Oblate News Archive


September 25, 2008

Director's Travels

Father Pius X recently visited with several of the Abbey's faithful oblates who live some distance from the monastery. While in California he stayed with Father Harvey Fonseca, pastor of Saint Jude Church in Livingston, in the Diocese of Fresno. Father Harvey embodies Benedictine hospitality. Quotes from the Holy Rule adorn the walls of both the church and the rectory. Together they enjoyed local Portuguese delicacies and great fellowship.

A few days later, Father Pius X arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada, the home of oblate Joseph Martone. In spite of many health challenges, Joseph energetically serves his parish and the greater community. In addition to being a regular visitor to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish adoration chapel, he regularly cooks meals for the homeless and keeps prayer vigils in support of the unborn. Together they enjoyed visiting the churches of Las Vegas and sharing some of the city's legendary bountiful eats. Joe presented Father Pius X with several bottles of his own homemade almond liquor - magnificent!


August 27, 2008

Benedictine Oblate Bowling

Benedictine Oblate Bowling (BOB) is coming to the Salem-Keizer area. All are welcome to join us on the first Thursday of each month (beginning October 2) at Town & Country Lanes in Keizer, OR. Those who would like can meet there at the cafe at 6:00 p.m. (their cheeseburgers are extraordinary). Bowling three games in a doubles format will begin at 7:00 p.m., and the evening will conclude with compline about 9:00 p.m. Cost is $10, and includes shoes. For more information e-mail Father Pius X.


July 28, 2008

Paul "Therese" Payne, R.I.P.

We received word that oblate Paul "Therese" Payne of Yakima, Washington has passed to the Lord. Paul was an alumnus of Mount Angel Seminary High School. He made his oblation on November 2, 1996. We extend our sympathies and promises of prayer to Paul's wife Janet "Elizabeth Ann Seton," and all his family.


June 8, 2008

Oblate Jack "Joseph" Shrum Ordained a Priest

Father Pius X, OSB


Born in Billings Montana and growing up in Everett, Washington, Jack "J.D." Shrum found himself in Rome as he toured Italy. He was not thinking of becoming a priest when he entered the Church of Saint Alphonsus on the Esquiline hill. But there, before the image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help a grace was given that would bring him to Mount Angel Seminary, and on June 7, 2008, draw him to the altar of Saint James' Cathedral in Seattle. There, at the hands of Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett, the grace of the Holy Spirit would descend, consecrating him and conforming him to Christ the High Priest for the sake of the Church's mission to "restore all things to Christ." At least a half dozen alumni of Mount Angel Seminary concelebrated the sacred liturgy with many more monks, seminarians, family and friends and fellow oblates present. Father Shrum offered a Mass of thanksgiving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Everett, Washington, on Sunday June 8th, where he spent most of his school years. He will also celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving at Saint Pius X Parish in Billings, Montana, where he spent his early childhood and where many friends and family still live, on June 29th at 9:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Beginning in July, Father will be assigned as parochial vicar (assistant pastor) at Saint Joseph Church in Chehalis, Washington, where he will serve with another Mount Angel Seminary Alumnus, its pastor, Father David Mulholland. We extend our congratulations and promise of continued prayers to Father Jack.


June 3, 2008


Father Bernard Sander, OSB

Father Pius X, OSB

Our dear Father Bernard Sander, OSB passed peacefully to the Lord on Tuesday, June 3. Fr. Bernard was a spiritual guide to many people,

and a model of Christian love.

Fr. Bernard, baptized as “George,” was proud of his German and Swiss heritage and of his hometown, Tillamook, Oregon. His parents, Leo Bernard Sander and Theresa Durrer Sander, ran

a dairy with the help of their 11 children. Among their children 4 became Benedictines in Mt. Angel: Fr. Timothy (92) is the senior monk, by profession, of Mount Angel Abbey. Fr. Placidus (81) made profession at Mount Angel Abbey,

then moved to Mount Angel’s first daughter house, Westminster Abbey, near Vancouver, BC, Canada. Their sister Gertrude († 2006) was at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel for many years.

