Vespers was presided over by the Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and who gave an awesome commencement address (I even took notes). We were welcomed by Archabbot and Chancellor Douglas Nowicki, O,S.B., and the new rector of the Seminary, Father Tim Whalen, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Awards were presented and Degrees conferred in the following areas: seven received Master of Divinity, two received Master of Arts, three received Master of Arts in Ecclesial Ministry and two received Bachelor of Sacred Theology. The three receiving the Ecclesial Ministry degree are in our Diaconate Program in the Diocese (I have included their picture). They are Bill Newhouse (whom I have known for years)[center], Michael Orange [on the left] and Ray Takacs [on the right] (who is a member of our neighboring parish of Saint Agnes).
It was a great celebration of Church in a beautiful setting, with uplifting music by the Archabbey Schola, with an inspiring address by the Archbishop (more on that in the next post), and with a hope given for the future of the Church.
Let me also add that the reception and dinner was another expression of Benedictine hospitality on the highest level. I was honored to be invited and to be the guest of Bill Newhouse and his family. The picture below is of Bill, his wife, Mary Ann, and their youngest son, Sean. They have two grown children out of state - Patrick and Lauren. It is hard to believe that I baptized Sean. They are very proud of dad.