Because of uncertainty about COVID-19 variants, Mount Angel Abbey has decided against holding its annual fall Seminary Benefit Dinner in 2021.

Jodi Kilcup, executive director of the Abbey Foundation of Oregon, called it a difficult decision.

“We realized that your health, and the health of the seminarians, must be our primary concern,” Kilcup said in a note to supporters. “Along with the monks, we continue to pray for you and for an end to this pandemic.”

The 2019 dinner drew 1,200 guests. In 2020, the foundation worked overtime to create a virtual program.

Kilcup said the abbey is looking forward to the Abbot’s Appreciation Mass and Brunch set for Sunday, April 24, at the abbey. Abbot's Circle donors and Legacy Society members will attend the celebration.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Portland is taking up a collection for seminarian education at Masses the weekend of Sept. 26.