After education and early upbringing in Tillamook one of his brothers [Alfred “Al”] took his place in the family dairy so that young George could enter Mount Angel Seminary, in 1935. After significant struggle, he decided to become a priest monk, instead of becoming a diocesan priest, like his uncle, Fr. Louis Sander, of the Archdiocese of Portland. George therefore entered the Abbey and went through the usual steps of formation to become a monk. He was professed on September 8, 1939, when he received the name “Bernard.” Then he completed his studies and was ordained a priest on May 19, 1944. After ordination he was assigned to a variety of leadership posts in the Seminary. He served as a Seminary rector from 1952-1970, when he was appointed Abbey Guest Master, a post which he held until 1993. During his time he oversaw the completion of the Mount Angel Abbey Retreat House conference rooms, where over 1000 people per year now attend organized retreats. When Abbot Bonaventure appointed him as Director of the Abbey Oblate Program (1981-1993) Fr. Bernard developed it from about 50 to well over 500 members. He was very popular among Catholic laity. For example, when he was Oblate Director he used to send over 900 Christmas cards each year - many people responded.

Fr. Bernard Sander was a popular spiritual guide. As long as his health permitted, he heard thousands of confessions and gave spiritual direction to hundreds of people each year. Fr. Bernard also helped to form, at the Abbey, the Christian in the World program, through which a variety of Catholic speakers give workshops on how to live one’s Christian life in the world. Most all of us can add a story to the list of lives touched by Father Bernard’s simple gestures of welcome and charity, and his extraordinary confidence in God’s power to great things in each of our lives. Father’s legacy is only now beginning to unfold, as his many friends and family and oblates pass on to others these same simple gifts of love and confidence.

Vigils for the Dead was held on Monday, June 9 at 7:30 PM and the Mass of Christian Burial celebrated on Tuesday, June 10 at 10:00 AM, both in the Abbey Church.

For a PDF copy of Father Abbot Nathan's homily, click here >>

For a PDF copy of Father Abbot Peter''s eulogy, click here >>

A memorial Mass and celebration of life in honor of Father Bernard will be held on Saturday, June 28th from 10 am to 2:30pm at the Father Bernard Youth Center located at 980 South Main, Mt. Angel, Oregon.
A reception will follow the ceremony. The Sander family asks that you RSVP for planning purposes by calling Kathie Diaz at 503-581-2448 or email: kcdz14@mac.com.


May 28, 2008

New Home for Oblates on the Web

Father Pius X, OSB

Since you’re reading this, I know that you have found the oblate pages of the Abbey’s new web site. I’m hoping that this will be an effective means of communication for all of us. The web site has been in the works for some months now. One participant referred to it as the “Ben Hur of web sites: a long time in the making.” Even though it has taken a while, I think the results are splendid. Let us know what you think of it. The web site will never really be finished, or at least we hope not. It should change with the seasons, always reflecting life at the Abbey as one might find it in person, or through a virtual visit via mountangelabbey.org.


May 28, 2008

Benedictine Oblate Weekend - July 11,12 &13, 2008

Father Pius X, OSB

The upcoming Benedictine Oblate Weekend should prove to be one of the best. Again, Father Abbot Nathan will lead us in shared "lectio divina" and present a spiritual conference. I think you will enjoy too, the concert to be performed on the grand organ of the Abbey church by Mr. Douglas Schneider, the cathedral organist of Saint Mary's cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Oregon. For more on the concert you can click here. This weekend is a bit different than the regular oblate retreats in that this is not a silent weekend. It's good for us to be together as we celebrate Saint Benedict and the way of holiness he has given us in the Holy Rule. The weekend begins with second vespers of the Solemnity of Saint Benedict, that will begin at 5:15 p.m., Father Abbot Nathan presiding. There are other things to look forward to, such as the socials Friday and Saturday evenings and the picnic after Sunday Mass. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist is at a special time: 10:00 a.m. During the picnic we will be entertained by "LeRoy & the Sidekicks." To make reservations call Karen in the retreat house at 503-845-3025 or e-mail: retreat@mountangelabbey.org.


May 11, 2008

Deacon Jack "Joseph" Shrum to be Ordained Priest

Father Pius X, OSB

Also, oblate Jack "Joseph" Shrum of Everett, Washington will be ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle on Saturday, June 7 at Saint James Cathedral. Deacon Jack has lived with us as a seminarian for seven years. We'll miss him, but the people of Seattle will be most glad to receive him. Please keep our new oblate priest in your prayers. You can read a reflection of his here.


May 9, 2008

Deacon Roger "Sigfid" Wilson

Father Pius X, OSB

I received an announcement from oblate Roger "Sigfrid" Wilson that he was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of the West in the United Anglican Church. The ordination took place at the Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, Minnesota. We miss having Roger closer to home. He was greatly helpful as a member of the Oblate Council. Many blessings to Deacon Roger "Sigfid."