A Day in the Life of a Seminarian: Marcos Alvarado

Jan 21, 2024

A day in the seminary varies on weekdays and weekends. During the week at Mt. Angel Seminary, the day begins with an optional breakfast at 6:30 AM. At 7:30, everyone gathers together to pray Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Mass. After Mass classes are held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Depending on the level of formation of the seminarian, the class schedule varies with free time during the day with an hour for lunch at noon. After class there is a time to play sports from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. At 5:30 PM everyone gathers once again to pray Vespers (Evening Prayer) followed by dinner. On Mondays all seminarians have a conference meeting after dinner; on other days we have evenings free. During weekends we get together on Sunday to attend Mass and Evening Prayer. The rest of the time is free time for personal devotions, homework, sports, and relaxation to get ready for the week.

As a Theology student in my 5th year of seminary, I would not call it a strict or rigorous lifestyle. I honestly thought that it would be harder than it is. Don’t get me wrong; seminary is not easy, but I thought that it would be harder. Academics are hard with high expectations from teachers. Prayer life is, and always will be, challenging. But the lifestyle of a seminarian is unique because we have set aside some time in our lives to discern our vocation and to get closer to God.
During my free time on the weekends or holidays, I enjoy a variety of activities. Sometimes I go out with my class for a meal or a movie, or I will spend time with my Portland diocese seminarian brothers. On my own, I like to work out in the gym, go out to hike, eat out, watch a movie, or read.

Mount Angel Seminary is unique because it is in a Benedictine Monastery. This is significant because we are being influenced by the monk’s way of life. The bells of the monastery invite us to pray throughout the day, keeping us in a constant communion with Christ. It is also unique because it is open for everyone to visit. On a regular day it is normal to see people walking around with their families, exercising, or visiting the Abbey. Seeing people on campus allows us to connect with them. They make Christ present for us, and we try to be Christ for others, living as one body.

I would like to extend my deep gratitude to all of you who support seminarians financially and spiritually. There is no doubt that without your help I would not have the chance to discern my vocation and the opportunity to give my life to Christ in this way. I do not have the resources to do it by myself. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that your donations have provided for me. I also would like to highlight the importance of prayer. In times when things get difficult, knowing that someone somewhere is praying for me and my discernment fills me with the strength to continue on this journey. Thank you for all your support!

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