Congratulations to Bishop Kevin Vann, who earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree (D.Min.) on May 11 from Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon.



Twenty-five students were awarded degrees in the Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Divinity. Four men will go on to be ordained this summer to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood.



Christopher Cardinal Pierre, Apostolic nuncio to the United States, was on hand for the Commencement.

“One of the reasons why he came here was that he is friends with Bishop Kevin Vann, oblate novice, who received his doctoral degree today,” said Fr. John Paul, OSB, (Director of Oblates) in a letter to the Oblates.


In his letter, Fr. John Paul reflected on the Ascension of our Lord and how it relates to graduation.

He wrote: Also today, just a few hours ago, we celebrated First Vespers of the Ascension. This made me think of the Ascension of our Lord as akin to his graduation. As the graduates change their relationship with the seminary through their graduation, so too, our Lord’s relationship with the Church has taken on a different spin. He is no longer walking among us, teaching us, feeding us, inspiring us. Rather, he is now seated at the right hand of the Father, taking the weakness of our humanity and elevating it to his divine glory. As these graduates go before their fellow peers into the future, so too, Christ the Lord has gone up to heaven, where we too, one day hope to reign with him. As we pray in the Collect of the Mass for Ascension, “where the head has gone before in glory, the body is called to follow in hope.”

As we think about the Ascension, let us not think of the Lord abandoning us his sheep. Rather, let us think and recall that as we call graduation a commencement, so too, our Lord’s Ascension into heaven is not the end of a relationship, but the beginning of something more wonderful. May we always know of the Lord’s loving presence through his gift of the Holy Spirit and in the Most Holy Eucharist.


This is Bishop Vann’s second doctorate. His first doctorate is in Canon Law.

A special feature on Bishop Vann’s graduation will be published in an upcoming issue of OC Catholic.

Let us pray for Bishop Vann and his fellow graduates!