Major Redesign Coming
We're redesigning our website, but it is not yet
ready for prime time. We apologize that this
update has been so long in the coming, but we had
hoped the redesign would be completed by now. In
the meantime, we promise to be more diligent in
posting information vital to the beginning of the
school year. Light a candle for us.
Chapel Reopens August 16
We never really closed this summer, but our normal
slate of worship, educational, and other offerings
has been set aside for the summer as we focus on
renovations, NSO, and administrative matters. We
reopen for worship on Sunday, August 16, with mass
at 7:00 PM and compline (night prayer) at 9:00 PM.
We welcome everyone to campus with the annual
"Lemonade Stand" on the first Monday and Tuesday of
classes. Stop by the chapel for a refreshing glass
First Week Prayers
Take a deep breath during the crazy, hectic, noisy
first week of classes. Sext (noon prayer) and
compline (night prayer) offer an alternative to the
stress of the first week by creating a little
silence in the midst of the noise, a little calm in
the midst of the chaos, and a little sanity in the
midst of the insanity. These prayer services last 10
and 15 minutes in length and are prayed every
weekday during the first week at 12:00 PM and
9:45PM. They follow venerable forms with origins
dating back more than 1500. Ask any of our recent
alumni, and they will tell you that, more than
anything else, they miss these services.
Blessing of the Brains
Our celebratory (and intercessory) mass for the
start of the academic year will include (what we
like to call) the "Blessing of the Brains." In
addition to special prayers for the academic life,
students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to
receive a personal blessing. The mass is scheduled
for Sunday, August 23, 7:00 PM. If your dorm has a
"mandatory" meeting at that time, talk to your RA or
RIFFLE about getting excused for a religious
observance. As the BurmaShave on Hough street says,
"Be a scholar | Don't be dull | Join us Sunday |
We'll bless your skull," or, to put it another way,
"Don't wait until finals to pray; front load some
Hot Dog Day
The men's group from First Lutheran Church,
Parkersburg, are returning to campus Monday, August
24, with a few hundred hot dogs. Stop by the Chapel
around lunch time for a free dog. This is their gift
and "welcome to WVU."
We are planning a retreat to St.
Augustine's House Lutheran Monastery for
Labor Day weekend. Those joining us will
experience the Benedictine rhythm of daily prayer
(seven canonical hours), daily mass, study, work,
and rest. Two of our number joined Chap.
Riegel for part of spring recess at the monastery
this past year. They reported having an amazing
time. Yet another of our students, who joined Riegel
for a retreat over the Christmas recess, made his
own personal retreat there this summer. Obviously,
there is something special about the place. If you
are the least been intrigued but can't do it our
first long weekend of the term, don't worry. We will
look into retreats of different lengths in
conjunction with the various breaks in the academic
Since fall 2000, we've made our "Pilgrimage to Pitt"
every semester. We're still working on details for
this fall's pilgrimage, but we can tell you what is
guaranteed. The highlight, of course, is compline at
Heinz Chapel with the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, the
premier volunteer liturgical choir in the region.
Many years ago, we learned to schedule this trip for
late September so that we can enjoy Oktoberfest in
Pittsburgh. Depending on the size of the group, we
will either hit the Hofbräuhaus or Max's Allegheny
Tavern. Either way, it will be good food (and good
drink for those of legal age). We might also take in
a local attraction. RSVP and facebook event will be
posted soon, but start looking at your availability
for the last weekends in September.
The fourth annual Backyard Paintbrawl is scheduled
for Saturday, October. 3, at Three Rivers Paintball
Park. Join us for a rollicking good time playing
paintball with/against our friends from the Lutheran
University Center Pittsburgh. We carpool to 3RPP.
Lunch is provided. After the paintbrawl, we adjourn
to the Bennett residence for a cookout. Rentals of
paintball equipment is available at 3RPP. Mark your
calendars. RSVP and fbevent will be posted by
September. Lock & load!
Chaplain Riegel Elected Synod Bishop
The Rev. Matthew Lynn Riegel, S.T.M., chaplain of
the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU, was elected
June 6 by the 2015 Assembly of the West
Virginia-Western Maryland Synod to the office of
synodical bishop. He assumes duties in this new
position on Sept. 1.
