Priestly formation in the midst of uncertainty

Sep 19, 2020

Returning to the seminary amid pandemic and wildfires


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Welcome to the Office of Vocation’s blog! This blog is intended to do three things: 1) be brief; 2) share wonderful news and events regarding vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; and 3) showcase the experiences of our devoted seminarians as they move toward priestly ordination. Many of the posts will consist of me just simply sharing what is going on in the daily life of an archdiocesan Vocation Director. It is such a blessing to walk with these young men as they seek to do God’s will!

As we move into Fall, I am delighted to give a brief update on our Portland Seminarians. This year we accepted three new seminarians: Jacob McDougall (St. Rose of Lima Parish, Portland), Erik Morris (St. Stephen’s Parish, Portland), and Jim Tabor (Immaculate Conception Parish, Stayton). They are acclimating well to seminary life and have been assured of your prayers and support.

With the addition of three new seminarians we also had two seminarians discern out: Tony Beyer and Benjamin Ramirez. Both Tony and Benjamin are at peace with their decision and know the door is open if they feel called to return in the future. Please pray for our 27 seminarians for the 2020-2021 academic year!

As you may know, our 27 Portland Seminarians study at five different seminaries throughout the world: Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR; St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA; Bishop White Seminary, Spokane, WA; St. Augustine Seminary, Toronto, Canada, and North American College, Rome, Italy. Each seminary has courageously responded to the health recommendations by the CDC and local health officials during this time of pandemic to make it possible for in-person formation and academic study to continue at the seminary. We are grateful for their hard work and determination over these last few months.

Our seminarians are all healthy and at their respective seminaries partaking in a mixture of on-line and in-person classes. What a great time to be formed after the heart of Jesus Christ! We must abandon ourselves entirely to the will of the Father, especially in times of challenge and uncertainty.

The images above are from Mount Angel Seminary during the recent wildfires – no filters and taken midday. Spooky. Please continue to hold all those effected by the pandemic and the wildfires here in Oregon in prayer.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Jeff Eirvin

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