Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Happy Day in May

Oh, where does the time go?

For the past six years, my son Cody has been studying at Mt. Angel Seminary.  Two weeks ago, he finally reached the end of a very long road.  It was graduation day!

The lovely grounds at Mt Angel Seminary

It seemed like only yesterday I was helping him move into the seminary's dorms (as a matter of fact I blogged about it).  Back then, the spring of 2016 loomed far in the distant future.

Peach colored roses

But time has a way of zipping by.  Six years passed in a furious flash, and all of a sudden Cody's term at Mt. Angel was nearing its end.  Receiving his graduation announcement in the mail, it began to sink in.  My son was done with his schooling!

More gorgeous blooms

The day before commencement, Mt. Angel held a special mass for all the graduates.  Since it happened to coincide with my Friday off, I spent the morning photographing waterfalls at nearby Silver Falls State Park before heading to the seminary.  Arriving with plenty of time to spare, I busied myself capturing images of their lovely rose garden.

The Abbey church

It was a gorgeous (but warm!) blue sky spring day.  Perfect for photographing the immaculately landscaped seminary grounds and the beautiful Abbey Church.

Rhododendron garden

However the next day dawned cloudy and rainy.  A complete turnaround from the previous day's lovely weather!  Although not ideal conditions for a spring graduation, at least temperatures would be more comfortable.

Lovely purple rhodies

And I enjoyed the even lighting of the overcast skies to capture a few more shots of Mt. Angel's gorgeous rhododendrons, in full, colorful bloom.

Entrance procession

Then my husband, daughter and I took our seats in the beautiful Abbey Church.  When the organ began playing "Pomp and Circumstance" I had to blink back a few tears.  Then the graduates processed in.

There's my son!

I had an aisle seat and was able to get a quick, but slightly blurry, shot of my son as he passed by. 

Cody receiving his first degree

Cody received three degrees - a Bachelor's of Theology, Masters of Theology, and Masters of Divinity.  Two of the three degrees he graduated with honors (and just missed it on his third one).  That meant many trips to the front altar!

Masters of Divinity recipients

Here's a shot of all the Masters of Divinity recipients.  Most of them will be ordained priests in the coming months.

Cody receiving his second degree

The good thing about Cody having multiple trips to the front, was more opportunities to try for a good photograph.  I didn't use a flash, and turned my ISO up high.  But due to poor lighting, getting a good image was a challenge.  I wished I would've brought a monopod.

Masters of Theology recipients

Here are all the Masters of Theology recipients.  Not as many for this degree!

My super smart son!

When the ceremony was over, we exited the church to rainy skies.  Taking refuge in the dining hall, my family and I enjoyed a wonderful spread while waiting for our graduate to arrive.

Proud parents

Luckily, the rain tapered off long enough for a few family photos outside by the rhodie bushes.

My daughter playing with her brother's tassel

I'm lucky to have such wonderful kids, who get along well, and love to tease each other.  As I was posing them for a photo, my daughter began mischievously playing with her brother's tassel.  I couldn't resist capturing the moment.

Proud mama moment!

Oh yes, it was a huge proud mama moment!  My heart swelled with joy on Cody's accomplishments.

However, it was also bittersweet, as I realized my son would now be leaving Oregon and moving back to Montana.  He'll be ordained as a priest in late June, and permanently assigned to a Western Montana parish.  I'll miss having Cody so close, but I know he is excited for the future, and ready to begin the next chapter of his life.

P.S.  I promise in the next post I'll continue with my Southern Oregon Coast trip...this news was just too good to wait!  :)


  1. Parabéns pela licenciatura.
    Gostei das belas flores.
    Continuação de uma boa semana.

  2. It may have flown by for you but I'll bet that six years of study seems a long while for your son. Well done him on having maintained focus and enthusiasm throughout.

  3. Congratulations on his graduation, now you have to go to an ordination. What a wonderful pace to do his studys

  4. Hello, congrats to your son Cody! You have reason to be very proud. The family photos are great and I love the roses. I am sure you will be visiting your son in Montana, lots to see there!
    Have a great day and week ahead!

  5. Congratulations to Cody and all the graduates. What an accomplishment! And I understand that bittersweet moment. Thank you for the great pictures. :-)

  6. Congratulations to your son. Nicely documented .

  7. Such a lovely post, Linda, and again, your photos are stunning! You have every reason to be a proud mother! You have a lovely smile, too! :)

  8. Congrats Cody! Good work Mom and Dad! What a beautiful place to study - I've driven by and could tell it would be amazing.

  9. A lovely post. Perhaps because I worked 17 years in a seminary I particularly enjoyed it. Brought back some of the excitement of seeing students graduate. Congratulations.

  10. I can well understand the tears welling up. Such a proud, proud moment. Congratulations Cody - an awesome accomplishment.
    The beauty of the roses must have added to the wonder of this special occasion.

  11. how proud you must have felt and wonderful photos to record the moment.

  12. Congratulations to Cody!! I see trips to Montana in your future! You have every reason to be proud!! :)

  13. Ah, but his moving to MT means you'll have a good reason to travel to MT (along with SD)!

    Congratulations Cody!

  14. Congratulations to Cody and his awesome parents. You can all be proud.

  15. A proud time for all concerned. Lovely grounds and buildings.

  16. Congrats to Cody! You and hubby dress up pretty well too!

  17. Congratulations to your son. That's certainly a beautiful college!

  18. Congratulations to Cody on this wonderful 3 degree accomplishment and his spiritual vocation! Best wishes on his upcoming ordination. God bless!

  19. My heart swelled up rading about this very wonderful celebration and achievement adn you have every reason to be VERY PROUD. You do not look old enough to have such a handsome son Linda.

  20. Congratulations to your son! A proud time indeed!

  21. How exciting for you, your family and your son. Congratulations!!

  22. Congratulations to your son, you must be so proud of him and rightly so. 3 degrees is a remarkable accomplishment. Now onwards to his ordination. God bless you all.

  23. Congrats Cody. beautiful images.


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