A special meeting of our Board of Directors has
confirmed plans for the interim and received
information related to the call process for a new
chaplain from Ralph Bishop Dunkin and Regional
Coordinator Nancy Gable.
"It is our priority, as a campus ministry," stated
Riegel, "to attend to the spiritual needs of the
academic community. The departure of one chaplain
and the eventual call of another does not change
LTC (Ret.) Matt Sampson will assume duties as campus
ministry administrator. Sampson has been a fixture
around the Chapel for the last several years as
participant worship services, educational, and
fellowship programming. Sampson brings with him
tremendous experience as a program manager and
leader, including working directly with students as
Professor of Military Science and commanding officer
of WVU's Army ROTC not too many years ago. Sampson
will have primary responsibility for all back office
operations and oversight and coordination of
Katie Lago, a senior at WVU, in her role as "senior"
of the Ev. Oblates of St. Benedict, our initiative
to create a Lutheran Benedictine confraternity at
WVU, will take lead in ensuring that the prayer
offices, the principle support and expression of the
spiritual life of the ministry, will continue
unabated. Indeed, Lago has mentioned that she would
like to see expansion of offerings in this area.
Collectively, with Sampson and support from the
interested friends of the ministry, the students are
being asked to spearhead the fellowship functions of
the ministry (e.g., Pilgrimage to Pitt and Diners'
Area clergy will be asked to support our educational
ministry through the offering of classes and
special presentations. Pr. Jerry Kliner, our pastor
loci, has been asked to respond to emergency and
attend to pastoral care issues.
Protestant & Monastic?
A little history
The two concepts are not antithetical, and there
is actually history to support it. Contrary to
popular opinion, Luther did not close the
monasteries. While he had sharp criticisms of what
monasticism had become by his day, we also wrote
several letters defending monastic foundations
from the local political rulers. Some monasteries
and convents actually converted to Lutheranism,
and the vestiges survey to this day in Germany.
Monastic foundations also continued in the
Anglican tradition, and, following W.W.II, a
rebirth of Protestant monasticism took place in
both the Lutheran and Reformed traditions.
So, what's that got to do with WVU?
This past year, we committed to the formation of
a confraternity, a local group of people who
desire to enter into a deeper, more disciplined
spirituality shaped buy daily prayer, study of the
Word, Christian fellowship, and growth in
sanctification as informed by the Lutheran and
The confraternity will open to men and women,
students, faculties, staff, and members of the
local community. Before joining, one can explore
life in a confraternity as a guest, and then as an
aspirant and postulant, without making formal
In addition to the mutual support of the
confratres in things spiritual, the confraternity
will also provides devotional resources, periodic
communal meals, an option for religious housing,
and the opportunity to make retreats in a Lutheran
When does this begin?
We already have. Seven signed aspirancy before
the end of this past academic year. Postulancy
will begin for those aspirants wishing to continue
during the first fortnight of this new academic
Does that mean it is too late to get involved?
Not at all. If you are interested (or merely
curious), feel free to join in the prayer services
and various aspects of oblate life as a guest.
We'd also be happy to send you a copy of the
customary, answer any questions you might have, or
meet with you. Drop us a line
(Monk@LutheranMountaineer.org) or call us
this about housing?
Lutherhaus becomes an "oblate house" (or
"confraternity house") with the start of the
2015-2016 academic year. As a privilege and aid to
oblate life, members of the confraternity have the
option, limited by availability, of living in Lutherhaus.
Located directly behind the Chapel, Lutherhaus is
one block from the Beechhurst PRT and two from the
Mountainlair. Residential membership fee for the
oblate house is $550 per month (utilities included)
with a $50 rebate if no vehicle is brought by the
resident. Lutherhaus can lodge seven. Each
resident gets a private semi-furnished bedroom.
There are three shared baths and shared kitchen,
living, and dining rooms.
Housing agreements can be made for an entire year,
the summer, or a single semester. Sometimes
additional rooms open up as students opt for