Monday, February 4, 2008

A letter from one of our newer seminarians


Hope all of you are having a Blessed Sunday! It's been a month since I reached here at Mount Angel Seminary, I can't believe how time flies here. Classes are going great and assignments are coming up quick. But I think I'll be ok.

I experienced my first snowfall last Sunday, we had a good five inches of snow! I had a blast making a snowman and playing in the snow. (cheap thrills for a boy from Hawaii). I am getting adjusted to the weather, it has been raining a lot the last few days. Today it cleared up a little.

On Friday Feb. 1, 2007 the College I class did a "Personal Poverty" retreat at the Downtown Chapel of St. Vincent De Paul in Portland. The chapel is an outreach center for the poor, homeless, and needy of the area. We were split into groups and were assigned to do certain tasks like distribute clothes, personal hygiene products, bus passes, laundry vouchers etc. My job was the host. I got to meet and greet all the needy and bring them down to get what they needed.

We served them Coffee, Cocoa, and Bread as they waited. It was a time for us to sit down and chat one on one with our guests. It was such a great feeling to see them so happy as they got their products and it made me realize how much I have and how much I need to be thankful for to God. I couldn't believe that "Corporate America" is developing so much in that area, with no concern for the homeless. I was upset too, by hearing that many of their families doesn't want anything to do with them because of a mental illness, addiction or sexual orientation and that is how they ended up in this situation. This brought up a question to me "What then is family?".

After Mass and Lunch, we took a walking tour of the Downtown Portland area and visited many of the agencies which help the poor and needy. We also got to see how and where these people were living. It is not pretty. That night we got to work at the soup kitchen put on the the Chapel, and again got to mingle and eat with the homeless. It was rainy and cold on Friday and you could see that the soup (for many, their only meal that day) just hit the spot. They were all so thankful for something so simple.

I am glad that we got the opportunity to do this because it has not only made me realize how fortunate I am but also the awareness of this growing problem. In this upcoming season of Lent, let's not give up something, but rather "GIVE" something in return and remember those less fortunate than us in these cold winter days. We have so much to be thankful for.

Thanks again for all your love, support and prayers. You remain in mines. Have a Holy and Blessed Lenten Season.

God Bless You,


No comments: