Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Oregon Benedictine with Spokane roots marks 25 years of priestly ministry
the Inland Register
(From the July 31, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)
Benedictine Father Michael (Brian) Mee of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon was born and grew up in Spokane. (IR photo from Mount Angel Abbey)
On Sunday, July 6, Benedictine Father Michael Mee of Mount Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, Ore., celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Father Michael is a Spokane native. He was originally ordained as a priest of the Spokane Diocese, and served in diocesan parishes, as well as the Guatemala mission, before entering the Benedictine community at Mount Angel.
Father Michael is the third child of the late Arthur and Margaret Mee. Born in Spokane, he was baptized Brian. He attended Mater Cleri Seminary in Colbert, Wash., from which he graduated in 1970. He then studied at Gonzaga University in Spokane, graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1974.
His theological studies were in Rome, where he received a theology degree from the Angelicum. He spent his fourth year of theology studying at the Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained for the Diocese of Spokane on July 8, 1978.
His first assignment was at St. Patrick Parish and DeSales High School in Walla Walla. In 1980 he was transferred to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Spokane. He also served as spiritual director for Bishop White Seminary in 1981. That assignment helped him to prepare for similar work at Mount Angel Seminary.
The following year Father Mee volunteered to serve in the diocese’s Guatemala mission. He left Spokane for the mission in December 1982 and returned seven years later. At that time he received permission from Bishop Lawrence Welsh to investigate the monastic life, which led him to enter Mount Angel Abbey in 1989 for a six-month postulancy and a one-year novitiate.
He made his simple profession as a monk on Sept. 8, 1990, at which time he was given the name Michael. His patron is Michael the Archangel, a principal patron of Mount Angel Abbey. He made solemn profession on Sept. 13, 1993.
As a monk his first assignments included working with the Hispanic Ministry Program as well as serving as a spiritual director for Mount Angel Seminary. He served as a formation director in the seminary until 1996.
That year he returned to Rome for further studies. In 1998 he received an licentiate degree in sacred theology, Magna Cum Laude, from College of Sant’Anselmo, the international Benedictine college in Rome. In 2001 he received a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), Magna Cum Laude, also from Sant’Anselmo. His dissertation has the title: “The Presence of Christ in the Liturgical Life of the Church, according to St. Ambrose of Milan.”
Since returning to Mount Angel, Father Michael has been a professor of sacramental theology in the seminary and serves as Director of the Abbey Guest House. He also serves as Director of Planning, responsible for short- and long-range planning of construction at the Abbey.