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Oblate Meetings 2013-14:
A School of the Lord's Service: Building Benedictine Virtues
Inquirers are always welcome.

  • Come to pray with the community any day!
April 12 (Sat.) RETREAT: Persistent Prayer
May 18 Stability: Staying and Not Leaving

Persistent Prayer Retreat – Slides and Links

13 April 2014

We had a good turnout for the retreat on Saturday. This post includes:

  • The slides (all the presentations are in one slideshow)
  • Separate link to the interview with Fr William Meninger
  • Other links that were discussed during the day

Souljourners interview with Fr. William Meninger:

The interviewer asked several questions that were real clunkers, but they had the effect of getting Fr Meninger to repeat and clarify ideas. Maybe he does that on purpose!  Everyone at the retreat found the interview very engaging, and the ideas from it kept returning throughout the day.

If you have nothing else from the Retreat, this interview is worth it.

Books mentioned (hover to see links)

The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing by Fr. William Meninger

The Cloud of Unknowing by Anonymous (referenced by Fr. Meninger)

Online in slightly modernized English (free PDF, small charges for Kindle, Nook, etc)

Online  as web page in original Middle English

Online on LibreVox (audio book) for free

Amazon has many editions, print and downloadable

The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner

Real Presence: Sister Wendy on the Earliest Icons by Sister Wendy Beckett (one of many books of her lectio on art)

The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes by Andy Carr

Joy of Zentangle: Drawing Your Way to Increased Creativity, Focus, and Well-Being by Marie Brown CZT

Contemplative Crochet: A Hands-on Guide for Interlocking Faith and Craft by Cindy Crandall-Frazier

The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self Discovery by Linda T. Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels

A short interview with Sister Wendy, for those who have never seen her

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Oblate Retreat 2014: Persistent Prayer

5 April 2014


Monastery Garden Panorama

Monastery Garden Panorama (Photo credit: Edith OSB)

Oblates will gather for the Annual Retreat.  The topic this year is Persistent Prayer.  The day is planned so that there will be a balance of “input” times, “reflection” times, and community / sharing times.

OBLATES: please  RSVP by phone or email!

A few features have been added this year, as an experiment.

  • The starting time is a little earlier.
  • A late-morning time for journaling, art work, and nature has been added.
  • We will follow the reflective practice of working together largely in silence.
  • There will be time to share insights together at the end of the day.
  • God willing, we may have Oblates participating by Google Hangout.
    The last (I hope) glitch was worked out last week, and I am testing the system this week.

HORARIUM FOR THE RETREAT (see below)  Read more…

Notes from March Oblate Meeting: Choosing for Good and Not Ill

10 March 2014

Here are the slides from the Oblate meeting today, followed by several links and pieces of information that were discussed.

Lenten Reading: Evangelii Gaudium

All of the Sisters received Pope Francis’ encyclical The Joy of the Gospel:  Evangelii Gaudium on Ash Wednesday, in accordance with the provisions of The Rule in Chapter 48.15-17:

During this time of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through. These books are to be distributed at the beginning of Lent.

Sister Lois selected this book because she thought that its message and spirituality would be beneficial to the entire community. There is a wonderful strength that comes when an entire group reads and ponders the same text together.  For that reason, I suggested that Oblates might like to be part of our community reading. Here are three different ways to obtain Evangelii Gaudium:

  1. Read it online from the Vatican website;
  2. Download the text in a PDF file to read on a computer or print yourself;
  3. Purchase the print book online

Lenten Bona Opera (Good Works)

Oblates, candidates and visitors were invited to write their intended extra Good Works (Bona Opera) and seal them in an envelope, which we place before the altar on the Sundays of Lent.  Several oblates sent in their Bona Opera by email, and there is still time to do that.  Here is the suggested format from the March letter:

Lenten Bona Opera

In keeping with the spirit of St. Benedict and the custom of St. Scholastica Monastery,  I resolve faithfully to add the following acts of prayer, charity, fasting and reading to my usual measure of service:





I humbly pray God’s blessing and approval on my resolve.



I read a portion of one of Archbishop Oscar Romero‘s last homilies before he was killed in 1980.  The entire movie is now available via YouTube, embedded below.

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March Oblate Letter

3 March 2014

Saint  Benedict's Ladder of Humility

The March Letter to all the Oblates is going into the mail today; those of you who also subscribe to the blog will get it a little earlier!

Dear Oblates,

I am looking forward to our meeting on 9 March 2014.  We will gather in the Lake Superior Lounge at 1pm with the topic “Choosing for Good and Not for Ill.”  We will continue the practice of having a short break before the discussion, with coffee and snack at the break.  It seemed to work well at our last meeting.

The Practice of Lent.  This letter reaches you just as Lent begins.  I urge you to read Chapter 49 of The Rule, “The Observance of Lent” and  the section of Chapter 48 about lectio during Lent.  The Sisters will have a selection from this part of The Rule at Evening Prayer; I invite you to share our practice.

St. Benedict wrote his Rule 1500 years ago, before many of the current customs had been developed. Where the idea of “giving up” something is often the first thing modern people think of for Lent, The Rule has two focal ideas for Lent, and a Read more…

+R.I.P. Sister Mary Henry

28 February 2014

Sister Mary Henry LandsteinerSister Mary Henry quietly crossed the threshold into eternal life on the evening of Tuesday 25 February 2014.  At 99, she was among our oldest sisters.  She entered the monastery in the depths of the Great Depression, making her first vows in 1934 — and would have celebrated her 80th Jubilee this July.

Sister Mary Henry taught the early grades of elementary school for most of her life.  The warm smile and the sense that she was ready to handle almost any surprising event stayed with her until the end of her life.  Someone who remembers her early days of teaching related the tale of taking the part of Gretel in a school play — and having to spend long periods of time cramped inside a real oven while students practiced their lines outside.

Sister Mary Henry’s Wake will be held at 9:30am on Monday 3 March 2014 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery.  The Mass of Christian Burial follows at 11am.

All Oblates are warmly invited to join us in celebrating her life of service and prayer on earth and her return to the Lord whom she loved so faithfully.

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