human, the whole range and scope of human activity, falls under the concern [and] the intense interest of the Son of God.” He affirmed that “the priest is called to appreciate, and in some way, to enter into this engagement. A robust, humanistic development will allow him to do so.”

After the Mass and the inaugural address, attendees gathered outside to talk, laugh, and share their excitement to begin the new academic year. The seminarians cheered as Abbot Jeremy joined them for a group photo in front of the church.