The Mount St. Mary’s held the annual Oktoberfest party on the last Friday of October. A variety of traditional German foods such as bratwursts, 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. 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. In addition, an annual pumpkin carving contest is held during the evening. There was stiff competition for the pumpkin carving title this year which was won by Mike Misulia’s (S’18, Baltimore) design of a dragon which narrowly beat out Neil Kirchoefer (S’15, Peoria) whose unique carving of the face of seminarian Carl McIntosh (S’ 15, Bridgeport) onto a pumpkin was a favorite of many (see in picture). Misulia took home the first place prize of $100 while Kirchoefer received $50 for his efforts. Oktoberfest was the first of a handful of house parties throughout the year hosted by the seminary’s social committee headed by Matt Capadano (S’ 14, Omaha). The social committee, comprised of about ten seminarians, is entrusted with the planning and the overseeing of the parties, helping to ensure that all who attend have an enjoyable experience.
On Mary’s Mountain
On the weekend of October 19-21, in excess of ninety family members of Mount seminarians traveled to Emmitsburg for the seventh annual seminary family weekend. The activity-filled weekend gave the visitors a unique view into the life of a seminarian. Beginning on Friday night, the seminarians and visitors celebrated Vespers together in Immaculate Conception chapel followed by a social in the rec-room. On Saturday, the families attended presentations describing the seminary formation delivered by the rector, Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, and other faculty members involved with the four pillars of formation; academic, human, pastoral, and spiritual. Saturday evening ended with a formal dinner in the William H. Keeler Seminary Dining Room attended by the visiting family members and their host seminarians. The family weekend concluded the next day with a solemn Mass on Sunday morning celebrated by Msgr. Rohlfs.
The Mount community welcomed the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, on October 18. Archbishop Viganò first entered the diplomatic corps of the Holy See in 1973 and has faithfully served the Roman Pontiff for nearly forty years. Originally from northern Italy, he gained doctorates in both canon and civil law before entering the diplomatic service. His previous posts include work in Iraq and Great Britain as well as serving as the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria under Blessed Pope John Paul II. Most recently he worked in the Vatican City State as the Secretary General of the Governatorate, a position he held until his reassignment to the United States in 2011. His visit to Mount St. Mary’s on October 18, 2012 is notable because he received the appointment of successor to the late Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, one year ago on October 19, 2011, the Feast of the North American Martyrs. At the Mount, he celebrated a solemn Mass in the afternoon before addressing the seminarians in O’Donnell Lecture Hall later in the evening. A wide variety of topics were discussed in the lecture, but the main emphasis of the talk centered on describing the life and daily affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States. He fielded questions as vast as inquiries into his own vocation to the priesthood to the working of the Holy Spirit within his work as bishop and Nuncio. As he noted, however, the most humbling and essential task of any Apostolic Nuncio is to officially represent the Pope to the various countries around the globe. In doing this, one of his most important duties is to assure the faithful in the United States of the Holy Father’s deep affection and closeness in prayer for the members of our nation. Likewise, this was the key message he brought to our own community in his visit of October 18.
The annual Priest’s Alumni Reunion took place this past Monday October 1st through Wednesday October 3rd. In excess of ninety priest alumni were welcomed back to their mountain home. Coming from far and near, the returning priests serve throughout the entire country as well as the immediate vicinity of the Mount. Highlights of the reunion were the annual Mass in Immaculate Conception Chapel on Tuesday afternoon celebrated by the Archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori (S’ 77, Washington) and concelebrated by Washington’s Auxiliary Bishop, Barry Knestout (S’ 89, Washington). Following the Mass, the returning alumni enjoyed a fine meal along with the men from the seminary’s Class of 2013. The next day, Fr. John Cyr (S’ 02, Peoria) preached for the Mount community at the Glass Chapel at the Grotto Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Longtime faculty member, Fr. Michael Roach (Baltimore) received the 37th Annual John Cardinal McCloskey award given to the alum recognized for his distinguished and dedicated service to the mission of the Church and who by his efforts has brought honor to his Alma Mater. While Fr. Roach did not himself attend the Mount, he has served as a professor of Church History since 1978 and for many years has been the chair of the history department. Overall, the annual reunion was a joy for the alumni, faculty, and current seminarians, all of whom were able to spend a few days with so many Mount alumni who have collectively touched the lives of an inestimable number.