Mount Angel Seminary photo by Phillip ShiffletCandidates, bishops, superiors and vocation directors at the candidacy Mass at Mount Angel Seminary.

Mount Angel Seminary photo by Phillip Shifflet
Candidates, bishops, superiors and vocation directors at the candidacy Mass at Mount Angel Seminary.

ST. BENEDICT — In October, 13 seminarians at Mount Angel Seminary were admitted as candidates for Holy Orders. Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland celebrated the candidacy Mass in the Abbey Church.

Admitted as candidates were John Beccerra Oviedo and Arjie Garcia of the Archdiocese of Portland; Alexander Estrella and Derek Twilliger of the Diocese of Sacramento; Juan Maldonado and Cesar Solorio Maldonado of the Diocese of Fresno; Joseph Nguyen of the Diocese of Orange; Cody Ross of the Archdiocese of Seattle; Mark Uhlenkott of the Diocese of Boise; Leon Vigil of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe; and George Watson III, Cody Williams and Alex Woelkers of the Diocese of Helena.

“You need to be on fire in order to set the world on fire,” Archbishop Sample told the men. “May what God has already begun to do in you be brought to its fulfillment.”

This summer, if formation continues as planned, the 13 candidates will be ordained to the diaconate. Next year they will begin their final year of theological studies before ordination to the priesthood.

In attendance at the ceremony were eight bishops, 14 vocation directors, the Abbot of Mount Angel Abbey, and the superior of house of studies for the Carmelites.

Mount Angel Seminary, established by pioneer monks, is marking its 125th anniversary. It’s the only seminary in the West that offers both a college and a graduate school of theology.

The writer is a seminarian at Mount Angel Seminary.